Title: SMEs can overcome challenges and improve sustainability through preventive management strategies: some empirical evidences from a cluster of chemical industries in Western India

Authors: R. Gopichandran; Vipul N. Shah; Niral J. Patel; T. Harinarayana

Addresses: Vigyan Prasar (Department of Science and Technology, Government of India), Sector 62, Uttar Pradesh, Noida 201 301, India ' Green Environment Services Cooperative Society, Vatva Industrial Estate, Vatva, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India ' Vipul Shah & Associates, Maninagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; UNIDO, New Delhi, India ' Gujarat Energy Research & Management Institute, Energy Building, 1st floor, PDPU Campus, Raisan Village, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Abstract: The paper presents details regarding several interventions that helped SMEs substantially reduce energy and material losses. The initiative by SMEs was part of a preventive strategy to reduce vulnerability to vagaries caused by inclement markets, growing costs of energy and materials, related international considerations and the time taken to resolve them. Based on this approach they rectified equipment, enhanced heat and other energy transfers, improved performance of mechanical functions, modified production schedules, recovered materials lost earlier as waste and optimised material conversions in unit processes and operations. Nearly 20 to 25% energy savings and 15 to 20% material savings were achieved with enormous implications for economic sustainability. SMEs that face similar challenges will derive useful lessons from the evidences reported and convert the adversity into an opportunity to innovate and overcome challenges. In this context we propose a framework for collective action christened 'Alliance to save SMEs'.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; preventive management; energy efficiency enhancement; India; economic sustainability; sustainable development; industrial clusters; chemical industry; heat transfer; materials recovery; material conversion; scheduling modification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2013.054894

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.209 - 223

Available online: 13 May 2013

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