ICT Diffusion for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development of SMEs: A Powerful Tool for reducing Spatial Disparities

and enhancing Opportunities for development in India*

Madaswamy Moni@

Mission: Distributed and Mobile Computing for Rural Prosperity

Presented at the Workshop on Distributed and Mobile Computing organized by Department of Information Technology, Madras Institute of Technology, Anna University, Chennai , March 2005. @ Deputy Director General, National Informatics Centre, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Government of India), New Delhi – 110 003. e-mail: moni@hub.nic.in;




Globalization and liberalization are increasingly shaping the international economic system, which present both threats and opportunities for Developing Countries. Globalisation is being argued as a positive force for poverty reduction but, in fact, is remaining as a theoretical model in many developing countries. The realization of the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in economic development, led the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) to devote the years 1995-1997 to the study of the linkages between ICTs and Development. Information & Communication Technology (ICT) has provided the technological base for globalization, but followed the old pattern of unequal development resulting in the digital divide1. This digital divide has shaped, among the others, the flow of information and knowledge in the world:• • • • Creation of technologies (- IPR Divide) Diffusion of recent Innovation (- Digital Divide) Diffusion of old Innovation (- Extension Divide), and Diffusion of human skills (- Educational skills)

1.1 Information Concepts and Technologies are changing very rapidly and the economic importance of “information” has grown steadily. Information is a vital resource and has its applications in rural, agricultural, social, and industrial development, immensely. The extent of the use and application of scientific, technical and social information to advance development, determines the progress of a Nation. Informatics Networks, besides Computer Networks, are increasingly considered as development tools for achieving:
• Reaching the Unreached : Public Services


Digital Divide - Unequal access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) .


• • •

From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth. Fostering agricultural growth, poverty reduction and sustainable resources use. Sustainable Development & Earth Care Policies in the areas of Water, Energy, Education, Health, Agriculture & Rural Development, Biodiversity. A Cluster of Villages - Sustainable Societies in Viable Rural Space.

1.2 The major problems faced by the Country are unequal distribution of resources, poverty due to acute unemployment, bonded labour, child labour, lack of social security, nonexploration and utilisation of traditional and natural resources for both employment and setting up of industries. Among various sectors, SMEs constitute the 2nd largest sector in employment generation and constitute almost 40 – 50 % export annually. Our economic and industrial growths are dependent on production and productivity in agricultural sector. “Networking of People” and “Networking of Information” through localization are essential. One of the major problems of using ICT for rural prosperity is language barrier i.e. “localization”.


ICT & Governance: Models of Digital Governance

2.0 Models of Digital Governance (e-Governance) are continuously evolving and improvising to harness the potential offered by the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and deal with new realities in the area of governance. There are no rigid and finite models of Digital Governance. In fact, several developing countries are putting into practice innovative e-Governance models that may technologically simple but are changing the way information is distributed in the society. Based on primary experimentation and secondary research, a few generic models (http://www.digital


governance.org), which have emerged and are being practiced, have been identified, on the basis of: emergence of knowledge societies and knowledge networkers, role of information in governance process, and link between ICT and governance, are as follows: • Broadcasting / Wider-Dissemination Model: National and Local Governments in developing countries need to aggressively adopt this model if they want to enhance participation of citizens in the governance processes. Critical Flow Model: Different organizations can use it differently depending on the aspect of governance they want to address. By focusing on the critical aspect of information and locating its likeable users, the model corrects information failure, raising awareness about the bad governance practices, and acts as a hindrance to bad governance practices. Comparative Analysis Model: Developing countries could very effectively use this comparative model as ICT opens their access to the global and local knowledge products at a relatively low-cost. The model however becomes ineffective in absence of a strong civil society interest and public memory that is essential to force decision-makers to improve existing governance practices. E-Advocacy/ Lobbying and Pressure Group Model: The model enhances the scope of participation of individuals and communities in debates, which affect them and help them, build a global alliance. Interactive-Service Model: The potential of ICT for the governance is fully leveraged in this model and leads and can bring lead to greater objectivity and transparency in decision-making processes. This Model facilitates establishing decentralized forms of governance (G2C2G or G4C4G).

2.1 Over the past decade, many have cited the international information superhighway or the Internet, as the means by which the concept of a global village2 could be realised. India’s Broadband Policy (2004) envisages facilitating “using internet towards doubling per capita rural GDP in ten years “. ICT has broadened our definition of poverty3 also, as it has a place
Global Village is a vision of a future in which, every citizen of the Planet Earth experiences life-- personal, professional, cultural and social -- as a member of a virtual village. 3 Hans d’Orville : “IT for Development Programme”, UNDP


Internet Technology and other new enabling technologies have facilitated companies to integrate and maximize changes (i. enterprise resource planning. “improved employment opportunities”. 3. social development and cultural change”. Geneva. J. 27. 1997)4 – “expanded productivity”.0 A global economic transformation .is now intensifying and leading to a rapid economic growth. etc. between businesses (B2B). Virtually.digital economy5 . etc. and other fundamentals for livelihood security. all Information & Communication Technology (ICT) investments have become a part of inter-linked communication systems. were couched in optimistic versus pessimistic perspectives (Hamelink. between individuals 4 C. whether Organisation (internal) to a business (O2B). who otherwise will be excluded Provide that information or service which otherwise will not be provided Focus on utilizing and where possible building upon what is existing rather than thrusting a new intervention Create an outcome which in absence of ICT.) during 1990s. DP 86. p.e. However the guiding principles of designing ICT for development projects are: • • • • • Focus on the Disadvantaged Communities. June 1997. 5 Digital Economy – Information (0s & 1s) Management and Movement 5 . business-process standardisation. will not be produced efficiently or timely Understand the difference between direct benefits and trickledown benefits for the disadvantaged community. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. “reinforce historical trends towards socio-economic disparities” and “inequalities”. health care. Hamelink: “New information and communication technologies. “improved democratic process”.alongside with adequate food. Most discussions on digital technologies: “Technology for Development” or “Development of Technology”. restructuring. Digital Economy and Development: A Myth or Reality in Developing Country? 3. education.

2 This has led to a growth of supply capacity through capitalaugmenting technological change. and RosettaNet are working to develop the syntax for XML that will streamline and enable B2B Commerce. Business Domain Expertise. which will align Supply Chain Management (SCM) on a global basis. and has generated greatest demand in the following areas: Web Services Development. The rate of change is just as rapid as ever. Software Industry is the world’s most critical industry and will be of “the same status” for years to come. using a standards-based approach. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) standards bodies such as BizTalk.and business (B2C). 6 . formation of Free Trade Zone on Internet): • • • • building up the Internet e-Commerce among Businesses digital delivery of goods and services Retail sale of tangible goods.1 Internet Commerce (e-Commerce) is growing fastest among businesses and four types of economic activities drive its growth (i. cXML. changed the capital and labour markets. 3.e. and Mobile Application Development. User Interface Design. which in turn. Liberalisation and Privatisation Consolidation – Global Mergers and Acquisitions • • 3. The major characteristics of today’s business opportunities include: • • • Time-to-market (less and hence quick production) Increased productivity due to ICT and Computers The “weightless economy” – increased valuation of intellectual property – displacing oil. and individual to individual (C2C). gas. and other types of durable or physical goods from the old economy as the primary means of making money Globalization. Security Expertise. and the direction is irreversible.

