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Dancing with Digital – How innovation in technology can rescue MSMEs

MSMEs playing grounds are being leveled by digital transformation. There was a time when MSMEs needed huge capital investments in innovation, product development, customer acquisitions, etc. Technology has now made the achievement of these objectives at a much lower cost for all kind and size of businesses. Some of the latest technologies and innovations give MSMEs opportunities for creative collaborations. As a matter of fact, Technology, Financing, and Leadership are the three key pillars for the success of any MSME. 

Big data, real-time analysis, cloud computing, internet of things, etc. all are very important for us. The critical part is to understand how they are actually helping us. A lot many times MSMEs do not come from a tech background. A lot many times MSMEs face challenges in raising financial capital, which becomes the reason for shutting down of the SME operations. Manavjeet Singh, CEO and Founder, Rubique in an interview shared that, “We feel technology can play a great role across segments to provide easy access to finance for MSMEs. For every borrower, there is a lender, but there is not a platform where both of them can meet each other. With Rubique we have created a platform by digitizing the bank’s policies so customers can check his eligibility online itself. This reduces the time spent in searching an apt offer as well as bringing more certainty for the customer. Also, the system integrations that we are doing with Financial Institutions will help to reduce the turnaround time in the process by automating the process of credit assessment.”

A lot of Indian entrepreneurs, especially startups are coming with some cloud-based solutions primarily for products and services with enterprise-level efficiency and at SME-affordable prices. Tentacle is one such startup that enables SMEs to acquire, service and retain customers from the beginning to the end. Rahul Arora and Sumontro Roy, Co-Founders, Tentacle also have the view that Tentacle services any firm in the B2B sector that makes an outbound call with a business purpose and any SME firm that manages a process of acquiring, servicing, and retaining its clients is a target for Tentacle.

MSMEs use the technology majorly for Operational solutions, digital applications to connect staff and clients, marketing, customer interaction solutions, e-Security, etc. Looking at the bigger picture of benefits, innovation in technology benefits MSMEs with an improved customer reach, experience, flexibility, time saving, cost saving, competitive advantages, better data management, and so on. Choosing the right technology that is relevant for their business is the necessity, which a lot of many times MSMEs are not always able to see and analyze. Application Programming Interfaces, Integration of Business Processes into Social Media, Wearable Computing, Virtualization, SaaS, IaaS, etc. are the dimensions of technological innovations that are catching MSMEs attention.

Technology has always played a crucial role in the development of SMEs. Not only has it helped in evolving a multi-pronged strategy, but also in maximizing business opportunities for these enterprises. Technologies for MSMEs should aim at fueling innovation and business agility. The buzz around the disruptive forces of Social, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud have turned into a demand as these enterprises find themselves involved in a competitive push to be “cheaper, better, faster” than their peers. Technology has an impact on the exponential growth in adoption of smart devices on business. There is an increased popularity of social media and how MSME’s are leveraging it to expand their business. There is volumes of data being captured by businesses across customer touch-points that can be used to enhancing customer experience. In conclusion, we need to support and guide MSMEs in the digital environment so that they do not lack awareness, knowledge, and confidence in knowing which technology is relevant and beneficial to them. Technology should be considered in a holistic way and not just as ‘add-ons’ and ‘support tools’ as it impacts the long-term sustainability and competition. Being digitally capable is has a lot of benefits and let the innovation in technology rescue MSMEs.

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