Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the pillars of the Indian economy contributing to an over 40% share in the country’s GDP and employment. Additionally 56 million MSME entrepreneurs showcases the capabilities of Indian entrepreneurs to innovate and create products that address the specific needs of the country.
The ongoing pandemic has become a phase of evolution for various MSME sectors and digitization contributing towards strengthening their arms and helping them cope up in these tough times.
As MSMEs navigate themselves and embrace digital adoption, they are also experiencing roadblocks that make the progress delayed or retarded. Right from restricted budgets to a lack of know-how and expertise, security, legacy hindrances, and many more, the challenges are multiple.
Challenges related to tech adoption
The pandemic has brought the best of business verticals to a standstill, everyone right from the next-door grocery store to MSMEs from diverse sectors have started embracing digital transformation. MSMEs will have to make room for digital transformation in their overall business strategy. This would involve finding the right purpose, consult, plan, and then invest to become digital-ready.
The top challenges of the Indian MSMEs that are visible in their journey towards digital shift are –
- Limited growth capital makes technology adoption and digital transformation lethargic.
- MSMEs are resistant to augment digital technologies because cutting-edge technologies evolve faster and it requires an equal talent pool that is adept with the latest technologies and platforms. Nurturing an in-house team is an expensive affair and the biggest roadblock for this sector.
- Storing, analyzing, and managing crucial structured and unstructured data to make business decisions.
- Data, cloud, and system management along with the training required to handle them, leave MSMEs uncertain.
- Many MSMEs are still unaware of digital impact, and the ignorance is not bliss as they fail to build customer loyalty and retention.
Learning Curve and adoption
Despite having a great product, it is necessary to persistently innovate, upgrade, and keep making alterations that will improve the product. With the proliferation of new technologies expanding at an ever-increasing rate, MSMEs are faced with the challenge of adopting the digital learning curve among their employees. An outsourcing partner can be a quick rescue and help the MSMEs stay tuned to the latest frameworks.
High investment and return ratio
Investing in digital adoption requires to be a thorough thought process; because the trend is no more limited only to adoption. To sustain and grow, digital innovation strategies matter more. The focus should be on introducing a digital product that elevates the customer experience and improves loyalty and retention. If the underlying principle of any digital investments is driven by value, then returns become proportional or at times greater too.
Scope of using advanced tech and the lack of talent to operate these technologies
Technology has immense power to enrich small businesses with digital products that can amplify their customers’ experience. Harnessing technologies such as AI/ML, AR/VR, IoT, Data Intelligence can give a competitive edge and empower them to elevate and compete with large businesses. Data insights are the key drivers and help expedite important business decisions, such as whether to adopt a new tool or enter a new market. Technology can thus help MSMEs become more efficient and stay relevant in the fast-changing times. Digital literacy is imperative for MSMEs to make optimal use of technology-enabled platforms. It is a challenge for the MSMEs to source relevant talent in time and connect them with their business objectives.
The views expressed above are those of Sudhir Kunder the Country Director of DE-CIX, Interwire.
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