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Applications of information and communication technology for sustainable growth of SMEs in India food industry

Singh, Rajesh Kr., Luthra, Sunil, Mangla, Sachin Kumar, Uniyal, Surbhi
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.147 pp. 10-18
agricultural products, communications technology, decision making, economic policy, energy, food industry, food supply chain, laboratory techniques, small and medium enterprises, supply chain, sustainable development, India
Indian food sector is facing severe problem of wastage of about 30% of farm products due to inefficiency in operations of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The SMEs in Indian food sector are facing different challenges, such as financial issues, lack of technical skills and investment in the business etc. In this sense, several key factors can help food SMEs in reducing wastage of farm products and lowering energy consumption for sustainable growth. Thus, this paper tries to identify and analyse key factors for Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications for a sustainable growth of SMEs in Indian food sector. Grey based Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory technique was applied for analysis of factors. From findings, ‘Government initiatives and policies’, ‘Public-private partnership’, and ‘Encouragement to ICT service provider’ are topmost influential cause group factors. While, ‘ICT integrated effective food supply chain’, ‘Coordination between different departments’, and ‘Collaboration and strategic alliances across supply chain’ are highest influenced factors. Results suggests that ‘Government policies and initiatives’ are at the core of the efforts to upgrade food supply chain. As, Indian government is the largest customer of SMEs and controls various policy-making aspects in food sector. Therefore, government has to take steps to encourage private and foreign investments as well as promote IT service providers and business environment related economic policies to improve competitiveness of Indian food sector. This work would help managers to develop efficient ICT applications for an effective sustainable growth of SMEs in their respective food supply chains.