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Indian small businesses more confident than Asian peers in post-Covid recovery on back of tech adoption

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Indian small businesses are relatively more confident of surviving in the post-Covid world than their other Asian counterparts.

Encouraging government buying from small businesses is part of the government's Vendor Development Programmes. (Express File Photo by Gopal Kateshiya)

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Indian small businesses are a resilient lot. Having survived the challenges post demonetisation and GST in the past, they are now confident of surviving the existential crisis following the Covid breakout and lockdown. According to a study by technology company HP focusing small and medium enterprises’ outlook for the post-Covid scenario, 73 per cent SMEs said that they would survive the current 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. The study titled HP Asia SMB Report – 2020 captured sentiments of 200 SMEs in each of the eight countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam during May and June this year.

For 64 per cent of the Indian respondents, the pandemic has brought a great opportunity to reformulate their business strategy as per the new normal while 50 per cent believed that the current scenario brings long term opportunity for them. The optimism from SMEs came following months of zero to negligible business activity during the lockdown and post lockdown as well since the shortage of labour, which had returned to their hometowns, along with lack of demand and supply have been haunting the sector.

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However, SMEs surveyed unanimously agreed to the significance of technology adoption. While 35 per cent claimed digital adoption to be ultimately essential for their success, 40 per cent believed it to be very important. 17 per cent and 9 per cent thought it to be important and relevant respectively for their growth.

According to a recent Cisco study, Indian SMEs may add $158 to $216 billion to the country’s GDP in the coming four years thanks to the digitalization of their ventures. “While technology will serve as the greatest enabler in helping SMBs leverage the opportunities created by the emerging low-touch economy, this (Covid) crisis is far too complex for anyone to solve alone. Now more than ever, we need to work together to navigate these uncharted waters,” Panish PK, Managing Director, SMB, Cisco India and SAARC had said earlier.

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