Upskilling has become a priority for SMEs in 2021: Report – The Economic Times

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The pandemic brought in some unprecedented changes that impacted several industries across the economy, the MSME sector being one of the worst hit.

BENGALURU: Upskilling programmes are seeing a rising demand among small business owners in a post-pandemic world, finds a new report.

According to data from a recent Instamojo report titled ‘Indian E-commerce Outlook 2021’, which predicts upskilling to become a priority for small businesses this year, the company’s online skilling platform mojoVersity reported a 9x increase in the active students (small business merchants) count, and an 11x increase in the number of merchants getting digitally certified in the last two quarters of 2020.

The majority of the demand for these skilling programmes was received from merchants in Tier II and III cities, with Ratnagiri, Raniganj and Kondotty featuring among the top 10 cities in terms of traffic on the skilling platform.

The pandemic brought in some unprecedented changes that impacted several industries across the economy, the MSME sector being one of the worst hit. With the onset of the lockdown, business operations of several traditional small businesses across the country were hampered. Additionally, the lack of digital presence played an obstacle in business continuity. In order to adapt to the new normal, entrepreneurs and small business merchants have been taking to upskilling courses which enable them with the skills to survive in a fast-evolving digital environment.

“While the pandemic has accelerated digitisation, small businesses have also come to realise the importance of upskilling in order to keep pace with the fast evolving ecosystem. Be it digital marketing tools or managing accounts digitally, embracing change in the new normal is key to business survival for a sector which is traditionally driven. At Instamojo, we have always worked towards supporting the growth of the MSME sector through digital solutions,” Akash Gehani, co-founder and CEO, Instamojo, told ET.

The mojoVersity platform currently has nine courses that span across various topics like GST, email marketing, sales funnels and how to host webinars. Across 2020, the platform witnessed more than 40,000 new unique visitors, of which 30% were female learners.

“Through our online skilling programme on the platform, we hope to enable small businesses with the skillset to sustain in a competitive online market. Digital is the way forward, and upskilling will soon become a regular routine for small businesses to help them stay educated about the nuances of business, and grow better,” Gehani said.

Founded in 2012 by Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani and Aditya Sengupta, Instamojo early this year raised Series B funding from Gunosy Capital, AnyPay – a Japanese payments firm and the existing VCs. The company also counts Kalaari Capital and Blume Ventures among its investors.

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