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The School of Management, KIIT University hosted its 5th National Management Convention on the theme “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: The Way Forward” on 17th February 2012. Entrepreneurship and the ways to promote it through better infrastructure, policy changes and, capital and knowledge infusion was the underlying focus area of the convention.

The event was inaugurated in the presence of eminent guests such as Mr. Praveen Gupta, Chief General Manager, SBI and Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya, Former Vice Chancellor, JNU and Distinguished Professor, IIM Lucknow. Prof. Ashok Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University and Prof. Ashok Kumar Sar, Dean, School of Management were also present. The delegates included professionals from manufacturing and service sectors, Academicians, Research Scholars and Consultants from across the country.

Addressing the inaugural function, Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya, Chief Guest of the Convention, spoke about KIIT as a remarkable example of how education is being promoted through dedication. He emphasized the inequality of incomes in India which can be reduced through the expansion of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Countries like Taiwan and Brazil have grown through the boom in MSME sector, he added. He expressed his concerns about the fact that the knowledge created by Business schools are not used locally, but are rather drained into MNCs.

Mr. Praveen Gupta, the Keynote Speaker of the convention, spoke about the unique features of MSME which includes generation of employment for the unskilled workforce, use of local resources and innovative means for reducing costs. He outlined the key issues facing the sector, which includes lack of capital, knowledge of the market, issues in getting land or governmental clearances. He said even though financial institutions are willing to lend to the SME sector, equity contribution from the entrepreneur is still a major issue. He also pointed out the fact that many promoters aren’t aware of the collateral-free loans offered by the banks today.

In his address, Prof. Ashok Kolaskar stressed on the fact that most of the employment today is through micro, small and medium enterprises. He gave examples of how corporate have elsewhere handheld fledgling entrepreneurs and turned them big, something which can emulated and replicated in a state like Odisha as well.

Introducing the convention to the audience, Prof. Sar highlighted how the MSMEs are contributing profoundly to the economic development of the country. The profitability of MSMEs depends on the efficiency, quality of the products and services, and the deployment of updated technologies in the value chain, he added.

The Convention spans two days with a total of four tracks that would cover four subthemes under the main theme, namely: Challenges of MSME Sector and their Implications, Ways to Improve the Overall Health of MSME Sector, Government Policy & Technological Support for Sector Efficiency and Skilled Manpower & Allied Issues in MSME. Each of these tracks would be chaired by an eminent guest from the industry and would have research paper or case study presentations by the delegates.

There were four technical sessions. Track one was chaired by Dr. S.R.Mohapatra, Dean, management-BPUT and the session coordinator was Prof.P.R.Sahoo. At the outset session chair delivered a keynote speech on the various challenges faced by MSME Sector of India. Then there were eight paper presentations. While evaluating the papers, and coordinating the overall presentations at the end the coordinator summarized the entire event.

Similarly, the next session started with the speech with the session chair, Mr. Aswini Kumar Dash, DGM (BD), Orissa State Finance Corporation. Then the session coordinator Prof. R. N. Subudhi led the session forward. In total six presentations were there on the theme “Ways to improve the overall health of MSME Sector”.

The third session was on the theme “Govt. policy and technological support for sector efficiency”. At the outset the session chair Dr. Raj Kishore Panda, Director, NCDS delivered the keynote speech on the theme. Then the session coordinator Prof. Jitendra Mohanty led the session forward. There were eight presentations in total.

The fourth session was on the “Skilled manpower and allied issues in the MSME”. The session started with the speech of chair Prof. S. K. Mohanty, Vice Principal, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Odisha. Then the session was conducted by session coordinator Prof. Sikta Pati. There were five papers in total.

The closing ceremony was held at 4:45 PM, 18th February’ 2012. The session started with the summarizing speech by Dean, Prof. Ashok K. Sar. This was followed by award of certificates to all paper presenters. Ms. Astha Dewan, Asst. Professor, Sri Ram College, Delhi University, received the best paper award. The best paper award was decided on the basis of the evaluation done by the session chairs and coordinators.