UNIDO has a series of papers on the SSI clusters in India from studiesthey did in the 1990s. “With a contribution of 40% to the country’s industrial output and 35% to direct exports, the Small-Scale Industry (SSI) sector has achieved significant milestones for the industrial development of India. Within the SSI sector, an important role is played by the numerous clusters that have been in existence for decades and sometimes even for centuries. According to a UNIDO survey of Indian SSI clusters undertaken in 1996, there are 350 SSI clusters and approximately 2000 rural and artisan based clusters in India. It is estimated that these clusters contribute 60% of the manufactured exports from India…Despite such achievements, the majority of the Indian SSI clusters share significant constraints like technological obsolescence, relatively poor product quality, information deficiencies, poor market linkages and inadequate management systems.”
I wonder if there are any more recent studies.
We need the eqivalent of Tech 7-11s in these SSI neighbourhoods to take IT to them – they are a large, untapped market offering great potential, but also hard to reach and convince.