[India MSME Summit 2021] How AWS is helping SMBs innovate, reinvent, and reimagine business operations

At YourStory’s annual India MSME Summit 2021, Raghavendran, Head of SMB Segment – Amazon Internet Services, says the future is at the intersection of technology, innovation, and cloud, and AWS is helping SMBs reimagine and reinvent business.

Seeing a massive opportunity to empower millions of SMBs across India and be a catalyst for accelerated progress, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has pledged to digitise 2.5 million small and medium businesses (SMB) in India by 2025.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has created unimaginable stress on the economy, the cloud computing service provider believes technology will drive the innovation agenda and be the game-changer for SMBs.

At YourStory’s annual India MSME Summit 2021, now in its third edition, B Raghavendran, Head of SMB Segment – Amazon Internet Services Private Limited, said, “The ongoing crisis [COVID-19] gives SMBs an opportunity to innovate and grow their business. The future will be where technology, innovation, and cloud go hand in hand.”

The SMB segment has made a key contribution in fighting COVID-19 by manufacturing various goods and keeping the supply chain running despite numerous challenges.

Delivering the keynote address on the topic “Cloud as a catalyst for innovation and re-invention”, Raghavendran complimented Indian SMBs on how they had adapted and reinvented to the new normal amid the pandemic. He drove home the point that technology was playing a huge role in driving innovation among SMBs and that cloud platforms have been the “key enabler for all this”.

“Cloud has democratised technology and innovation for all organisations,” he said.

Technology: the game changer

The Amazon executive also highlighted that studies had shown businesses that adopted technology during the pandemic witnessed a 6X rise in revenue, better employee engagement. and higher operational efficiency.

Raghavendran spotlighted Chumbak, an offline retailer that built its online stores on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and, driven by online campaigns, saw 10X growth in sales during the pandemic.

There were also similar examples, including traditional ice cream manufacturer Havmor or new-age fintech startup KreditBee, which had increased business efficiency or customer footprint with services being delivered through AWS platform.

“What is common to all of them is the way they have adopted technology,” Raghavendran said.

According to him, the learning was that innovation coupled with technology can help any SMB to reimagine and reinvent one’s business, which can lead to disruptive growth - in short, a multiplier effect.

Cloud platform and technology have emerged as the most viable path for SMBs to implement and - in the process - innovate.

“This [cloud] is not about just technology or cost saving; it is an innovation engine,” Raghavendran said.

Focus only on business

The shift to cloud enables SMBs to focus on their business core activity and leave all mundane tech-related tasks to the service provider. It also offers security, reliability, and scalability for these enterprises to adopt technology in much faster time.

Raghavendran pointed out that cloud also gives access to the latest technology like AR, VR, and ML, and - most importantly – makes available what is available to a Fortune 500 company to SMBs.

“AWS works with customers across industries and has one of the broadest, deepest cloud portfolios. We keep innovating daily,” he said.

Keeping in mind its mission to digitise millions of SMBs, AWS has come out with two offerings: Digital Suite and Sambhav.

The first option offers a software stack that includes common business functions such as GST compliance, payments, email management, accounting etc.

“These are available at prices as low as Rs 30 per month,” Raghavendran said.

Sambhav offers a host of native AWS services such as data storage, inventory management, sales forecasting.

“I would like to thank you (SMBs) for the immense impact & contribution and look forward towards partnering with you in your digital transformation journey as you embrace cloud to innovate and drive customer delight,” said Raghavendran.

Edited by Teja Lele