net/resources/overview. has a vocabulary in which they conduct business. 3. in moving from standards such as EDI towards emerging B2B standards such as ebXML (e-Business XML).3 In today’s economy. EU. reduce costs.xml 8 A vocabulary is a collection of business terms and their associated meanings as they relate to their use in business. Value Chains6 are today being perceived as the next logical step for enterprises in order to cut costs and increase Return-On-Investment (ROI) in terms of: Return-On-Process. 7 . 6 Value chain is a high-level model of how businesses (production and services) receive raw materials as input. Integrating disparate applications on the “Process and Data” level is one of the greatest challenges in Value Chain Integration. 3. and adoption of VCML is a sound interim step. G-8 Nations. Return-On-Knowledge. finding ways to leverage technology and services to be more efficient. allowing for the integration of Supply Chain (SC) and Demand Chain (DC) resulting in true Value Chain Collaboration over Internet.4 Value Chain Markup Language (VCML)7 is a comprehensive set of XML-based. UN.3. While vendors are gearing up with process integration capabilities. VCML vocabularies are currently based on industry-specific implementations of ANSI X12 and EDIFACT/ EDI. as well as each company within an industry. World Bank. industry-specific vocabularies8 (words and meanings) and documents required to conduct business over the Internet. and Return-On-People. WTO. is critical for survival. and spans vertical and horizontal relationships within and across industries: Production Exchange Distribution Consumption 7 Ref: http://www. Each industry. and sell finished products to customers. harnessing the tools’ capabilities is tied to the ability to design efficient business processes. and develop flexibility to respond rapidly to the changing market.5 Various international and regional organisations such as APEC.vcml. ITU. add value to the raw materials through various processes. OECD.

have attached much importance on the potential for international e-Commerce over the Internet. WTO has largely addressed e-Commerce under “trade in service”.. A rise in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth due to Information Utilisation across the economy and resulting in “spill-over” effects. • • 3. New Delhi. 2224 November 2000. An increase in factor utilisation. developments policies need to be rethought to help developing regions with in a country connect to the new information-based world economy.WIPO. North-South digital divide may possibly widen. 3. unless the issue is addressed realistically and ecommerce is used as a tool for involving more enterprises and institutions.e. where as Trade facilitation is being handled by GATT. Asian Productivity Organisation. M. and A decline in the non-accelerating inflation rate and rate of unemployment. the growth of eCommerce has overtaken the pace of development of regulatory mechanisms and philosophy.Moni (2000): “New Productivity Paradigms and Strategies in the e-Age – Government Initiatives on IT-led Development in India”. a high rate of investment in Information Technology capital and a supportive environment are expected to achieve “digital economy”. ISO etc. Its rapid growth however depends on9 :• • A higher rate of productivity growth related to investment in Information Technology.6 In the present “crucial decade” of this millennium. International Conference on Productivity in the e-Age.7 As the world economy is being integrated through ICT. 9 8 . i. digital economy. However.

the capacity to build. operate. ICT diffusion derives economic force from the complementary development of a knowledgeintensive society(Eunice Wang. cutting edge technology and to sophisticated telecommunication systems and infrastructure. policies that promote equitable public participation in the information society as both producers and consumers of information and knowledge.0 Various study results strongly support that the “payoff” effect of ICT on economic growth can be achieved only through a robust National Information Infrastructure (NII) that supports ICT adoption and application. Research studies Eunice Wang (1999) : ICT and Economic Development in Taiwan : Analysis of the Evidence”. with special emphasis on multi-lingual technologies11. and a work force trained to develop. to usher in economy growth and development based on “digital technologies”. secondary sector and tertiary sector) is. ICT Diffusion: A Sine que non for Productivity & Growth 4. as it has: • affordable access to core information resources. therefore.4). • • • 4. India is expected to gain from the “emerging Digital Economy”. Telecommunications Policy. manage. 23(3. far more important than the production of ICT industries per se. and service the technologies involved.4.1 Indian ICT Industry has tremendous potentials to become an engine of growth and productivity improvement for all sectors of the economy and for the country as a whole. April/May 1999. 1999)10. The diffusion of ICT throughout all sectors (primary sector. pp235-243 11 Annual report of the Ministry of Information Technology. 1999-2000 10 9 . Government of India. maintain and provide the value-added products and services required by the information economy.

gov 10 .2 Innovation is one of the keys to success in a knowledgeeconomy (k-economy) and it is R&D that determines innovation. Capital.ecommerce. New Combination.). its impact has been significant”12.C. Productivity implies the effective and efficient use of resources: labour. states that “Knowledge guards one against distress” (“Arivu Attram Kakkum Karuvi” . In the words of the knowledge scholar Takeuchi. It is a well-established fact that: “there exists a complementarity relationship between Information Technology and Productivity”. the sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge". land. etc. The concept is still alive today. (31 B. whereas the agricultural economies are shifting to sustainable natural resources consumption. The economist. time.in the 1990s confirm. conservation and management. “While the full economic impact of Information Technology cannot be precisely evaluated. energy. 4. and that “the Wise have everything” (“Arivudaiyar Ellam Udiayar” . 4.Thirukkural 43:430). the role of Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) as part of the system of innovation has become all the more 12 The United States of America (Department of Commerce) (1997) : “The Emerging Digital Economy” http://www. St. "in an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty. information. Thiruvalluvar. (the Theory of Economic Development) that innovation comes from the "Neuer Kombinationen".3 The innovation process is a Value Chain and Research is the sine qua non of innovation (Knowledge Value Chain). In this process. the Poet and a Philosopher from South India (Tamilnadu) who belongs to the first century B. The focus of industrialized economies is surely shifting from natural resources to intellectual assets. defined in 1912 in his book.C.Thirukkural 43:421). materials. Joseph Schumpeter.

and market new technology.is expected to touch Rs 81.important for transformation of technological ideas into commercial benefits. Research findings of recent past. as categorised below. Economic Times. 2002 & Managing Director. The employment dynamics in Information Economy. Giga Information Group) re-endorsed India's prowess in this field. can move the “Value Chain up in India” to attain “Win-Win-Win” situation.e. generating direct and auxiliary employment for two million Indians. 2002)13.000 Crores by 2008. McKinsey & Co. horizontal company-to-company transfer of commercialized technology through a worldwide network of technology brokers) to Internet and vertical transfer of technology from R&D laboratories to industries. Rapid emergence of knowledge-based economies required a paradigm shift in technology transfer services from traditional (i. 4. BT Worldwide (India & SAARC) and Head of the Call Centre Forum at Nasscom) 13 11 .5 Studies on indicators of technology-based competitiveness indicate that India has a high standing in terms of the institutions and resources that contribute to a nation's capacity to develop. 4.4 IT Enabled Services (ITES) market – a sunrise industry for next 15 years .e. March 27. a sustainable competitive advantage (Arun Seth. if appropriate researched policy guidelines are available: (a) The Indian software industry not recognised that well for its products (Product Software) but more for its services (Project Software): Arun Seth (2002) : “Destination India”. India is a sustainable destination for ITES but a lot more needs to be done to leverage off and maximise the opportunity that this segment represents for India’s economic development and prosperity i. by international consultancy firms (Forrester Group. produce.

