B2B portals to provide SMEs a global gateway

The Department of Industries, through an initiative of the Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion, has launched online platforms that will link the more than 1,40,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the State as well as the public sector undertakings in the State with businesses within the country and abroad.

The portals www.keralamarket.com , www.keralamarket.kerala.gov.in and www.keralamarket.org will help businesses across the country and outside to interact with the MSMEs and PSUs in the State and conclude business transactions seamlessly, said an official of the Industries Department on Wednesday.

The official said that the deals can be discussed online, products can be seen and deals finalised through the portals though no payment gateway has been established.

The global reach of the Kerala MSMEs has been achieved with the aim of helping enterprises overcome the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the small enterprises in the State are not in a position to reach out to the wider market because of their limitations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation much worse over the last one year.

The MSMEs have been asked to register with the websites through the various District Industries Centres. The department official said that around 1,000 units had already registered for the facility and more are expected to follow suit.

The units that have registered make a cross-section of the industrial undertakings in the State. The SME scene is dominated by agri and food processing companies, said the Industries Department official. It is estimated that there are more than 18,000 units in the agri-food sector in the State.

The emphasis given by the State government to food production and processing under the ‘Subhiksha Keralam’ programme in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of more units coming up in the sector.

The official also said that according to a rough estimate around 63,500 SMEs had been registered over the last 4.5 years till the end of December last year. Of these, more than 12,000 are in the agri-food processing sector.

The SMEs are estimated to employ around seven lakh people. The number includes the additional 2.23 lakh jobs created over the last 4.5 years, the official added.

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