Over 30,000 small, medium brands in retail catering to 80% of India’s population: CAIT

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Over 30,000 regional-level small and medium enterprise (SME) brands in the country are catering to India’s retail trade in comparison to around 3,000 corporate brands present particularly in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), consumer durables, cosmetics, and other segments , traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Sunday. While corporate brands meet the demand of almost 20 per cent of India’s population, the remaining 80 per cent is catered by small and medium-sized brands selling products in loose quantity, CAIT said based on a recent survey by its research arm CAIT Research & Trade Development Society (CRTDS).

The survey was conducted among retailers present in food grain, edible oil, kirana items, cosmetics, innerwear, readymade garments, beauty and body care products, footwear, toys, educational games and healthcare segments.

“This reflects the reality that small brands are ruling the consumer market despite the predatory pricing and deep discounting by foreign e-commerce companies and efforts of certain FMCG companies to sideline the distributor network,” CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a joint statement.

Corporate brands are in demand among higher and upper-middle-class levels due to extensive media and outdoor publicity and brand endorsements by celebrities, Bhartia and Khandelwal added. On the other hand, brands of small and tiny manufacturers are sold through one-to-one contact between customers and shopkeepers apart from word of mouth among the middle, lower-middle, and economically weaker sections, they said.

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Importantly, the government had reinstated retailers and wholesalers in the MSME category in July last year, around four years after they were moved out of the MSME ambit. As per the gazette notification dated June 27, 2017, the retail and wholesale activities were neither manufacturing units nor service units as per the definition of MSMED Act 2008. Hence, they were not able to secure the erstwhile Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (known as MSME registration ).

India is the fourth-largest retail market in the world worth $ 793 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $ 1.5 trillion by 2030, according to the government’s Invest India portal. “If the government gives required support policies to non-corporate sector and tighten the e-commerce companies to obey the policy and the law both in letter and spirit, the retail trade of the country is bound to blossom in pursuance of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Make in India and Atmnirbhar Bharat, ”Khandelwal added.

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