for India IT Services Enterprises. emerging in India: . (h) Target 2008: IT Services to be 7 Per Cent of GDP and 30 Per Cent of India’s Foreign Exchange Inflows. ITES is the brass ring that India will grab it. it is facing new challenges with the changing pricing models demanded by the client companies (i. (f) Despite low production and labour costs.FTE – model).7 Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). 4. which are a crucial part of their economy in terms of employment as well as growth. Korea and the Philippines. reveals that the most interesting shift has come in the form of "management consultancy firms” providing “IT solutions” and “Indian IT services companies” pitching for “consultancy assignments” to grab a larger spectrum of the IT Value Chain. (g) Need to develop R&D.6 A recent Price Waterhouse Coppers (PWC) study report. Global Systems Integrator. (c) As the IT Enabled Services (ITES) Industry moves up the maturity curve in India. as it is not going to be advantageous to India in the long-term. developing countries have yet to fully exploit this system particularly to invigorate Small & 12 . This is not advisable. and create 4 Million Jobs. no more a fixed time employee .Global Contract Manufacturing. in “e-games” segment. IP-led Service Player and Sliver focussed Service provider. (i) Indian IT Sector is on track of achieving its ambitious goal of over $50 Billion exports by 2008 despite depressed economic scenarios and marked slowdown in the growth of industry during the last two years (NASSCOM-McKinsey Study-2002) 4. (e) Long Term Business Models (LTBM).(b) Economic value of software production through projects (Software services) in the global market higher than that of software production through products (Software Products). as the next 15 years would belong to ITES. India should concentrate on “core process” and “stay for years” together to get maturity and digital dividends through “pervasive ICT diffusion in all aspects of production and services”. India’s inability to compete with Thailand. however.e. are at crossroads now. design and engineering capabilities while participating in leading edge technologies. While developed countries have already taken a lead in this direction. to grow in the changing business environment. (d) ITES industry as a “lighthouse industry”.

Japan. Bangalore.S. SMEs are proven Innovators and the Jürgen Bischoff (2001): “ An Overview of Successful International Technology Business Incubator Programmes”. The First International Workshop on Technology Business Incubators in India (ITBI India 2001). Industrial Parks. ICT Diffusion: A Value-Up-Chain for SMEs in India SSEs – Manufacturing and service oriented Units. New Delhi (India). 14 13 . for the purpose of this paper. Exports Oriented Units (EOUs). Women Enterprises (WEs). India & Director. Industrial Growth Centres. Ancillary Undertakings (AUs). U. 5. Cluster approach has been one of the spatial policies for infrastructure development of SMEs. Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT). Export Processing Zones. in terms of employment as well as growth (Jürgen Bischoff. (SSSBOEs). 29-31 January 2001. 2001)14.A) owe their industrialization to SMEs. This SME category will also include.0 The challenge for entrepreneurs is to think about creating solutions for the twin engines of future growth – Rural India and SMEs. which are a crucial part of their economy. Integrated Infrastructure Development Centres and National Programme for Rural Industrialization. leads to accretion of skills and is a source of informational economies. 5. Small Scale Service Business oriented (Industry Related) Enterprises 5. these categories of industries also: It has been understood that the proximity of a web of businesses lowers the unit cost of infrastructure.e.1 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have always been the engine of growth in developing as well as in transition economies.Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Many developed economies (i. Other approaches (nonCluster) included Industrial Estates. SSIs.

14 . African. 5. providing jobs to over 9. It is estimated that there are around 350 SME Urban clusters and approximately 2000 Rural and Artisan based clusters in India. 2001)15. associations. There is a need for serious global thinking on how to ensure greater stability of SMEs. and (ii) as providers of services to poor people. (ii) perceived high costs and complexity of IP system. SMEs are the second biggest employment generators after agriculture. (iii) lack of easily accessible assistance. and Latin American countries. business clusters. and enable micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs to connect to information about markets more effectively. In India. This may be due to (i) unawareness of the IP system and its usefulness. as the process of globalisation has impacted SMEs much more than larger business enterprises. (Director.2 million people in India.3 Micro. 5. Informational costs of isolation and low volume can be reduced through formation of groups. SMEs Division. SMEs have been identified as high potential sector for employment generation and source of livelihood to millions of people in Asian. how to provide greater social security for those working in 15 Wolfgang Starein (2001): Intellectual Property and SMEs . WIPO) September 2001. Innovative use of information technology and telecenters can cut down transaction costs. Many studies show that SMEs worldwide largely under-utilize the intellectual property (IP) system (Wolfgang.and business-related information.driving force behind a number of technological breakthroughs. Small and Medium Enterprises (Micros/SMEs) face information asymmetries in two ways: (i) in their own access to market.A Brief Account of WIPO’s Strategy and Activities.2 SMEs sector today is at a crossroads in India and the World over. and franchising. the SME sector accounts for 39 per cent of industrial production and 34 per cent of exports.

Less capital intensive & hence better utilization of human resources. especially those planning new products based on existing or new technologies in India. the merits of technologies of Indian SMEs are categorised as follows: • • • • • • • • • Intermediate technologies proven in Indian market. Easy to assimilate and operate. and the Government of Maharashtra. by networking them with successful SMEs in developed countries. 16 15 . and but in recent years. information networks. due to the presence of development banks.5 An effective strategy to overcome this inherent weakness of SMEs is to network enterprises (Figure-1) with institutions and organisations active in the area of SME development. 5. to Central Asian Countries. 18 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS INCUBATION SYSTEMS (IBIS) . and Hardly any psychological resistance of units & government agencies in accepting technology from SMEs from India. and data banks as well as with technology generators. the AGMARKNET project of the Government of India for Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Hon’ble Prime Minister of India) addressed the Global Summit on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in New Delhi on 20-12-2002.an institutional mechanism developed by UNIDO to help promote individual entrepreneurs. at the same time. SMEs’ preference for African countries. they have turned attention for technologies to other countries like Japan. 5.4 International Business Centre (IBC) survey report17 for the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) on Transfer of Technologies (TOT) shows that developing countries traditionally import technologies from America & Europe. Value-addition to natural resources. and Australia. End products successful in both domestic & international market. South Korea. The IBIS programme18 of UNIDO. 2002)16. how to retain the dynamic force that drives this sector (Vajpayee. Reasonable operational cost/Low cost of trouble. and.shooting. Moderate Price (cost-effective). According to the report. 17 International Business Centre of MITCON set up with the assistance the Department of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of India.this sector.

e. 2001)19. creating internationally competitive ecommerce competence among SMEs) to penetrate into export markets. and ITC’s E-Trade Bridge for SMEs in India improve their e-readiness (i. e-commerce will really be the engine that will drive exports globally. Establishing such an integrated service package on Internet is a very challenging task (Vadim Kotelnikov. transfer of appropriate technology for industrialisation. India. Small and Marginal farmers (i. and promote selfVadim Kotelnikov (2001): “Development of Web-aided Technology Transfer Services for SMEs in Asia”.6 Rural development is a process of sustained growth of the rural economy (agriculture. as they offer “economies of agglomeration”. 5. inter alia. 5.7 The development strategy should. provide employment in rural areas. In the 21st Century. instantaneous information exchange and changing buying practices are resulting in a quantum jump in global online exports. New Delhi. e-Commerce has drastically shifted the paradigms of international trade.farmers. Rural towns are essential to farm households. Experts from the Indian Ocean RIM Countries have urged the Member Countries to evolve a unified and harmonised regulatory framework for e-Commerce. facilitate skill improvement. along with rural enterprise is therefore the cornerstone for promoting sustainable rural livelihoods. Cost effective access to international markets. industry. Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT). reduced cost and by-pass traditional links in the supply chain). 19 16 . transportation and commerce). Agricultural development. Industrial growth and Economic growth are dependent on production and productivity in agriculture.e. agricultural SMEs) require this as a public good.e. E-Commerce has the advantage of bringing SMEs and individuals to the global markets (i. construction.

