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The first of-its-kind award event on “Responsible Indian BMOs” was held on 17th March 2015 in New Delhi. It was organized by the Foundation for MSME Clusters (FMC), under an EU SWITCH Asia programme. It is widely recognized that Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce, also known as Business Member Organizations (BMOs) are the most trusted ally of the estimated 50 million MSMEs. Purpose of this event was to further enthuse the BMOs to promote zero effect zero defect production and through them put the message across to the huge mass of MSMEs and simultaneously guide them in this process.

Out of an estimated 3500 BMOs in the country, more than 1,100 BMOs are at different levels such as cluster/district/industrial estate, state, country level were approached. A total of 129 BMOs applied for the Awards, 14 BMOs made it to the final round and 7 were finally awarded. An analysis of these 129 BMOs was done from the point of view of energy efficiency. The activities have been provided to their members in different forms like advocacy, trainings, workshop/seminars, service and infrastructure. Some of the activities done by these BMOs on energy efficiency are:

  • Installation of gas based cupolas
  • Installation of energy efficient melting technology called Divided Blast Cupola in foundry units
  • Designing an Eco Friendly Exclusive Women Entrepreneurs Park with electricity supply through underground cables reducing transmission loss by 3% compared to overhead transmission
  • Workshops and demonstration on energy efficiency improvement in steam based systems
  • Solar energy generation
  • Seminar on LED and energy efficiency
  • Replacing traditional oil fired furnace operating at 10% efficiency with energy efficient induction furnace operating at 50-90% efficiency
  • Clean energy from wind mills for manufacture of knitwear for exports
  • Sand reclamation plant for reclamation of waste sand from foundries and recycling it back
  • Energy efficient technology for plastic industry
  • Setting up foundry park
  • Other initiatives included

    • Setting up of common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) with zero liquid discharge in dyeing units
    • Hospital for labourers and families
    • Establishment of common raw material bank for cleaner production
    • Establishment of MSME solution centre for promoting energy efficiency among others, etc

Thus the award process clearly brought out the fact that going beyond advocacy, performing BMOs are undertaking a number of activities towards promoting sustainable development. While some are path changing, yet others are incremental, and while some are thinking of the community, yet others are addressing problems related to their own production.

Overall, it was found from the limited sample cases received that BMOs closer to the local industry and clusters have implemented more concrete activities. These have been made possible because of clear leadership, presence of strong secretariat and public support received by the organizations. The BMOs that have done commendable work have either created Special Purpose Vehicles or have stated clearly defined objectives for their activities within their BMO and were largely supported by schemes/programmes of the government/national/international agencies.

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