Technology for MSMEs: Stressing on the significance of small businesses in India in the context of India’s potential to benefit from technology adoption and digitisation, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said MSMEs are facing bigger challenges as compared to large businesses. “It would be pertinent to note that SMEs are facing a bigger challenge than the organized large-scale manufacturing in the adoption of these technologies,” Naidu said at an event on Saturday. The Vice President said experts feel emerging markets such as India could leverage significantly from the increasing digitisation and interconnection of products, value chains and business models. This will result in operational efficiency and impact sectors such as automobile, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and financial services, he said.
The Vice President speaking with regards to adoption of AI, robotics, data analytics and challenges faced by MSMEs in adopting them, said the educational institutes play a critical role here. “In this context, the role of institutions such as IIITDM becomes very crucial. You have an important responsibility to create professionals specialized in ‘Smart Manufacturing’ to address the shortage of high-tech human resources in the country,” he said at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing (IIITDM), Jabalpur.
The gradual increase in adoption of technology among MSMEs also opens a great market opportunity for technology providers. From an estimated $30 billion in 2019, this market opportunity will expand at around 25 per cent CAGR to around $85 billion in 2024, a recent Zinnov report noted. Currently, only 53 per cent, that is, around $16 billion worth of $30-billion market has been tapped with respect to supporting small businesses with connectivity and communication tools, discoverability of their products, enhancing productivity and technology sophistication.
India’s MSME base is likely to increase from currently around 60 million to 105 million in 2024 out of which 90 per cent would be ‘digitally influenced’ from existing 70 per cent. This means MSMEs would have adopted basic digital infrastructures such as PC or smartphone and Internet and may also be listed on an aggregator portal such as Justdial or have a website or listed on a social platform or communicating through WhatsApp, email etc.