As lakhs of youngsters join the job market every month, the focus should be more on small and medium businesses (SMBs) to create jobs in city centre. Even Nasscom realized that it needs to focus on small and medium sector in US/Europe to sustain growth of IT sector as offshore opportunity in large businesses is already maximised.
Hidden potential for creating jobs
Cities have the advantage of highly skilled, intelligent and innovative professionals having vast exposure to domestic and international markets. They are capable of creating businesses that deliver complex or advanced products/services. While people from rural background cannot think beyond wine shops, petrol pumps, real estates, schools and construction projects.
Address the issues of SMB entrepreneurs
Potential entrepreneurs of SMBs in the city are concerned about the administrative red tape which is complex and time-consuming. While there are lots of talented people, they will not venture to create the companies unless the scales are tilted in their favour.
Most professionals do not like the idea of dealing with government offices. They perceive government officials whether rightly or wrongly to be corrupt, inefficient, and bureaucratic and to have deaf ears. An outreach program from government targeting experienced professionals with a decade of experience and genuinely making changes on the ground will get more people interested. Especially, since they are in the safety net of high paying jobs, they won’t venture to be entrepreneurs unless they feel confident of their success as entrepreneurs. They don’t need unnecessary headaches; they are very comfortably settled in life.
Level playing ground needs to be created for small and medium businesses
While the government rolls out red carpets to big businesses by offering free land and infrastructure. They just don’t understand or do enough for SMBs.
For example, most small and medium businesses operate out of residential buildings. The government can encourage this sector by allowing land owners to construct buildings for service sector businesses legally. This itself can remove the headache of finding office space for small and medium businesses. Or even allow landowners to seamlessly change the building from residential to commercial or vice versa if they find or lose a SMB renter.
Also, there is no level playing field in the banking system. Most bankers are used to lending to industries and traders. They are just too rigid to help city based SMB sectors, especially those involved in service sector.
Professional SMBs planning to set up companies in city centre should be given a level playing ground by the government, as SMBs play a significant role in the economy and social development of a neighbourhood. The employment and the revenue they generate funnels taxes into the neighbourhood economy.
Job creation in city centre will boost the local economy and make it vibrant as they leverage the growing opportunities. There is an urgent need to encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs for the well-being of the city neighbourhoods.
Large companies will bypass the existing city centres
By now, it is clear that large companies will bypass the existing city centres and create jobs only in outskirts. Only retailers are interested with their small stores in city centre to leverage whatever purchasing power is there. If this encouragement for SMBs is not done right now, there is a risk of city centres degrading and becoming localities of old dilapidated buildings from their current vibrant form.
While a single SMB may not contribute much. There tend to be dozens if not hundreds of SMBs in a given area that together add to a very big number of jobs or tax collection. We can do this at areas like Kharkhana, West Marredpally, Trimulgherry, Nacharam, Tarnaka, Habsiguda, Begumpet, Paradise, Himayath Nagar and Abids.
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