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BW Businessworld

Only One-third MSMEs Online

During the lockdown, It has been noted that most businesses are trying to move online. However, for MSME's digitisation is essential to stay afloat.

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The MSME sector is one of the major sectors massively hit due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. While there have been losses worth Rs 7-8 lakh crore, as per experts, government bodies are trying to push for relief packages for SMEs. Most companies are going digital but of the 63 million MSMEs in India, 62 percent are still offline according to Indian MSME Impact Report 2019. 

Sandip Chhettri, COO, TradeIndia, an SME/MSME focused B2B marketplace said  " Out of these 63 million, only 32% are digitally engaged. Such businesses must change their strategy and should adopt digitalisation to survive in the long run. The business that has a digital presence will grow faster as people will avoid meeting each order and social selling will be the new normal. As more and more people will be spending time online it will become more important for SMEs/MSMEs to take a digital approach."

The need of the hour is to have a website to showcase products and services and also facilitate accepting payments online because of social distancing. The various startups already working in this area to support SMEs should look at digitalising their business operations via cloud-based billing solutions, believe experts. 

Chettri further added, "While we don’t know when the current restrictions on travel and commerce might end, we do know they will end—or at least relax somewhat. However, the lasting impact Coronavirus will have on consumer behaviour remains to be seen. As the situation changes, an online presence remains the most effective method of understanding and responding to customers’ needs now and in the future."    

While currently, MSMEs are facing the brunt of the current lockdown, they are also facing the challenges including credit unavailability, unskilled labour and taxation issues.

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