Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME), an apex industry body, and Microsoft have come together to enable more than 10,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across the country to adopt information technology and cloud computing. This will help them to connect better with their existing customers and reach out to potential customers across India.
India’s SMB segment is playing a significant role in India’s economy. According to the NASSCOM and Frost & Sullivan report – India SMB Market – Monetizing Emerging Opportunities (2014), it employs approximately 40 per cent of India’s workforce, contributes more than 17% to national GDP, has close to 45 per cent share in manufacturing output and accounts for about 40 per cent of India’s total exports.
While most SMB owners understand the benefits of IT, they do not have the knowledge and personnel to deploy and manage the infrastructure. Factors like high total cost of ownership, poor governance due to limited top management support, fear of lack of vendor support, adherence to SLAs attributed to small deal size, limited technology skill sets, strike as challenges in the adoption of IT by SMBs.
“Today, businesses need to embrace technology if they want to transform and scale up their businesses at a minimum cost and accelerate growth. To this end, it is crucial to make technology more accessible for faster adoption. We are excited to partner with Microsoft to drive the next wave of growth for our member organizations”, said Animesh Saxena, Board Member, FISME.
Findings of a survey conducted by Greyhound Research state that organizations in Delhi NCR have limited understanding of information systems and technology is a barrier for providing improved customer engagement. It stated that 88% organizations in Delhi NCR treat customer engagement as a top business priority for FY 2015‐16. Some deterrents to the same, however, are limited understanding about information systems to reach out to customers, lowering cost of IT Infrastructure as a top business priority and that despite the lack of required knowledge, they are looking towards adopting cloud and sophisticated technology solutions to reduce their inherent workloads.
Meetul Patel, General Manager – SMS&P, Microsoft India, said, “Information Technology is opening up new avenues of growth for SMBs globally. Through our association with FISME, we are able to reach out to thousands of SMBs and enable them to leverage affordable cloud-based services. This will empower SMBs to access new markets and enable them to engage with customers more efficiently and manage their costs better. In addition, these technologies and services help SMBs focus on their core business and not on basic IT infrastructure. The result is profitable, accelerated growth.”
As per a study by global consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), SMBs that embraced IT solutions grew faster than the ones that lagged in terms of IT adoption. The study also shows that SMBs that decided to take the IT plunge created more new jobs and more revenue growth over the past three years compared to SMBs that trailed in this regard. The BCG study, ‘Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small Business Leaders’ found that if more SMBs in India adopt the latest IT tools, there is potential for this sector to grow revenues by $56 billion and create as many as 1.1 million new jobs.
Microsoft cloud solutions like Office 365, CRM Online, Microsoft Azure helps SMBs collaborate, communicate, and connect better in their ecosystem and expand to more markets and customers. The combination of online applications and always-on customer support gives SMBs the desired competitive edge and helps open newer business opportunities. This initiative will not only help SMBs expand their business, but also help the country progress toward the “Make in India” vision of transforming itself into a global leader.