Transforming Chennai: building micro, small, and medium enterprise resilience to water-related environmental change

Transforming Chennai analyses how urban planning and the business climate shaped micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) resilience to the effects of the December 2015 floods in Chennai, India. The core of this study is the primary research conducted with thirty-five MSMEs and two large corporations. A resilience framework highlights aspects in the business and institutional environments that either amplify (worsen) or dampen (decrease) the impact of water-related hazards such as the December 2015 floods on MSMEs. The paper makes the argument that resilience should become an integral part of evaluating the business environment and the ease of doing business not only in Chennai but in broader business climate evaluation efforts. The report concludes that immediate and long-term collective efforts on many fronts are required to ease MSMEs’ significant distress in the wake of the December floods and to prevent further devastation from future hazards.