importance of confidentiality agreements with employees • • 20 Sudhir K. SMEs require training in the following areas: • Marketing Strategy of SMEs. including certification marks. 2001)20. elearning. use of patent information services. Rural cooperatives are.pdf 17 . However. 5. The locus of agricultural growth has already been shifted from production front to the processing and marketing front. introduction to basic concepts and patent grant procedure as well. and access to patent information services in India) Using IPRs for Safeguarding Business/Trade Secrets (Case studies with a focus on trade secret protection. and industrial designs. the concept of training has not percolated down to the SMEs (Sudhir. etc) is essential to disseminate information on IPRs for SMEs. geographical indication. introduction to basic concepts and registration procedures as well) Solving Production and Product Quality Problems of SMEs. emerging as alternatives for making rural economy vibrant through agro and rural based industries. Role of Trademarks and Industrial Designs (Case studies with focus on the role of trade marks. and build-up a strong rural community base.org/home/Sudhir%20Jain. Use of traditional and modern information and communication technologies (Website. once again. Role of the Patent System (Case studies with a focus on the role of patents. E-mail updates.reliance among the people. The rural economy can be vibrant iff agro and rural industries are positioned and integrated with the national and global economy.isbc2001. distance learning. Jain (2001): http://www.8 Knowledge based training may provide them a ray of hope for concretizing their future strategies.

etc) • 18 . Government and Private Sector Agencies in Meeting IP needs of SMEs (Focus on the role of WIPO. those having e-mail address or WebPages. software development or the cultural industries) Role of International. Police. Collective Management Associations for Copyrights and Related Rights. relevant Ministries. and role of IP Law Firms. Customs. and introduction to licensing of IP) • Relevance of Copyright to SMEs (Case studies with a focus on introduction to basic concepts of copyright and related/neighbouring rights. SME financing and support agencies. as well as SMEs in e-business/commerce. Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Trademarks Registry. IP Agents/Attorneys. or those having a presence on the internet.and potential licensing partners. Courts. the Patent Office. SME Consultants. that is. copyrights and SMEs in the handicrafts sector.

horizontal company-to-company transfer of commercialized 19 . which is one where all stakeholders are partners in progress on the road to economic development – “sustainable production” and “sustainable consumption”: “Computerisation of Societal Systems” and “Using Internet towards Doubling Per Capita Rural GDP in Ten Years”. Digital Opportunities: A way forward for Reduction of Spatial Disparities and Enhancing Opportunities for Development of SMEs to penetrate into export markets 6. Rapid emergence of knowledge-based economies required a paradigm shift in technology transfer services from traditional (i.e.Urban SMEs Clusters Rural SMEs Clusters Rural SMEs Clusters Rural SMEs Clusters Urban SMEs Clusters Figure – 1: Rural and Urban SMEs Networking 6.0 Digital opportunities now help realize the concept of “sustainable communities”.

SMEs use their customers as a key source of information for innovation. just information on technology opportunities and simple matching of prospective technology buyers and sellers does not produce desirable results in most cases. knowledge-driven economy. is the most recognizable symbol of today’s global. products and services. According to Vadim Kotelnikov of UN-APCTT. 6.2 Technology transfer is a very sophisticated process requiring substantial expertise in various relevant areas. Innovation22 is of critical importance and plays a central role as an engine of growth in providing employment and competitiveness. 6. but in future their customers may instead expect technological innovation from them.technology through a worldwide network of technology brokers) to Internet and vertical transfer of technology from R&D labs to industries. There is a risk that technology foresight will be thought of as "someone else's job". and (ii) as providers of services to poor people.128-139. across any distance. Small and Medium Enterprises (Micros/SMEs) face information asymmetries in two ways: (i) in their own access to market. In this context. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Stimulating Manufacturing Excellence in Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SME-SME 2000). 17-19 APRIL 2000. and may not be adequately addressed within the Value Chain (Reed and Walsh. Technologies that were traditionally traded mainly through technology brokers and business consultants now find easier and faster routes to target users 21 F M Reed and K Walsh (2000): “Technology acquisition and the changing face of manufacturing Industry “.and business-related information.1 Micro. The Internet. which allows intangible information and ideas to be traded and exchanged instantly.K. (ISBN 0905949862) 22 Innovation – the capacity to assimilate and convert new knowledge to improve productivity and to create new 20 . 2000)21. COVENTRY UNIVERSITY. U. PP. and as a cornerstone of enterprise policy.

SME managers aren't scientists but businessmen. money flows in the reverse direction. contract negotiation.4 Doing business on the Net is not about creating good-looking Websites but about re-engineering the entire business process into a robust system that harnesses the enormous opportunities that the connected market place will present. the customer. require an integrated technology transfer service package. Science is global. While the material flows from the back end (supplier) of the supply chain to the front end (customer). but technology is always local. The information flows on both directions.B (2001): Why Supply Chain Management is important for SMEs?. Bangalore (India) & mahadev@iimb. A good supply chain management will provide superior value to the ultimate customer23. the information flow and the fund flow.in 21 . Collaborative planning and information sharing practices will streamline the information flow in the supply chain. SMEs can greatly exploit the web technology to streamline the information flow. missed opportunities to do more business are a few to mention. the logistics partner and the manufacturer together involve in the material flow.through Web-based Technology Transfer Portals (WTTP). 6. finance syndication. and therefore. that would include technology and business studies.ernet. 6. Indian SMEs have realized the importance of productisation and specialization to survive in an ever-changing market. Indian Institute of Management. Informational costs of isolation and low volume can be reduced through formation of 23 Mahadevan. as the supplier. Planning disruptions. and legal advise to successfully implement such projects. delayed delivery.3 Supply Chain Management (SCM) is important for SMEs. Improved communication will benefit all the supply chain partners in the long run.

