In a bid to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in improving their productivity, efficiency and profitability and scale their businesses faster, the Punjab government had recently launched the Xcelerator Ludhiana – Sadda Karobaar, Punjab di Shaan program. This six-month business accelerator program, which started on 5 January 2021, is led by the Government of Punjab, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) and Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME).
With this programme, the Punjab government is geared up to provide the much-needed handholding for mass entrepreneurs and strengthen the overall entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state. Ludhiana, which has core-sectors like agri-tech, textiles, healthcare, light engineering, auto components, has been chosen as the first location for the program. This pilot of Xcelerator will set the base for the expansion of the program across different districts of Punjab.
The program had received over 450 applications from growing businesses across Ludhiana and after a rigorous selection process, 27 entrepreneurs were invited to participate in the first cohort. Businesses with annual net revenue of Rs 2 crore – Rs 10 crore, and manufacturing, trading and export businesses with annual net revenue of Rs 10 crore-Rs 50 crore are eligible for the program.
Overview of the program
The program is spread over six months, facilitating hands-on training with the best trainers and practitioners from India, peer-to peer learning and mentorship focussed on ‘3C’- customer, capacity and cash. All the 27 entrepreneurs selected in the first group are enrolled in workshops on customers, techniques on working with large clients, building an energetic team and getting international collaborators for their businesses.
With sector specific workshops and sessions, the experts and mentors are in constant touch with the entrepreneurs who can seek advice and understand its implementation.
An opportunity to scale up, build network
The entrepreneurs are able to share their issues and understand how they can take care of the shortcomings. For instance, someone in the automobile sector looking to grow business is advised on introducing new incentive schemes for dealers to motivate them to increase sales while incentivising timely payments instead of penalising late payments. With an emphasis on scaling up, the entrepreneurs are trained on understanding their current business reality to create a 2-3 year business plan, training on hiring processes and onboarding of the new people into the organisation.
With sector specific workshops and sessions, the experts and mentors are in constant touch with the entrepreneurs who can seek advice and understand its implementation. There is also an opportunity to build a network within the city and the state.
A lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs are now able to strike better conversations with customers and are able to scale up. A lot of them have taken their lead generation on to social media platforms and are able to connect with their regional and national customers. They are able to multiply their leads.