Digitisation of small and medium-sized businesses in India

The success of e-commerce companies has previously shown how important it is for organisations to have a digital presence, the transition of which is accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The retail industry in India will be worth roughly 1.5 trillion dollars. SaaS start-ups are playing a significant role in this. 

Digitisation is the way forward, and the success of e-commerce enterprises has already demonstrated the necessity of a digital presence for organisations. This transition has been sped up by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to preliminary findings from company surveys conducted globally, up to 70% of SMEs have increased their application of digital technologies due to the pandemic. By 2030, the national association of software and services firms and technopak advisors predict that India’s retail industry will be worth roughly 1.5 trillion dollars. 

Over the past few years, initiatives like digital India have encouraged startups and organisations to adopt digital practices for seamless and transparent e-commerce transactions. Having said that, lack of information and concerns about privacy and security, especially apprehensions among customers about making online payments has led to an initial hesitation to embrace digitisation. With approximately 86% of the currency gone out of circulation overnight, in November 2016 demonetisation proved to be a turning point for digital payments. The critical need to implement digital solutions to sustain business continuity was realised by organisations of all sizes.

Being an innovation enthusiast, I often observed the evolving trends and digital tools that keep on emerging. SaaS (Software-as-a-service) start-ups play a significant role in helping small retailers compete against online businesses, whether it be by organising their business processes or assisting them in engaging customers in the same way that larger e-commerce players do.

Due to the availability of specialised assistance from the support staff of e-commerce businesses via chatbots and automated customer service powered by AI, consumers are now able to buy around the clock. For small and medium-sized businesses, this is the area of competitiveness. There are now more commercial opportunities for e-commerce businesses due to the rise of millennials, Gen Z, and other tech-savvy cohorts. Smooth transactions have been made possible thanks in large part to applications, which have helped with everything from product discovery and shopping to online payments. The entire e-commerce sector has benefited from increased internet access in tier-2 cities. In these markets, where multilingual applications are significant development drivers, the increasing use of practical and affordable last-mile delivery apps is also helping online sales.

Small and medium-sized businesses are now employing predictive and big data analytics to understand consumer behaviour and offer specialised products and services. Businesses are increasingly resorting to SaaS providersbbecause they are not digitally sound. Digital technology is also enabling MSMEs to complete end-to-end solutions for upgrading and integrating their services on the online ecosystem. They seek a range of services, including digitising customer communications, managing funds and billing for various operations.

Marketing is becoming more complex with the introduction of online communication channels. Even though 90% of the market is still unorganised, the retail sector currently contributes 10% or less to India’s GDP. Online consumers make up just 70 million of the almost 1.4 billion people residing in the country. With almost 65% of them living in rural areas. There is tremendous retail potential that is just still untapped, as smartphones and 4G are becoming prevalent in the rural parts of the country and 5G is just around the corner. Using a complete line of technological products, small and medium-sized businesses will get a platform to optimise their marketing strategies. Digital technology will not only expand this enormous industry but also change how consumers, small businesses, and retailers work efficiently.

Summing up, as a one-stop shop, small businesses can implement their ideas and execute without having to spend significant amounts of their time coordinating with different players. Most mid-sized and small-scale firms struggle to find suitable resources at a reasonable price. Today’s SaaS-based businesses, including ours, are supplying them with solutions to optimise their work at extremely affordable rates in this situation. Moving forward, the future looks promising for entrepreneurs who are providing tech-based solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. Due to the availability of smartphones and data charges at extremely affordable rates. The use of these technologies has been escalated after the pandemic and as mentioned before it is making the ground equal for both the big industries and the small and medium-sized firms.



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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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