SMEs in India (www. business clusters.com.org. mySAP. established by UN APCTT . CustomerRelation-Management (CRM).5 Areas of business that are targeted for improvement of SMEs are: User profiling. (d) Application User Interface Design and security Enterprise. and enable micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs to connect to information about markets more effectively.groups. or SMEs) .tifac. and Supplier Cooperation.especially those wishing to innovate and internationalize. Oracle e-business suite is an integrated suite of Internet business applications that automates critical business process across both front and back office operations. Technology4sme. created exclusively for Philippine SMEs aimed at promoting the key areas of business operations through the combination of traditional methods and technology tools. mySAP.com business scenarios and mySAP.an Asia network of Model Technology Transfer Agencies (MTTAs). associations. Innovation) is a European Commission Website provides information and resources for technology-oriented company with fewer than 250 employees (small and medium-sized enterprises.com application hosting • • • • • • • • 6. Sri Lanka’s web site for SMEs is established with the financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).com Internet business strategy (mySAP.http://www. The ingredients of this engineering process would be: • SME TechWeb (Technology. Value Chain. (c) Mobile Applications Development.com & Business e-Coach for Asia-Pacific SMEs. SME Networks.com marketplace. partner with TIFAC.smallindustryindia.com) with over 50 categories and 30 Lakhs records. Indian Patent database .in SAP’s mySAP. Supply Chain. Inc. 22 .in – for technology and business links. TIFAC (Technology Information. These areas require (a) Web services development. Innovative use of information technology and telecenters can cut down transaction costs. R&D. Sme.com workplace. Forecasting and Assessment Council) http://www.org. (b) Turn-Key ICT solutions for SMEs clusters.ph is an e-commerce portal of SME Solutions. and franchising.indianpatents.

An SME which uses digital methods as the primary means of carrying out core operations . are important organizations for the small companies and several experiences (such as the industrial clusters) show that networking is a successful way to improve SMEs competitiveness.7. service etc (e. changing products and services. a pure dot. In fact. An SME that exploits the benefits of digital methods to a significant extent. as given below:a. new organizational and management configurations.2 The analysis will consider both single business units and networks of SMEs. An SME whose products and services are predominantly digital. it is essential to have an 23 . c. However. e. This focus will result in addressing: • • • Structural changes in SMEs organization and management related to the impact of digital economy.g.1 The focus is on SMEs’ best practices in exploiting the opportunities provided by ICT to improve performance. Changes in the competitive scenario that may affect the SMEs evolution. etc. Interventions and policy instruments that have contributed to foster the SMEs adaptation to digital economy. Attention is devoted to SMEs evolution and to the “external” factors. new types of value chain and forms of cooperation and alliance.com). There are three sub-categories of digital SMEs.marketing. sales. 7.0 A Digital SME is an SME that exploits ICT to its full potential in a holistic manner. the networks. 7. b. What is a digital SME? 7. changing relationships with customers. related to “digital economy” that directly affects SMEs success and development. new ways to manage knowledge.g. both informally and formally defined. changing markets.

access costs are high and connections are unreliable.0 Internet among the Customers and SMEs is very limited in India. Fibre-to-Building. Dayanidhi Maran. and Fibre-to-Community.. 24 . Business Line. affect new investment. satellite (DTH and VSAT). provide access to new and improved services. and increase productivity through infrastructure creation (Dayanidhi Maran. This constraint has been removed by the National Broadband Policy 2004: “Always On” data connection with a minimum download speed of 256 kbps through unbundling of the “last mile” link of the incumbent telecom operators (BSNL and MTNL). 24 Mr.. 3 June 2004. Further poor telecom and infrastructure for reliable connectivity is another barrier for adoption for e-Commerce in India. Broadband to induce Internet among the Customers and SMEs 8.1 Availability of broadband services at affordable price levels would have a significant impact on GDP. Fibre-to-Home. 19 January 2004. 2004)24. terrestrial wireless. While internet connectivity is slow. The Asian markets including India are poised for a broadband revolution. Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology. 2004)25. in The Economic Times. Pricing”. 8. But the key to its success lies in meeting the content development challenge driven by Governments and right regulatory environment (Neel Rattan. 25 Neel rattan (2004): “Broadband growth hinges on Content.“Integrated Policy Framework for Community Development in Digital Economy” for the Country. Other means of spreading broadband includes cable television. and SMEs 8. create job opportunities.

28 Pervasive computing emphasizes everywhere. traditional keyboard. 9. mouse. The evolution of Network Based Computing relates to Distributed and Mobile Computing (DMC) (Figure-1).. whereas the Grid environment itself is a middleware designed to coordinate other middleware. such as portable computers and wireless communication networks. to services for automobile drivers. and even recognition of emotions. ranging from secretarial support to technical support for customers. The key of Pervasive computing is middleware technology. pervasive applications thus help people remain focused on a task rather than distracting their focus from the task to a computer. Thanks to such interfaces. to retail and business-to-business e-commerce.1 Pervasive computing enables a wide variety of applications. and two new directions of computing. have led to the emergence of mobile computing systems26.9. Grid computing27 and Pervasive computing28. 25 . 27 Grid computing coordinates network resources and mimics electrical power grid by bringing remote computing power uniformly and transparently to the users. computer and television. The simple mobile telephone itself is a product of convergence of three technologies – telephone. Distributed and Mobile Computing: New opportunities for economic growth and employment 9. As computing power becomes pervasive in a wide variety of environments. all-time services and “human-centered” view of computing. including natural-language recognition of speech and handwriting. and monitor interfaces is giving way to novel interfaces.0 Recent advances in hardware technologies. visual recognition of gestures. 26 Mobile computing allows ubiquitous and continuous access to computing resources while users travel or work at a client's site.

lighter. Availability of location information will have a broad impact on the application level as well as on network level software. getting input from GPS. when indoors. 26 . The emergence of new services and the growth of existing services are expected to expand the overall information market leading to new opportunities for economic growth and employment. 9. WiMAX could be DSL and Cable what cellular was to landline.9. user-friendly. An evolution is occurring in wireless and portable computing: Wireless Internet.2 Wireless communication. a local area. and other location providing devices. 29 WiMAX is a Radio technology that can blanket entire cities with high speed internet access.3 A user's location will become information that is as common as the date is today. and can be customized for specific applications. Smart hand-held devices will drive the Wi-Fi revolution as they are cost effective. when outdoors. WiMAX29 is a long distance Wireless networking Technology designed to replace DSL and Cable Internet Access (Intel’s Plan – Intel Wireless Connect). is fundamental to many mobile computing applications. or a range of a few feet. whether over a wide area.

a number of technical issues have not been resolved and are facing new complexities (Xian-He Sun.edu/~cdmc) Distributed and Mobile Computing: Complexities and Challenges 9. Distributed and Mobile Computing environment has ushered in new database problems.edu/~sun/).S.cs.A & http://www. The status of data management in mobile computing is similar to that of distributed data management versus centralized data management in the 1960s. Challenges of maintaining reliable connections with mobile devices and enabling wireless communications in small. U.ececs. http://www.4 While distributed computing and mobile computing are often not considered as `new' technologies. 27 .uc.(Figure-2: Source: OBR Center for Distributed and Mobile Computing (CDMC) Laboratory at University of Cincinnati. low-power devices are paramount in nature.iit.

