Five common problems MSMEs in India face

Five common problems MSMEs in India face

31 August, 2023

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) form a crucial component of the Indian economy. They contribute significantly to employment generation, innovation and exports. However, these enterprises often face challenges that hinder their growth and sustainability.

Let us have a look at the top five common problems that MSMEs continue to face in India.

Skilled manpower

One of the key challenges faced by MSMEs in India is the availability of skilled manpower. While this problem is universal, despite a large workforce in India, it is particularly acute in the case of MSMEs.

This sector often operates in niche areas and requires specialised skills. Many MSMEs struggle to find skilled workers who can operate and maintain their machinery, manage their finances, and handle their marketing and sales activities.

Moreover, the lack of skilled manpower makes it difficult for MSMEs to adopt new technologies and innovate, which is crucial for their long-term growth and competitiveness.

Lack of finance

Many MSMEs struggle to secure the necessary funds to start, operate or expand their business due to a variety of reasons.

One of the primary reasons for this is the lack of collateral or credit history. A bad credit score can make it difficult for these enterprises to obtain loans. MSMEs also face challenges in accessing credit due to high interest rates, complex documentation requirements and long processing times.

The government has launched several schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises, aimed at providing affordable credit to MSMEs. However, there is still a need for greater access to finance, especially for smaller and newer MSMEs.

Adopting digital payment systems and improving financial reporting and management practices can enhance your creditworthiness and improve your access to finance.


While technology is meant to be an enabler, a lack of it can cause MSMEs to miss out on its advantages. Many MSMEs operate in traditional sectors which rely on manual labour and outdated machinery. As a result, these enterprises struggle to keep pace with technological advancements and are unable to adopt new technologies.

The lack of technology adoption can limit the ability of MSMEs to innovate, optimise their operations, and scale their business. Sometimes, MSMEs often face challenges in accessing technology due to the high cost of investment, lack of awareness, and limited technical expertise.

To address this challenge, the government has launched several initiatives such as the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme and the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme. These schemes are aimed at providing financial and technical support to MSMEs for upgrading their technology.

Additionally, you can explore partnerships with academic institutions, research organisations and technology providers to access new technology and technical expertise.

Adopting digital technologies such as cloud computing, e-commerce and social media marketing can help you enhance your reach, visibility and customer engagement. Training programs and capacity-building initiatives can help you develop the necessary skills and knowledge to adopt new technologies and improve your company's competitiveness.

Regulatory compliances

MSMEs in India are required to comply with various regulations and laws related to labour, environment, taxation and corporate governance. However, compliance with these regulations can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller enterprises with limited resources.

The complexity of regulatory compliance can also prevent new enterprises from entering the market. The lack of awareness and understanding of these regulations can expose MSMEs to legal and financial risks.

To address this challenge, the government has launched several initiatives such as the Ease of Doing Business campaign, aimed at simplifying and streamlining the regulatory framework for businesses. The government has also introduced online portals and single-window clearance systems to reduce the time and cost involved in regulatory compliance.

You can seek the help of professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants and consultants to navigate the complex regulatory landscape. Additionally, adopting good governance practices, maintaining proper documentation, and conducting regular audits can help your business ensure compliance and mitigate legal and financial risks. Participating in industry associations and networks can help you stay informed about regulatory changes and the best practices in your company's sector.

Market access

While the country has a large domestic market, accessing it can be challenging, especially for smaller and newer enterprises. MSMEs often struggle to penetrate existing supply chains and distribution networks dominated by larger enterprises.

Accessing international markets is also not easy for MSMEs. This is due to a lack of information, resources, and technical expertise. Export procedures can also be complex and time-consuming, adding to the difficulties faced by MSMEs.

To address this challenge, the government has launched initiatives such as the National Export Strategy and the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme. They provide financial and technical support to MSMEs to enhance their export capabilities.

You can also explore e-commerce platforms and social media channels to enhance your reach and visibility in both the domestic and international markets. Building partnerships and alliances with larger enterprises can help you access new markets and distribution networks. Participating in trade fairs, exhibitions and other promotional events can help you to showcase your company's products and services to a wider audience.


To help MSMEs overcome these complexities, HDFC Bank offers Working Capital Loan at an attractive interest rate. You can drive your business forward with HDFC Bank’s financing options for MSMEs. From buying equipment to funding working capital, there’s a loan for all needs.

Apply now and enjoy speedy approvals, attractive interest rates, transparent practices and flexible repayment options.

​​​​​​​* Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

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