Technology for MSMEs: American software company Oracle had bet on the SME market in India five years back. The sector is now the company’s fastest-growing business vertical.
Without divulging details on the number of SME customers, Sheela Nambiar, Senior Director and SMB Business Head, Oracle India told Financial Express Online, “Oracle’s SME customer base has doubled in the last five years”. In fact, of all the new accounts the company acquires, 60-70 per cent are of small businesses in the country.
“Oracle has always played in the enterprise cloud segment, so almost all the large companies are already using Oracle……What I can say is our customer acquisition in India is much higher than what we see in other countries in the Japan and Asia-Pacific (JAPAC) region,” she added. Globally, Oracle has four lakh customers, out of which three lakh are SMEs.
In 2017, Oracle India created a separate strategic business unit Oracle Digital to cater specifically to MSME customers.
Initially, the firm saw traction from tech-savvy sectors such as edtech, healthtech, but now traditional sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, and manufacturing amongst others have also warmed up to cloud.
“With the pandemic, a lot of things have changed. Of course, the focus on reducing cost and increasing profit continues but now there is an additional reason in the play. Entrepreneurs are thinking about business continuity more than ever and are investing to make it future-proof,” said Nambiar.
Traditionally, SMEs worked on manual processes or on-premise solutions where every workflow was disconnected from each other. Cloud computing offers small businesses an opportunity to integrate all the systems under one business suite to provide data analytics and showcase business trends for improved efficiency. Also, cloud computing doesn’t require any upfront capital investment, since it is based on the pay-as-you-use model where cost is based on usage.
The increased interest has augured well for the firm. Oracle India is seeing double-digit growth in its SME segment and is actively looking at customer acquisition. “The expectation is to double our customer growth and acquisition; and the good news is that India as a market has high potential to achieve those numbers,” Nambiar said.
The tech major has two data centres – in Mumbai and in Hyderabad – offering cloud services to its clients across large enterprise and SME segments. “As we acquire more customers, we are discussing to re-look at the capacity of these two data centres,” added Nambiar.
According to the IT industry body Nasscom’s report SMB Cloud Adoption in India: Towards a Cloud First Nation, SMEs will account for 30 per cent of India’s public cloud consumption.