30 28 . Dunham and Abdelsalam (Sumi) Helal: “MOBILE COMPUTING and DATABASES: ANYTHING NEW?” (mhd@seas.smu. transaction models.edu) 31 Rafael Alonso and Henry F. especially those issues related to the automatic maintenance of metadata that maps data sets to locations.edu & helal@cs. The relevant research issues addressed are:• • Mobile (or location-sensitive) specifically SQL extensions. Many of the issues are the same.. Margaret H. By viewing distributed databases as a special case of mobile databases. integration of Mobile Phone and USB drive with portable operating system) • • • Margaret H.9.5 It is viewed that a mobile DBMS computing environment as an extension of a distributed system: “Mobile Heterogeneous Multidatabase System”. Alonso and Korth [1993]31 concentrated on the impact that mobile computing (or nomadic computing) has on various database processing activities: query optimization. query languages. and security. Mobile database design. How to specify the degree of consistency between the mobile application cache and the stationary copy? Should this be implemented at the system-level or at the programming language level? Migration of data into the mobile host for extremely long-lived applications (i. Efficient yellow page archiving that will allow data (about services) and its associated location to be dynamically registered and discarded. but the solutions are different.e. pages 388-392. Dunham and Abdelsalam (Sumi) Helal30 have seen that some solutions for database problems in the distributed environment do not work well in a mobile environment. Korth (1993): “Database system issues in Nomadic Computing” in Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Management of Data. May 1993.purdue.

not a form of caching. How can data be migrated into the mobile application? This is not achievable by simply invalidating the primary copy (stationed copy). In USA. there are three important regulations namely: the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.8 Adding to this challenge is the increase in regulations and legislation requiring increased control and protection of information. And even if migration is successful. files are not protected after they are received on employee and partner computers. Companies have paper shredding policies but they don’t have the tools to track and shred electronic documents that are proliferated by the growth in distributed and mobile computing. How can companies be confident that their use of 29 . the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and SEC 17a-4. Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) may be the way forward. mobile server model.7 Organizations cannot afford to keep non-critical data or stale data on expensive primary memory storage for a long time and need to shift to secondary storage. Implementing ILM is a policy decision and has become very complex as it needs to involve every department in the organization. 9. forcing organizations to craft an ILM strategy. would access to an already migrated data be allowed only locally? If not.6 While enterprise servers and networks are increasingly protected using standard security technologies. • 9. Demand for higher performance is on the increase. 9.• Migration is dynamic data redistribution. whose behavior is very difficult to predict. we end up with a mobile application. Rapid growths in distributed and mobile computing are tearing down enterprise security boundaries built today with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Firewalls.

Compliance with applicable security-driven regulations (Only 34% of organizations claimed to be). become common. The flexibility introduced by mobile computing brings new challenges to dependability and fault tolerance. and host disconnections make fault detection and message coordination difficult. intuitive user interfaces. and because mobile devices are susceptible to loss and theft.9 Security is especially important in mobile computing because wireless transmissions can be sent and received by unknown parties.10 30 . This is posing problems for e-Commerce and eBusiness. and industry-standard protocols. and operation with all popular operating systems. all popular file formats. • • 9. Organizations are inadequate in their ability to respond to incidents (More than 33% of organizations said). Information Security should overcome the hurdles of user acceptance and IT architecture compliance with easy installation. Failures that were rare with fixed hosts.new communications and computing networks comply with laws as well as their own needs to protect information? Ernst &Young (E&Y)’s Global Information Security Survey 2003 reveals that: • Information security is of high importance for achieving their overall objectives (90% of Organizations surveyed said). 9.

disconnected publication and subscription. providing powerful computer power and a phone in our shirt pocket.13 Mobile Internet Toolkit facilitates creation of different mobile media content via a comprehensive set of editors and wizards. the user's preferences and network limitations. Mobile phones are becoming more data-centric and evolving into what the industry calls "smart phones". transcoding data to a format appropriate for a particular device and network connection. connected to static networks. reliable asynchronous messaging. MMS creation (editors for creating MMS with SMIL messages) and Push message creation (editors for creating multipart and SI/SL messages). and CSS content). which are capable of sending and receiving large amounts of data without significant delays.11 Mobile applications are difficult to write without middleware providing fundamental mobile computing services (viz. Mowser is a smart web browser designed to browse the WWW from a mobile host. 9. These include Web page creation (editors for creating WML. data storage and synchronization. Mowser supports a “many-time. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) need to ensure that Content Partners and Application Developers get a fair share of revenues to stimulate constant development and roll-out of new. The two categories are converging into a new hybrid. while PDAs are becoming commonplace among business people. innovative and compelling content and services. many31 .. taking into account.12 The World Wide Web (WWW) has been designed for static hosts. and service discovery).Distributed and Mobile Computing: Data Development Strategy 9. 9. XHTML.

for mobile devices. according to the Ten Points Agenda of the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology released during 2004. Nokia Mobile Browser Simulator 4. and technological pressures. Greater bandwidth and speed (4G and 5G) may combine with the base technology that 3G provides driving service take-up forward in leaps and bounds.where” communication paradigm that is suited for a wide variety of information services. 9. BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) is a software platform developed by Qualcomm Inc. 32 http://www.0) supports browsing mobile Internet content such as XHTML.portioresearch.14 The Mobile browser (e.com 32 ..15 The Mobile Data Deployment Strategies (2004–2010) Report32 has stated that uptake of advanced handsets and value-added non-voice services were growing and estimated 2006 and beyond would be a period of maturing of 3G technology with penetration levels and service take-up reaching full maturity by 2009 or 2010. This platform provides an interface between the software applications that run on mobile phones. 9. India desires to leapfrog to 4G mobile telephony. WML.16 The domestic market drivers will be applications for the mobile market. Qualcomm has launched BREW as an answer to JAVA.g. 9. which is also a popular platform for developing mobile applications. and WAP Push messages from the Internet or from the local file system. and mobile hardware and infrastructure system at the back end. Convergence of e-Government with mobile business will stimulate the emergence of “m-Government” in view of public and social pressures. once the initial mass-market penetration reaches a suitable level.

agmarknet. This ICT Project is a 'farmercentric" project (Figure-4) to put the progressive farmers on "global free trade zone on Internet". 20-21 July 2001.Research and Learning focus should be on the fundamentals and theoretical foundations of mobile computing systems. and advanced mobile applications.1 AGMARKNET appears to be filling a huge gap by providing access to information at reasonable cost.0 As a step towards to globalisation of agriculture. February. wireless networks.M (2001) : “Leveraging Information Technology for development of Agri-Business – Agribusiness : B2B or B2C e-Commerce Model?”. AGMARKNET: Data for Rural Empowerment through Mobile Computing – A CASE STUDY 10. the Union Ministry of Agriculture has embarked upon an ICT project: NICNET based Agricultural Marketing Information System Network (AGMARKNET)" in the country.nic. organised by All India Management Association (AIMA) . during 2000-02 and embarked upon additional 2000 Markets during the Tenth Plan Period (20022007). New Delhi 33 33 .in 34 Moni . mobile information systems.A Sponsored Project of the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (Ministry of Agriculture)". The AGMARKNET "AGMARKNET: NICNET Based Agricultural Marketing Information System Network . 2001 and also see http://www. This project has the potential of expansion to about 7000 Wholesale Markets located through out the country and further to 35000 Rural Markets in India. 10. distributed mobile database systems. 2001)34. presented at the National Seminar on “Managing Agri-Business in the New Millennium : Challenges and Opportunities”. 10. This AGMARKNET project has already networked 735 Agricultural Produces Wholesale Markets (APWMs). The Government initiative of the networking of agricultural produce markets (AGMARKNET33) and the AGMARKNET Portal (Figure-3) would facilitate the development of B2B and B2C e-Commerce Model in the Country (Moni.

