Mumbai — Imagine if companies hiring two-thirds of the US workforce were left out of official assessments. That was the case in India, until now. Starting in January, state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) and Crisil — the local arm of S&P Global — will publish a quarterly sentiment indicator to track capacity utilisation, order books and margins at micro-, small-and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Alternatively, referred to as the "backbone" of the Indian economy and the country’s "missing middle", MSMEs were easy to overlook given they average about two employees each and are mostly run out of private homes, from where they feed into vast supply chains for big companies. However, sweeping policy change under Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks set to kill the weak and burnish the strong, offering a promising destination for global investors if they can identify sectors with value. "There’s a hunger for genuine price discovery in the MSME space," said Prime M...

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