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Emerging India Awards: Good things come in 'small and medium' packages

The fifth edition of the Emerging India Awards, an initiative by ICICI Bank and CNBC-TV18, declares Lilliput Kidswear as the SME of the Year

Finally, the verdict is out for the Emerging India Awards 2009. Lilliput Kidswear has been declared the winner of the most coveted 'SME of the Year' award. While Rate Gain IT Solutions was adjudged the most promising small Enterprise of the Year; Nandan Biomatrix Limited received the Green Business of the Year award. The winners were declared and felicitated at a function held in the Capital on November 19.

Emerging India Awards, organised by ICICI Bank, CNBC-TV18, and supported by CRISIL , a Standard and Poor's company, is aimed at enhancing the visibility of the Indian small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. The primary objective of the award is to support and motivate Indian SMEs by highlighting their outstanding performances.

The SME sector is often referred to as the backbone of the economy, given its potential to drive substantial employment growth and wealth creation. According to a recent ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India) report, SMEs are expected to contribute 22 per cent to India's GDP by 2012, up from 17 per cent at present.

While companies around the globe were adversely affected by the economic slowdown, many of the Indian SMEs braved the situation, adapted themselves to the changes and emerged successful. The fifth edition of the Emerging India Awards paid tribute to these enterprising entrepreneurs, who turned challenges into opportunities.

The award ceremony was presided over by P Chidambaram, home minister, who was all praises for the initiative. He congratulated the winners, but advised them not to stay restricted only to the SME sector.

"It's good to start small; but it's not good to stay small. Small businesses should graduate to medium and then to large businesses. The banks should hold hands with the SMEs as they graduate from one stage to another," stated Chidambaram.

Similar views were expressed by the minister of state for commerce and industry, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was the guest of honour. "The SME sector is growing by leaps and bounds; and it's the agility and flexibility of this sector, which is helping in its expansion. I realise that whatever walk of life one goes into, one thing that stays constant is 'change'. One who can accept this constant change and adapt accordingly is the one who survives and becomes successful. The SME sector of India is its biggest example," summarised Scindia.

Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer, ICICI Bank; and Ajay Chacko, director, TV18 Business Media and chief operating officer-new media projects for TV-18, ensured constant commitment towards nurturing and encouraging the SME sector in India.

They also highlighted the rising popularity of the Emerging India Awards among young entrepreneurs, who are participating in large numbers as compared to earlier years. "Five years ago, when we started off, we received only 5,000 entries. But, this year the number of entries have multiplied and touched the 3 lakh mark. The increased enthusiasm among young entrepreneurs speaks volumes about the beneficial aspects of the initiative," added Roopa Kudva, managing director and chief executive officer, CRISIL.

The Awards were given in 12 categories. The winner for automobile and ancillaries category was HGS (India). While Kamarhatty Company won the award in the non-retail traders and others category; Renaissance Jewellery won in the gems and jewellery category. Sipra Labs was awarded in pharma and chemicals category; and Lilliput Kidswear won an award in the retail segment as well.

For travel and tourism sector, Humming Bird Suites was awarded. Quick Heal Technologies got the award in ICE and ITeS genre; Om Metals Infraprojects in infrastructure; and Viva Infomedia in ecommerce. Nandan Biomatrix was not just declared the Green Biz of the Year, but also won an award in FMCG, food and agri-business category.

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