In the pre-covid era, online commerce was quite prevalent but always met with resistance for several reasons primarily influenced by the traditional mindsets. However, the pandemic led to a global crisis and impacted businesses across the world, especially small businesses, which were yet to embark on their digital journey in full swing.
To ensure continuity in operations, while adhering to social guidelines for safety, it became imperative for businesses to think of new ways to march ahead, which accelerated the online and digital way of doing business, leading to transformation in action through digital commerce.
As work from home and learn from home gained popularity, the routine lives of common people witnessed a drastic change, with technology playing a key role. This also encouraged the customers to explore the option of access from home, which meant increased online sales for businesses.
Today, more businesses are exploring digital commerce as a platform to explore new markets and establish their presence. Thus, it is becoming imperative for MSMEs to leverage the benefit of digital commerce and new age finance & technologies that can help them fight current challenges and become future ready.
As per the data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), formal and informal Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) comprise over 95% of all firms and account, on average, for 70% of total employment and 50% of GDP. Over 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development amongst the foremost priorities for many countries around the world.
This focus on SMEs led the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, to declare June 27th as Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy.
Studies and surveys in India showed that approximately 95% firms were impacted negatively due to national lockdown imposed in April 2020, while 70% of businesses remained disrupted till August 2020. Even after progressive unlocking, reports suggest that almost 40% businesses remained interrupted till the end of February 2021.
The three critical barriers faced by MSMEs pertained to market access, productivity, and access to finance for liquidity. However, it was observed that the MSMEs which embraced digital and ecommerce platforms in time could survive and were better off in sailing through the turbulence due to the unprecedented situation of covid.
The future of any business lies in innovation, especially in the wake of the changing business dynamics across the globe. All the key enablers and drivers of businesses require the complete overhauling considering the compelling requirements of the new age business patterns.
Designing integrated online platforms for ease of operations, innovative financial products which offer a smooth, speedy and affordable access to finance and affordable technologies for enhancing productivity and energy efficiency will determine the future business continuity and growth of any business.
Echoing with the above, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising the maiden edition of the Indian MSME Growth Summit, at the occasion of International SME Day, on 27 – 28 June 2022, at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi. The theme for the summit is “Maximizing MSME Outreach for Business Development and Sustainability” with focus on technology, digital commerce and finance.
Scheduled on the International MSME Day, the summit will bring together the stakeholders to deliberate and understand on how India’s MSME ecological community is gearing and preparing itself for the new challenges that lie ahead and how can MSMEs leverage the innovative digital platforms to drive their business growth not only for basic sustenance, but for overall sustainable development leading to nation building.
The sessions will explore and discuss financial inclusion, digital commerce, technovations, E-commerce & D2C, private equity and venture capital. A special session has been scheduled on the Digital Saksham Project that will focus on how micro-enterprises in different clusters can explore new digital tools to transform their businesses and integrate into the digital economy.
To be a part of the CII Indian MSME Growth Summit, register at https://cam.mycii.in/OR/OnlineRegistrationLogin.html?EventId=E000058324