Digitalization of Small & Medium Enterprises

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the pillars of Indian economy contributing to a large share in the country’s GDP and employment. Industry 4.0 is the new phase of industrial revolution where automation and data exchanges will develop the technologies and transform the industries to become smarter and self-driven. Digitalization is a road map for the industries to implement new technology or to reengineer their existing technologies to embrace new changes and impose a sustained and unified growth in the sector.

MSMEs contribute 29.7% to the GDP and 49.66% to Indian exports as stated by Hon. Minister of MSME’s . They are also considered as significant direct and indirect employment generators. The same is true for many global markets. According to the World Economic Forum, these small businesses across South-East Asia contribute around 52% to 97% of the employment in the region. The Government of India’s vision is also to increase MSMEs’ GDP contribution to 50%. This goal was easily attainable before COVID-19, but the pandemic has created clouds of uncertainty.

The first and foremost challenge in digital transformation is the availability of tech talent. MSME’s confront problems related to access to affordable, skilled manpower to build, manage the digital infrastructure. Small businesses that are still using the brick and mortar models need experts and digital tools to help them transition their basic processes- supply chain, analytics, marketing, accounting, amongst others. Hiring is even more challenging as it involves substantial costs. One out of the box way to address this could by setting up a freelancer talent portal on a pay per use model. Indian freelancers with their excellent digital skills have already made a huge impact in the global freelancer market. In a similar way a talent portal with freelancers listing their skills will give MSMEs access to skilled and specialised talent. On other hand, Indian tech talent can make their services available to these MSME’s to generate additional income working on a part time basis. Additionally, the Government in partnership with the industry can launch an upskilling programme where rural tech talent can be trained and their services made available at an affordable cost.

Given these challenges, it is critical to build upon the digital literacy in MSMEs to ensure that they make optimal use of the technology-enabled platforms. With their inherent capabilities to grow, digital transformation could be a suitable solution to help truly realize the potential of this sector.

Digitalization through Cloud Computing for ICT adoption, Big data, Machine Learning, Data Mining & the Internet of Things (IoT) could improve quality of products and services, standardization of their business processes, ERP, accounting, manufacturing design and regulatory compliance’s including GST transition, adherence to environmental emission limits prescribed by SPCB/CPCB.

Digital Solutions for MSMEs in Assam

Digital Axom Foundation will come up with a technical program for MSMEs in Assam to enable them for automating their business processes with latest ERP and CRM tools using digital platform, IoT, Cloud and Big Data. This proposed digital platform will be available to business houses in Assam at a very nominal fee . We will also conduct free workshops , trainings for MSMEs on digitalization.