SMEs should adopt e-commerce route to tap growth opportunities
With the increase in internet usage, online payment systems and rapid development in the telecom sector, the e-commerce business is flourishing globally. India is also witnessing a positive trend with favourable investment climate, incubators and start-ups. But, unfortunately the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country are not participating actively in this growth story.
“The retail showrooms are following the marketing style of online shopping portals and sending message alerts to the customers about their offers. The brick-and-mortar stores are facing pressure from the e-commerce firms. Slowly, the heat will come to SMEs also. Instead of viewing it as a threat, see it as an opportunity. This e-commerce platform provides a gateway to new avenues,” Telangana ITEC Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said.
Jayesh Ranjan was addressing a seminar on “E-Commerce and Business Opportunities” organised by The Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI) in Hyderabad on Friday.
Citing the numbers given by Dun & Bradstreet, Ranjan said, only 16% of SMEs in India have minimum digital engagement such as an e-mail id. This is mainly due to lack of awareness and proper guidance. The denial attitude towards technology adoption is another reason for low digital presence in the country. Small entrepreneurs think that the online market is meant for tech-conversant people.
Giving an example of a success story, he said about a woman entrepreneur who began her career in bridal make-up by opening a Facebook page a few years ago. Later, she cashed on the digital market by investing in a website called ‘Pellipoolajada.com’. Thanks to the reach of the business through the website, the lady now employs over 600 employees and has operations in several cities in the country and abroad.
Referring to the impact e-commerce would have on traditional ‘mom and pop stores’ in India, he said, “e-commerce would disrupt many more traditional businesses but industry bodies should support SMEs by providing practical suggestions for their economic growth. These associations can bring millions of SMEs into the e-commerce fold.”
Ravindra Modi, President of FTAPCCI said, “All the world is a market-place for e-commerce firms. Any business that has relevance to a broader audience that is distributed across multiple geographies, can boldly venture out beyond its traditional ‘brick and mortar’ model and adopt a ‘click and order’ model. This mode of online trade is picking up as it overcomes the constraints of time and place.”