50 pc of Events Business in Next 12 Months Will Come from Government: Samit Garg
by Komal Parmar Industry Watch | April 9, 2021 | Interview
Samit Garg EEMA MSME E Factor
The Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) met with Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari on 6 April 2021. Acting upon one of the appeals made by EEMA, the Government has initiated action for Event Management Services to be included in the National Industrial Classification Codes (NIC).
The move will allow event companies to register themselves under the NIC on the Udyam Registration Portal of the Ministry of MSME and avail the attendant benefits as MSMEs.
The EEMA delegation was led by the body’s Executive Vice President Samit Garg, Co-Founder of E Factor. EVENTFAQS Media reached out to Garg for insights on the benefits of being classified as an MSME, efforts that went behind realising this goal and other conversations that are ongoing with the government. Edited excerpts:
Benefits of Being Classified as an MSME
This is an exercise that was actually initiated by the office bearers of EEMA last year. Being classified as an MSME today has a huge amount of importance and relevance as far as business in our country is concerned.
In today's time and age, more than a third of business opportunities are coming around as tendered government events – that's a huge segment of business for event management companies. There, being an MSME plays a very, very important role because if you are registered as an MSME, then you get certain privileges like not having to pay the earnest money and certain benefits when it comes to pre-qualification criteria. And you are also given preference when it comes to delayed payments.
When these benefits accrue to various event management companies together, it's a benefit that is accruing to the industry at large which is why this whole exercise.
The problem that exists today as far as the rule books of MSME is concerned is that there is no Event Management Services in the nomenclature. So if I go to the MSME portal to register myself, as an event management services company, there is no category there. There are categories like stage providers, licensed vendors, entertainment service providers, but unfortunately, the category of an event manager does not exist.
Now when the category of an event management service becomes available, then will be the next step, which is to start deliberating with the government to start recognising us as an industry.
The effort was initiated last year in the month of May. Mr. Gadkari was kind enough to have appeared in the Power Talks that were happening on the digital platform during the first phase of lockdown. Thereafter a communication gap came in, office bearers changed, the government also got busy handling Corona. But now we've taken it up again. Yesterday after our meeting, the Minister had very categorically told his team that they want a letter issued today.
There are four things that we are looking forward to (from the government) and those will not happen overnight; they will happen in a phased manner.
Point number one is inclusion of the events management services in the NIC code, so that MSME registration can be provided to a company as an event management service provider. Once this is done, then we intend to approach the kind office of Mr. Gadkari again, to make a recommendation that we should be recognized as an industry.
Stage three will be that all the benefits that accrue to various other industries under MSME start to accrue to us. For example, today in our business, there is no credit line that we can avail from any bank, because we don’t have collaterals to give. Unfortunately there is not much by way of capital assets that we as enterprises possess.
The fourth one is to make sure that all the tenders published by various government departments start to offer a level playing field to all event companies that are registered as MSMEs.
These are the four key agenda that we want to try just now, besides a few other things. But we will talk about them once we've achieved two or three of these.
I don't think that this initiative will help the industry cope with the losses, but it will definitely give us a better footing and a standing as far as recognition is concerned. I personally feel that more than 50pc of the events business at least in the next 12 months will accrue out of government tenders and opportunities. A lot of people can then at least step up to participate in government tenders and try and be in the game there.
EVENTFAQS Media reached out to EEMA EVP Samit Garg on conversations with the government and benefits of Event Management companies being classified as an MSMEs.