New Delhi, Oct.15: “Incredible India should have a credible economy," said Mani Shankar Aiyar, Minister for Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports and Development of North Eastern Region, at the National Conference on “Rural Sector: Sourcing, Branding and Marketing – Opportunities and Challenges", organised jointly by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Monday.
Aiyar said that rural projects should reach about 836 million people living below the daily wage of Rs.20 as per Arjun Sengupta Committee"s report. He said that government should get involved with people who are unsuccessful to attain benefits from the double digit growth of India and provide an economic justification to the growth.
The relationship of the industry with the primary producer in the rural sector should go beyond buyer-seller relationship to attain inclusive growth, said Aiyar.
Industry should focus on partnering with people at large to involve them in the business process and include them in the growth of the business, said Mr. Aiyar. Fresh technology and managerial inputs to implement rural marketing will enhance the development process at the rural sector, he said. Considering primary producers as partners and not workers will make the rural India flourish along with the Industry, the Minister added.
A primary producer should not be confined to the first level of value chain and should be provided extensive training, finance and a larger quantity of input to rise up the value chain, said Mr. Aiyar. Rural Business Hub (RBH) is representation of primary level at the value chain which industry can access and government is a mediator in the process, said the Minister. Good governance can make business proposition with primary producers feasible at village panchayat, block and district level, he mentioned.
Anil Sinha, General Manager, SEDF, International Finance Corporation (IFC) said that IFC provides financial products, technical assistance and advisory services to different areas of interest to reach the rural sector. He said that various services are available for the industry to reach the rural sector which are providing business enabling environment, value addition to firms, environment and social sustainability, infrastructural assistance and access to finance. IFC-SEDF has collaborated with CII to map out rural clusters in the north east region to attract industry to set up RBHs, he added.
Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, CII Mission for Inclusive Growth and Chairman, Hero Corporate Services Ltd. said that rapid development of physical infrastructure and broadening the spectrum of current growth of India are the major challenges to the country. The enormity of the existing challenges call for partnership between civil society, Industry and Government, he said. Industry has shown a keen interest to take-up this growth challenge, said Munjal.
Munjal said that RBH is an institutional mechanism to join producers at rural areas and marketers. He mentioned that Government of India has come out with RBH central sector scheme to provide financial support to RBH projects. RBH has been a great learning experience for CII and many RBHs have taken off the ground new initiatives and many are in the pipeline, said Munjal.
The National Conference on “Rural Sector: Sourcing, Branding and Marketing – Opportunities and Challenges" will focus on topic like Emerging Business Models, Advantage North East and Development of Clusters&Outsourcing Hubs – Scope for PPP.
At the session on Sourcing, Branding and Marketing - Emerging Business Models, ITC, Pantaloon, Fabindia Overseas, Shakti Sudha and Panchchuli Weavers presented different emerging rural business models, benefiting both the industry as well as the rural producers.