Coronavirus: about 30pc MSMEs enhanced digital presence during the lockdown, says report
About 30 percent of Indian MSMEs launched a website or enabled ecommerce functionality since the coronavirus-led lockdown was announced on March 24, a report said on Friday.
According to a survey conducted by IT company Endurance International Group (EIG), more than 50 percent of MSMEs embraced video conferencing tools to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.
MSMEs, who were earlier hesitant to adopt or invest in technology, today, have no choice but to digitise their businesses. The companies with existing ecommerce operations contributed an approximately 50 percent increase in the business’ total revenue. Also, for MSMEs in retail and educational services, increase in revenue contribution from ecommerce was 53 percent and 65 percent respectively, the report said.
In a separate report by management consulting firm Zinnov, out of the 75 million MSMEs in India, 16 to 18 million have a social media presence, an online listing, or a website. However, out of five million domain names registered in India, only half have a website behind them.
According to EIG, a lack of technical expertise and the perceived costs of developing a web presence continue to be the key challenges to creating a digital presence. Due to these challenges, very often MSMEs take assistance from web professionals, it said.
However, one-third of respondents confirmed that they are temporarily shutting their business until normalcy resumes. This pause in business is more prominent among MSMEs in metros cities, and those in the retail and manufacturing verticals.
A majority of MSMEs, nearly 60 percent, believe that it will take up to six months for business to return to normal.
“COVID-19 has forced everyone to rethink daily life. In response to the lockdown, MSMEs who could embrace digital presence were able to keep some semblance of normalcy and continue to serve or engage with their customers. This crisis has made it imperative to digitally transform our places of work. We are fortunate to be able to aid businesses in their digital transformation journey through our products and services,” said Manish Dalal, SVP and General Manager, Endurance Group - APAC.
Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is one of the worst affected sectors amid the pandemic, which has compelled small business owners to make adjustments, and walk on the path of digital transformation to survive in the ‘new normal’ in the post-COVID-19 era.
Experts have predicted that it is going to take at least a year for MSMEs to recover from the economic crisis posed by the coronavirus. The year 2019 saw a general slowdown in the economy. However, the pandemic, and the subsequent lockdown, further pushed the financial health of the economy to its knees.
The survey was conducted over the first two weeks of June to understand the digital trends among small businesses.
Edited by Suman Singh