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Why technology is the only path to sustained growth for MSMEs 

The Economic Times , Jan 15, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic catapulted the majority of Indian businesses to shift online to scale up and succeed, with small business owners waking up to the need of technology as the only path for sustained growth.

However, the majority of India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), that employ over 120 million people and contribute significantly to the GDP, unfortunately, are far away from reaping benefits of digitalisation.

Already reeling under the lack of access to credit and inability to leverage newer technologies like cloud computing, IoT, consumer analytics, the MSME sector was further hammered by challenges of business continuity and reduced cash flows due to the pandemic.

Small businesses don't necessarily have the resources to make large investments in technology but the disruption has made them realise how adopting to digital can help them take advantage of opportunities in today's changing environment. Even as MSMEs are struggling for survival, it is crucial to evaluate what the Government and technology companies can do to help small businesses carve out a growth path for themselves.

For the economy to recover from the adverse effects of this pandemic, the MSME sector needs to form the bulwark of the revival plan. The Economic Times Digital Payments Forum presented by Mastercard aims to start a dialogue on how digital technology and small businesses can profitably marry.

The imminent panel will have Akhilesh Tuteja, Partner & Head, Digital Consulting, KPMG India, Shashank Kumar, Co-Founder and CTO, Razorpay and R Narayan, President, FICCI-CMSME, Founder & CEO, Power2SME as speakers to raise concerns faced by Indian MSMEs.

Sandeep Malhotra, Executive VP, Products & Innovation, Mastercard, Prakash Mallya, VP and MD, Sales, Marketing & Communications Group, Intel India and Dr KP Krishnan, NCAER will also join the panel as speakers.

The Dialogue “Technology in Small Business – The Path to Sustained Growth” will deliberate on the digitisation of SMBs/SMEs and how the adoption of digital payments will shape the future path to sustained growth. Other key areas of discussion include:
  • Affordable innovations which tech companies can deliver to small businesses
  • Beyond ease of transactions, how can digital payments help SMBs ride the wave of economic recovery?
  • Policy interventions to help reduce the digital gap between large and small companies.
  • How digital tools can help SMBs derive greater insight into customer preferences and drive effective engagement.
The dialogue will be moderated by Alokesh Bhattacharyya, Senior Editor, The Economic Times and Suchetana Ray, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times.