Betting on small businesses: Digitising MSMEs to create this big market for technology providers to tap

Technology for MSMEs: The number of SMEs in India will increase from 75 million currently to 105 million 2024 out of which 90 per cent would be ‘digitally influenced’.

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Technology for MSMEs: Adoption of digital technology, though gradually, among MSMEs is perhaps among the definitive move happening in around 75 million strong Indian MSME sector. The opportunity, hence, for technology providers and enablers, is also rising. From estimated $30 billion in 2019, the market opportunity rising from digital technology adoption among MSMEs will grow at around 25 per cent CAGR to around $85 billion in 2024, a recent Zinnov report said. Helping small businesses to use the latest technologies to grow and scale also seems central to the government’s target of increasing the sector’s GDP share from the current 29 per cent to 50 per cent in five years.

Out of the existing $30 billion opportunity size, only 53 per cent worth around $16 billion has been tapped so far with respect to helping MSMEs with connectivity and communication tools, discoverability of their products, enhancing productivity and technology sophistication. Moreover, from the existing number of SMEs, India would have 105 million SME base in 2024 out of which 90 per cent of the enterprises would be ‘digitally influenced’ from existing 70 per cent. Digitally influenced, according to the report titled Digital SMBs — Key Pillar of India’s Economy, is defined in terms of having access to digital infrastructures such as PC or smartphone and Internet. The business may also be listed on an aggregator portal such as Justdial or have a website or listed on a social platform or communicating through WhatsApp, email etc.

Also read: Small business challenge: How technology companies like WhatsApp, Jio won over price sensitive MSMEs

The government currently has around 18 technology centres called Tool Rooms to help MSMEs learn and adopt the technology. However, it is looking to increase the count to massive 153 Rooms, which would train around 8 lakh youth in different skills, once fully operational, MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda had said at a workshop for the adoption of new technologies among MSMEs in September this year present.

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First published on: 12-12-2019 at 13:56 IST