India Joins South Africa for SMME Development at SAITEX

India and SAITEX have worked together very successfully, establishing a close relationship.

Significant small business growth is expected in South Africa following a Memorandum of Understanding signed by India and the Black Business Council (BBC.) The main aim of the Agreement is to develop and promote black SMMEs and youth-owned businesses in the country.

SAITEX, the Southern African International Trade Exhibition, will serve as the key platform to implement the MoU, due to its extensive connections to major international business contacts and opportunities across all market sectors.  SAITEX takes place from 21 to 23 June 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.

“We chose to partner with India because it’s very similar to South Africa in many ways,” says Ndaba Ntsele, the President of the BBC. “Both nations need to focus on boosting SMMEs to grow the economy; in fact, SMMEs are the very lifeblood of South Africa’s economic growth. Yet 80% of them don’t survive beyond their first year in business. That is the reason we have decided to support the small business sector in South Africa and help it grow far beyond the first year of business.”

Huge Learning Opportunities

By providing small business owners with the support they need, such as education and skills, and access to mentors and markets, they stand a greater chance of effectively following through to complete the business cycle of production and delivery, again and again.

India’s manufacturing and technical capabilities are well-known in the auto component sector, machine tools industry, leather and leather goods, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, fruit and food processing and textiles. These are the industries where Indian companies – especially SMMEs – have out-performed many other countries and made their presence felt in the global marketplace.

“South Africans can learn much from India’s small business programme – it has undergone massive development over the years, and delivered significant improvements in the growth of the sector,” adds Ntsele. “About 44 million Indian MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) provide employment to over 80 million people in the country; they contribute 45% of India’s manufacturing output and over 40% of the country’s aggregate exports.”


For over 20 years, SAITEX has been the iconic annual South African trade expo on the world’s exhibitions calendar. The Southern African International Trade Exhibition has grown into a global event with hundreds of international exhibitors taking part, and tens of thousands of visitors from 35 countries – including 19 in Africa. This world-renowned show, together with its co-located sister event, Africa’s Big Seven, provides a massive springboard for all companies to explore or expand market share in Africa.

“SAITEX has become a highly effective business networking platform to gather information, make new contacts, explore new markets and find new products, suppliers and customers,” says John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services, the organisers of SAITEX.

Described as the biggest business opportunities event on the Continent, SAITEX showcases over 900 companies from 45 countries. The exhibitor profile includes all non-food retail products with special sectors featuring tools, hardware and building supplies as well as housewares and homewares. The visitor profile includes importers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, agents and entrepreneurs.

“We have worked very successfully with India for many years; the National Small Industries Corporation of India regularly brings Indian SMMEs to SAITEX, and India was also a partner nation in 2012. This MoU with the Black Business Council cements our fruitful relationship even further,” adds Thomson.