The advent of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) has impacted the world around us in a big way. As a result, digital transformation has become an integral part of the discourse around transforming enterprises, both informal and formal. The Micro Enterprises sector includes 63 million enterprises, accounting for over 99 per cent of the country’s total number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The Small Enterprises sector includes 330,000 enterprises which are 0.5 per cent of total MSMEs.
The Ministry of MSMEs, Government of India (GoI), has adopted a Cluster Development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of MSEs and their collectives in the country. Promoting green and sustainable manufacturing technology for the clusters, to enable units to switch to sustainable and green production processes and products remains a strong objective. According to a World Trade Organization report, while MSMEs are aware of climate change and understand the need to adopt decarbonization practices, they face obstacles especially in accessing information about the changes to be made in their businesses and the cost of change.
To address this gap, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) India Office, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Digital Transformation (CeDT) at IFHE Hyderabad has initiated an action research project to study the use of digital technologies in MSEs, which could facilitate the transition towards sustainable and green processes. By leveraging digital technologies, MSEs can improve resource efficiency, reduce waste, and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
“Digital Green - MSEs' Adoption of Digital Technologies for Environmental Sustainability” envisages a cross-learning by engaging with key stakeholders (including MSE entrepreneurs, government agencies, technology providers, sustainability experts, researchers, policymakers, INGOs, and Indian NGOs), to gather diverse perspectives and insight, organizing roundtables, documenting best practices, and generating awareness through social media campaigns. This research will lay foundation for identifying opportunities and challenges in implementing climate action through green businesses.
The first regional consultation ofproject was held jointly with ICFAI Business School, Ahmedabad from 14th – 16th July 2023. The insights of the consultation resulted into drafting of a NET ZERO Framework – it looks at two parts of the phenomenon- Tools and Impact. The three tools relate to digital transformation initiatives, assessing environmental impact and then using digital technologies to mitigate any adverse impact of MSEs production process. NET implies NETWORK of digital technology service providers, sustainability experts and enablers including government and non-governmental organizations. ZERO implies ZERO impact of production processes on the environment through focus on workforce, machines, material, energy and waste management.
Details on the framework and insights from Consultations are provided in the link below.
Digital Street National Consultation – Hyderabad, November
Shailendra Singh Bisht is Associate Professor, Marketing and Strategy at ICFAI Business School, IFHE Hyderabad. For more information, please contact Shailendra Singh Bisht at shailendrabisht(at)ibsindia.org.
Sanjay Fuloria is a Professor of Operations and IT at ICFAI Business School. For more information, please contact Sanjay Fuloria at sanjay.fuloria(at)ibsindia.org.