MSME’s Tryst With Technology

Technology is a great “object” (as used by psychologists) that fills a void in people. Almost everyone flirted with it. MSMEs are in the midst of the excitement and trouble of this affair.

Why is it good to have an affair with technology?

Technology is intelligent, it calculates, it is faster, it does more than any human can do all the time, it thinks, it emotions (yes, with great advances in the discovery of human emotions through AI) and it makes decisions for and instead of People . It’s mercury and it changes every few days. Plus, there is a mystique about it to someone who is not knowledgeable about technology.

The thought of fiction yesterday is reality today. There is almost a parallel world in which people live. One dreams of that too.

You want to use technology, and you can get rid of it for a better one in a very short time. You are just as connected to technology as our kitchen and the oven. There is also worry about spending too much or too little on technology, and most (and of course MSMEs) are not fully informed of its value as they come in a variety of shapes and forms and their value is difficult to standardize.

There are advantages. Our research shows that an early adopter of technology would grow 1.5x faster and 2/3 times faster than those who didn’t. Users typically have a 20-40% difference in cost-to-serve for the products / services they sell.

Who wants an affair with MSMEs?

Thanks to Tally, Microsoft, Google, SAP, Dell, Intel, Amazon, Jio, there was enough incentive for MSMEs to adopt technologies for basic transaction processing, connectivity and needs.

Thanks to players like AWS and GoDaddy, MSMEs are learning to use technology with a digital look and personality. Thanks to players like Zoho who focus all of their suits on SMEs. Thank you to players like Zinnov, D&B, Big 4 and some other boutique consultancies who are raising awareness, connecting, activating, engaging and educating users about what to do and what not to do and why when it comes to using technology and they use the power of information from, for and for MSMEs.

Thanks to GST, Aadhar and UPI projects, MSMEs have started to learn legal transparency. Thanks to public procurement portals, MSMEs have the opportunity to trade digitally.

Thanks to over 100 tech startup companies in India that have brought technology into agriculture, nutrition, education, payments, financial services, marketing, sales, sales, supply chain, manufacturing, human resources, and more. Thanks to hundreds of digital strategy, marketing, technology consulting and execution companies that want to advise MSMEs on digitization, cost reduction and increased sales.

Thanks to B2B and B2C platforms such as Alibaba, Trade India, GlobalLinker, Power2SME, , Smart Buy from HDFC Bank, YONO from SBI, Bharat from Government, Opportunity Network and many others encouraging MSMEs to go digital for market access.

Thanks to several gig and advice platforms such as Flexingit and many others, MSMEs have started to seek advice using digital platforms.

Quickly trained in technology, the young people can understand how technology thinks, acts, and uses it.

Well, thanks to the pandemic, MSMEs have started using violence and need to flirt with technology!

Secrets, relationship and money problems in technology matters

Our experience shows that data transparency is still the main fear of MSMEs today, regardless of the acceptance trends we see in the market. We estimate that most of the data we get from MSMEs is 70-90% accurate as millions of these MSMEs still maintain 2-3 records today to avoid taxation. Before GSTN, this factor was 30-40% times higher, which was a scary situation. While technology may be adopted, the changes in MSME behavior to achieve superior data accuracy and consistency would make them really effective. As in most matters, what is revealed is different from reality.

Second, there are issues related to the management skills to manage data, business intelligence from the dashboards that the technology helps the MSMEs. It’s like two lovers have a great rendezvous and then they both find out what exactly they got out of that meeting! The way entrepreneurs deal with technology requires a thorough understanding of what to do with the results of the technology.

Third, MSMEs often don’t know how much to spend on this matter. Basically, they view it as an expense, while technology providers sell it as an investment because of its long-term impact and the reality MSMEs perceive after using technology, which is somewhere in between. As with most big things in life, it is difficult to put a price on it and define its value. This affair is no different.

(Samir Sathe is Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Advantage at the Wadhwani Foundation. Views are personal)

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