Many micro, small and medium enterprises have temporarily shut their businesses due to the impact of COVID-19 crisis, shows a survey conducted by Endurance International Group.
The survey drew responses from close to 500 Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the first two weeks of June. One third of the respondents confirmed that they are temporarily shutting their business until normalcy resumes.
“This pause in business is more prominent among MSMEs in metro cities and those in the retail and manufacturing verticals. Majority of MSMEs (nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed) believe that it will take up to 6 months for business to return to normal,” said the survey.
MSMEs are seeking support from the government to tide over this crisis. More than 50 per cent of MSMEs expect the government to offer tax discounts or exemptions, followed by 36 per cent of MSMEs asking for loans at zero interest or cheaper rates, a statement by the Group said.
Besides, 30 per cent of MSMEs started a business website or enabled e-commerce functionality since the lockdown started owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MSMEs in the educational services segment recorded the highest jump in the importance of using digital mediums.
With lockdown measures in place, the MSMEs who were able to offer e-commerce functionality witnessed revenue contribution from e-commerce increasing to approximately 50 per cent of their total revenues.
For MSMEs in retail and educational services, increase in revenue contribution from e-commerce was 53 per cent and 65 per cent respectively, the survey found.
More than 50 per cent of the MSMEs surveyed embraced video conferencing tools and WhatsApp to keep business running during these turbulent times.
“COVID-19 has forced everyone to rethink daily life. In response to the lockdown, MSMEs who could embrace digital presence were able to keep some semblance of normalcy and continue to serve or engage with their customers,” said Manish Dalal, SVP & GM, Endurance Group – APAC.
According to the survey, lack of technical expertise and the perceived costs of developing a web presence continue to be the key challenges to creating web presence. Due to these challenges, very often MSMEs take assistance from web professionals to create digital presence.
Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc helps millions of small businesses worldwide with products and technology to enhance their online web presence, e-mail marketing, business solutions, and more.
The Endurance International Group (EIG) family of brands includes Constant Contact, Bluehost, HostGator, and Domain.com, among others.
Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, EIG employs over 3,800 people across the US, Brazil, India and the Netherlands.