Access mainly through the Internet. a step towards "Rural Empowerment" and also "Data for Development". Weekly trends. Constraints/Challenges are (a) connectivity in rural areas. Information collected by nodes in the various markets. Geospatialtoday. Software for download. dated 31st May 2002 Anand Sagar K (2003).asp).eapf. The challenge.venture is a heartening initiative from the much criticized and slow-to-react government. Anand Sagar (2003)36 considers AGMARKNET.washington. Project supported by various departments and state boards of agriculture. Income has increased (for some). especially on the issue of easing the infrastructural constraints on agriculture (Times of India. Vol. “Agmarknet-Rural Empowerment: Data for Development”. Customers pay (some). as they are not forced to sell their produce in the nearest market at uneconomical prices. and Bypass middlemen.cis.edu/courses/pbaf537d 36 35 34 . 2002)35. Information on loans. Computer facilities at the markets. 2003 and also www.2 (2). The advantages of this database accrue to the farmers.net/ casestudies/in/agmarket. Com/ journal/Vol2Issue2 37 Www. Times of India : "Website to help farmers bargain better". Kari Holland of Washington University (USA)37 categorizes AGMARKNET (India) as follows:• • • • • • • • • • • • Nationwide market information for wholesale produce. is to take IT to rural India in a big way. Geospatial Today. Daily market prices. policies and regulations. if the full potential of such ventures have utilized. (b) training the stakeholders and (c) ensuring data updation in real time frame (http://www.

"base for marketing led agricultural extension". "increased competition". "base for production planning". "reduction of distress sale". not getting adequate returns for his toils. This Digital Advantage Project has already achieved the followings:• • • • • • • • "Reaching the Unreached i.e. The increasing trend of agricultural production has brought new challenges 35 .Figure-3: A Synoptic View of AGMARKNET Portal 10. The general Hypothesis is “the more farmer produces the less he gets” – i.3 The Inter-Ministerial task force on Agricultural marketing Reforms (2002) has suggested creating an "Atlas of Agricultural Markets" as well as "e-Commerce" on AGMARKNET Portal so as to enable producers (farmers) directly transact business with the buyers.e. resource poor farmers". "reduced marketing margins". "vertical linkages in export crop markets that connect multinational traders to domestic traders" The country is now witnessing a unified "agricultural marketing price information system" for the entire country. "right to information".

. Countries in Africa region. AGMARKNET is an effort to bring rural people into the mainstream economy. AGMARKNET. in view of its operational efficiency in India. Figure – 4: Farmer and his Stakeholders Synergetic collaboration among Cooperatives. Agricultural Produce Markets. This AGMARKNET venture benefits the farming communities from the new global market access opportunities and also strengthened the internal agricultural marketing system in India. 36 .4 There have been requests for AGMARKNET venture in various developing countries (ASEAN). Agri-Business Centres could become the “pathways” to rural prosperity. 10.facing India now lie in positioning her current and future surplus in certain niche markets. Agri-Clinics. etc.

SMS) Standard Web Serv ice Inter ace to other f Div isions.5 Areas of business that are targeted for improvement through the Enhanced AGMARKNET programme through Mobile Computing Model (Figure-5 & Figure-6) are visualized as follows:- 37 .Highly Scalable .Secure Secure Webbased Access 11-January-2005 Optimized Mobile Serv er ICT Initiatives for the Agricu lture Sector Wireless . Reliable. Optimized Channel • 32% .92% reduction in network bandwidth utilization • 37% .Solution Architecture Local App Call Center Secure Webbased Portal Access (power. net BW. cost) Optimized Mobile Serv er Secure Wireless (any Connection Web.11 WiFi Dialup Landline T1 VSAT Optimized Mobile Server Web Service End-Points Secure. or Low BW Connectiv ity to other Div isions & 3rd Parties 45 Figure – 5: AGMARKNET & Mobile Computing Model Support for Wireless and LowBandwidth Networks Devices with: GSM GPRS SMS 802. VSAT. 3rd Parties .enabled phone.58% reduction in usage cost 11-January-2005 ICT Initiatives for the Agricu lture Sector 46 Figure – 6: AGMARKNET & Mobile Computing Model 10.83% reduction in power consumption on the mobile device • 47% .

NGOs researchers etc. the Indian Public Sector Telecom Company (BSNL) has shown its interest to disseminate wholesale markets pricing data on 300 agricultural commodities and their 2000 varieties. through their Mobile services (Figure7).• • • • • • User profiling Supply chain (Input Supply) Value Chain CRM SME networks Supplier co-operation To facilitate data access through Mobile Phone by farmers. consumers. Figure – 7: AGMARKNET Data over BSNL Network through Mobile Phones 38 . banks. different market players. traders. being received from more than 1200 APMCs located through out the country.

2 Multiple issues of trust and lack of payment gateways has been another hindrance for adoption of e-Commerce in the country. Secure exchange of monetary value and other items of value. is just one focus of the security research. 11. even though it has the stated objective of promoting ecommerce in India. published in TIMES dated 13 March 2005. Not enough legal safeguards for B2C transactions under the existing Indian Cyber Law : A Concern 11. 2004)39 . There are also multiple gaps in the current legal and regulatory framework. 39 THE ECONOMIC IBC (2004): This relates to the Study conducted for FICCI by International Business Consultants (IBC) on eCommerce opportunities in the RIM Region. 39 .11. and the “inherent” strengths of the Internet and the IT infrastructure. as there is no security and confidentiality of data (IBC. 38 Pavan Duggal (2005) : “Not Enough legal safeguards for B2C Transactions”. enabling e-commerce through mobile devices.1 The major drawback of the Information Technology ACT 2000 is that it does not address the concerns of consumers who undertake e-commerce transactions (Pavan Duggal. 2005)38. Therefore one has no option but to fall back upon the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 [for “deficiency of goods and services” clause]. Though this medium provides an excellent opportunity to reach out to many customers.0 e-Commerce transactions are primarily based on “trust”. 11. consumers often face problems with regard to the deficiency of goods or the services rendered. There is not really any effective remedy under the Indian Cyber law.

It has been further argued in (Wilson and Pardo et al. 2001)41 that the threat of marginalisation faced by SMEs in the increasingly digital economy can be reduced by systematic support for transformation of traditional business approaches. There are many stakeholders in the Government and International Organisations who can directly involved in development of Digital SMEs in India: (a) Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) (C) Indian Postal System (IPS) (d) National Informatics Centre (NIC) (b) UN Asia-Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) (a) Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) 12. with the focus on 40 Frank Wilson. In Proceedings of Human Factors in Telecommunications-HFT'2001 Conference. www. Swash. India . there has been a gap existed between the strategic level of support for business development (regional focus) and the SME level of development (specific business development). M (2001): “Structured Support for S-M-E-Business”.org..uk 41 Wilson. sectors. Pardo.smallindustryindia. Tony Swash and Stephen Anderson:”Promoting SM-E-Business through Business Support Networks”. F.com & dcssi@laghuudyog.1 The Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO)42 of the Ministry of Small Scale Industries (SME) acts as a catalyst of growth of small enterprises in the country. Tony Swash and Stephen Anderson)40. 2001.usherproject.0 According to (Frank Wilson. Bergen. Digital SMEs and its Stakeholders in India 12. Norway.12. 42 Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO). A.com] 40 ... and networks.[www. T. and Crump. Knowledge Management for regional business development may become a more critical issue as the digital economy becomes more established.

out of which. and Sub-Post Offices are 25190.2 The UN Asia-Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) located in New Delhi. venture capital. marketing. (b) UN Asia-Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) 12. A distribution network that has 155618 post offices. and facilitates technology transfer negotiations among SMEs. and a customer base of 160 million account holders in post-office savings banks.providing support in the fields of credit. technology evaluation. India Post 41 . and Product marketing (C) Indian Postal System (IPS) 12.000 Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Kendras (PSSK) for future expansion.3 The Indian Postal System (IPS) Network has about 1. technology and infrastructure to SMEs through its organizations. of which 139081 are in rural areas. India. e-government and ecommerce. grants. incentives). contract negotiation) Finance syndication (loan. HPOS are 840. The Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07) talks about establishing 5. has been working in the field of technology transfer in Asia for almost 25 years. as given below: • • • • • Information on technology/business/investment opportunities Matching and pre-selection of prospective business partners Support services (market/feasibility studies.54 Lakh post offices. Postal organizations are adapting to diversify product portfolios and expanding services into nontraditional areas such as e-banking.

