Technology for MSMEs: Since the beginning of the pandemic, 59 per cent of SMBs respondents in India have expanded ways customers can reach them while 48 per cent have prioritised deepening relationships over one-time transactions.
82 per cent of SMB respondents feel the operational shifts made over the last year will benefit their business long-term.
Technology for MSMEs: As digital adoption continues to grow among emerging enterprises in India, a number of small and medium businesses (SMB) are looking to provide contactless services to their customers in terms of secure digital payments, online customer service, e-commerce, mobile ordering, and curbside pickups. According to a global Salesforce survey of over 2,500 SMB owners and leaders over business trends post-Covid, 99 per cent of the respondents from India said they plan to offer contactless services permanently. Of this 99 per cent, 78 per cent plan to offer digital payments, 68 per cent plan to provide mobile ordering, while 62 per cent plan to offer online customer service, etc.
“The grit and innovation of SMBs during a time of great change has been a triumph. This has also been a testament to the perseverance and creativity of SMBs and the communities in which they operate. It is truly inspiring to see how Indian SMBS are leveraging technology to transform their operations and push forward after a year of change,” Arun Kumar Parameswaran, SVP and Managing Director – Sales & Distribution, Salesforce India said in a statement at the launch of the survey report.
The importance of adopting digital channels for service delivery has caught the attention of small businesses since Covid struck last year. In order to sustain business operations and engage with customers, SMBs had enabled their digital presence. India was ranked ninth in terms of the Asia Pacific SMB digital maturity ranking, according to a post-Covid 2020 study by Cisco surveying 1,424 small and medium enterprises in the Asia Pacific region.
According to the Salesforce report, since the beginning of the pandemic, 59 per cent of SMBs in India have expanded ways customers can reach them and 48 per cent have prioritised deepening relationships over one-time transactions. As a result of such digital initiatives, SMBs foresee long-term changes from the pandemic. The report claimed that 100 per cent of SMBs respondents from India with some of their operations already online increased it further in the last year while 82 per cent of them feel the operational shifts made over the last year will benefit their business long-term.
Since Covid-induced restrictions started to impact businesses in India, a number of surveys have been conducted to gauge the rate of digital adoption among small businesses in India. For instance, 82 per cent respondents, in a survey of over 250 small businesses released earlier this year by Dun & Bradstreet, said that they have digitized their daily operations during the pandemic which helped in cost reduction for 54 per cent of them and enhanced competitiveness for 51 per cent. Likewise, a Crisil survey published in December last year noted that the adoption of digital channels such as online aggregators or marketplaces, social media, and mobile marketing has increased from 29 per cent micro-enterprises using them before Covid to 47 per cent as of November.
Another study released in September last year by technology company HP focusing on SMEs’ outlook for the post-Covid scenario highlighted that 73 per cent SMEs said they would survive the Covid downturn in comparison to average 60 per cent SMEs in Asia. In fact, a healthy 61 per cent SMEs claimed that they would thrive in their operations in the post-Covid world.