The coronavirus crisis has had a detrimental impact on India's Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, which employs over 100 million people and contributes to almost 30 percent of India’s GDP. The nationwide lockdown that has stalled economic activity and disrupted supply chains has especially hurt this sector, which relies much more on the cash economy and informal employment. What policy responses can help mitigate the harm caused to this sector? What lessons can India learn from how other countries have protected their domestic industry? How can India’s MSME sector recover?

As part of our Political Economy Seminar Series, we hosted a virtual discussion in partnership with the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME), where Bindu Ananth, V.K. Agarwal, T.K. Arun, and Rajneesh Kumar analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s MSME sector. The discussion was moderated by Suyash Rai and Anil Bhardwaj.


Bindu Ananth

Bindu Ananth is the chair of Dvara Trust. 

V.K. Agarwal

V.K. Agarwal was the president of FISME from 2011 to 2013.

T.K. Arun

T.K. Arun is a consulting editor at the Economic Times.

Rajneesh Kumar

Rajneesh Kumar is the chief corporate affairs officer at Flipkart.


Anil Bhardwaj

Anil Bhardwaj is the secretary general of FISME. He has worked extensively in the fields of international trade and MSME development.

Suyash Rai

Suyash Rai is a fellow at Carnegie India. His research focuses on the political economy of economic reforms, and the performance of public institutions in India. His current research looks at the financial sector, the fiscal system, and the infrastructure sector.