4 National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been a prime builder of e-Governance applications in Government Sector and Promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development.htm 43 42 . 28 State Governments. which inter-alia includes: ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° Data Warehousing (Data Bases & Model Bases) and Mining Network services (Internet.rediff. and Total-ICT solution NIC has institutional linkages through its ICT Network “NICNET”. NIC has been playing an important role of an “active” catalyst and “facilitator” in informatics development programme in Governments at the national. 6 Union Territories. “Indian Post ushers in a new mail order” published in http://www. empowerment) Video Conferencing. & Extranet) Geographical Information System (GIS) E-Governance & E-Commerce Decision Technology System Sectoral ICT Plans IT Training for Government Employees (i. Since its inception in 1977.e. (d) National Informatics Centre (NIC) 12.gives us a complete national reach and penetration besides being partners in transactions (ICICI Bank. 2003)43. 1 National Capital Territory of Delhi. and about 600 District administrations of India. state and district levels.com/ money/2003/mar/08spec. Intranet. with all the Departments/Ministries of the Central Government.

since 1986-87 onwards. Ministry of Information Technology : “Community Information Centre” project. Government of India. Manipur. Mizoram. 12. Nagaland. Tripura. NICNET based “Community Information Centres (CIC)”45 in grassroots level (about 487 blocks) in the North Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh. even before the INTERNET Technology was introduced in this 44 Moni.12.M & Vijayaditya. “Reaching-Out-Into” and “Reaching-the-Unreached” Concepts were experimented and made operational by NIC through its various ICT Diffusion Projects (DISNIC Programme).5 State Government Informatics Development Programmes were launched to overcome “Digital Divide” among Central Government Departments and State Governments. India. and Sikkim) aim to “boost efficiency and enhance market integration” through Internet/Intranet for sustainable regional development. and District Government Informatics Programme (DISNIC)44 to overcome “Digital Divide” in District Administrations during 1985-87. presented at Indian 45 Computing Congress. Assam. 1990 at Hyderabad. Meghalaya. NIC has implemented many “network centric” applications software for Programme implementation in various ministries and departments. using state-of-the-art software tools.6 During the last 27 years.N (1990) : “DISNIC – A NICNET Based District Government Informatics Programme in India”. 2000 43 . through its 596 NICNET nodes located in district headquarters. held in December.

12. Water Resources. Industry.Country. Social Welfare Services. High Courts and District Courts in India. Health. Forestry & Environment. Fisheries. the policy thrust was on creating a “decision support system” for development planning and responsive administration in governments (i. development and operationalisation of various e-Government projects in the areas of Public Administration and Governance viz.7 NIC has vast core expertise and experience in the design. Transport. Budget and Treasury. Animal Husbandry.An Ongoing Event of the Chhattisgarh Government over NICNET IT in Indian Courts . wherein the Under-trial is in the Jail Complex and the Judge hears the under-trial sitting in the Court. Micro-level Planning etc. Import & Exports facilitation. This technology driven process has been experienced in the State of Bihar. Some of the successful ICT Diffusion projects in the areas of Public Administration and Governance are as follows:• Technology facilitates Speedy Court Cases Trials“ . During 1980s and early part of 1990s.. Court Management. Fiscal Resources. Agriculture & Food.A landmark project covering the Supreme Court.A successful Experiment through Video Conferencing between the Jail and the Court.e. Land Records and Property registration. Culture & Tourism. an earlier version of the present day “e-Governance”). “Redress of Public Grievances” . Rural Development. Education. • • 44 .

735 APWMs by March 2002.A Tool for Spatial Planning in Delhi WARANA Nagar Experiment . APKAKhata.A Key to Business Process Re-Engineering IT in Environment . BHUIYA. HIMBHOOMI. CORD. PRISM Land Records Computerization – BHOOMI. Bhoolekh. PEARL. TACKIS & MUDRA . and additional 2000 APWMs during 2002-07.A step towards globalisation of Indian Agriculture .Authorization through 32500 Public Sector Bank branches Property Registration – CARD.Towards e-Passport for Indian Citizen EDI services in Indian Customs and DGFT. Road Map is to network 7000 APWMs and about 32000 Rural markets to empower agricultural and rural microenterprises. etc Utility Mapping of Delhi .Networking of Agricultural Produce Wholesale Markets (APWMs) for dissemination of Agricultural Produces Market prices information . E-Granthalaya – A Digital Agenda for Library Automation and Networking to usher in “India a Knowledge Society”.A Wired Village & PRAVARA “Self-Help” Movement. TAMILNILAM. DHARNI.A step towards Environment Security Passport services . STAMINA.ICT in Poverty Alleviation Schemes Monitoring Programme COIN – Cooperative Bank Management Software SMART Nagarpalika – An ICT framework for effective functioning of Municipal Administrations E-Panchayat – A Smart Village ICT Framework IT Training .e-Commerce for Rural Micro Enterprises 45 . HARIS. BHUMI. Budget and Treasury Computerisation Programme Rural Bazaar . STAR.A SMART Revolution in India: SARATHI & VAHAN Central Civil Pension .Success stories on sales Tax Administration in States RuralSoft .• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • AGMARKNET .a reality in India SERMON – An Intranet solutions for the Central Excise Revenue Collection IT & Road Transport .

com as a case study Synergetic Collaborative Relationship 12. This will also facilitate SMEs to access both national and international business networks and emerge as “digital SMEs”.• • • • • • • • Community Information Centre (CIC) . Software Technology parks of India (STPI) and NIC can invigorate SMEs in India. through Value Chain. APCTT. social and cultural development of “rural” and "remote" regions of the Country (North Eastern Region and State of Sikkim) DACNET – An e-Government Project for the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation of the Union Government enRich – A collaborative ICT Framework Product of UNESCO and NIC Smart Card Technology for e-Government applications CollabCAD – An OpenSource Computer Aided Design Package GramSampark – A GIS-based social sector projects implementation DISNIC – A District Government Informatics Development Programme & DISNIC-PLAN : An Informatics Blueprint for grassroots development IntraNIC . Indian Postal System (IPS).microsoft.aiming at economic. transfer of technologies.8 A synergetic collaborative relationship among SIDO. and utilise their IPRs.facilitating e-Organisation – appears in www. 46 .

47 .