As one of the crucial employers of our country’s informal workforce, micro, small and medium enterprises ( MSMEs) promote inclusive development for their beneficiaries. MSMEs employs people mainly from a rural background, therefore work towards the upliftment of the nation’s less privileged areas and its people.
Besides socio development, MSMEs contribute significantly to the Indian economy.
According to MSME Ministry data released on May 16, 2021, there are around 6.3 crore MSMEs in India which contributes approximately 29% towards the country’s GDP by its national and international trade. This sector accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the country’s exports.
Tale of two MSMEs:
Since their inception, these two MSMEs has promoted all-inclusive growth by generating employment opportunity for the people in different regions of the country.
Established in 2016 by Kanchan Vaidya, The Original Knit- a Gurugram based start-up, sells handmade woollen wear, toys and accessories for babies and toddlers. Started by employing the poor hill women in Himachal and now from Punjab and Delhi too, the brand has transformed the lives of its women employees who by receiving timely payment are proudly supporting their families now. The growth of this 5-year-old business has been phenomenal, with orders shipped not only in India but overseas too to the US, Canada, Kuwait, Belgium etc.
Another business- Olivia by Nisha is a Bangalore based clothing brand whose star item – ladies Kurtis for formal and informal looks, find takers in the both domestic and international market. Nisha’s venture employs 30 people directly. Her workforce includes workers from small towns of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Tamil Nadu who are proficient in textile designs like Ikkat, Ajrakh, Khadi, Screenprint, and Tie and Dye. Nisha procures the clothing material from these skilled workers for manufacturing the final product at her business unit in Bangalore.
The road ahead: digital transformation is the key
Owing to Pandemic and subsequent lockdown, many MSMEs are finding it challenging to ensure business continuity.
The reality of the covid-19 situation has made the above-mentioned businesses too adapt and adopt new measures to stay alive and kicking.
According to Nisha, going digital has helped in the growth of the business. Through digital adoption, that means taking her business completely online has helped her in better access to the target audience; in fact, digitisation has driven the exports too. Not only her customer base has expanded, but using a digital platform has made the business cost-effective too through better inventory management, increased use of digital payment, and making the marketing effective.
Nisha has seen an increase in revenue since they digitised the business.
To capture more customers, and retain the existing ones, Kanchan too has revamped the entire The Original Knit website during the pandemic time. She has digitised the entire business transaction, which she feels has made her dealings faster, efficient and safer too. Kanchan feels she has better control of the business process through digitalization.
Though there are a few hiccups in the path of digitization, like limited capital to adopt technology, finding skilled employees who understand digitization, among a few others; the government through its various schemes and programmes, and the tech companies through building exclusive tools for MSMEs can strive to provide support to MSMEs towards successful digitization.
Written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceInnovation