Indian SMEs, Startups Have to Digitize Businesses Today, They Don't Have an Option

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Over time, SMEs have gradually learnt to embrace technology as they have realized the value of becoming tech-savvy. The newer generation of SME owners are now adopting methods that help in reducing costs and streamline operations.


Tata Teleservices has been on the forefront in the enterprise space providing integrated voice, data and managed solutions to large, medium and small enterprises. It provides integrated solutions that suit the needs of different industry segments and was one of the first companies to offer cloud services to SME business across the country.

Speaking on these lines, Joyjeet Bose, Vice President, SME Operations, Enterprise Business, South - Tata Teleservices Ltd, spoke to Entrepreneur Media about the hiccups faced by SMEs in adopting technology.

Cost Concerns

Talking about the common technology challenges SMEs face Bose said, “Most of the companies, whether startups or SMEs, the biggest challenge today is manpower and finances. Also, very recently most SMEs are also facing challenges while getting into the digital space. They are often in search of the right partner because they don’t have the in-house ability to embark on the digital space nor do they want to invest in this space,” Bose said that high cost of investments often keeps the SME sector away from adopting technology.

Focus on Karnataka

According to a recent Gartner report, the Government of India will spend $7 billion on IT products and services in 2016, an increase of 3.1 percent over 2015. Other than IT/ITeS which is at forefront digital adoption, many traditional sectors in Karnataka like education, pharma and healthcare, are going digital to stay ahead of growth curve.

Late in November, Tata Docomo Business Services, an enterprise service provider in India, highlighted its focus on Small and Medium Enterprises in Karnataka with special emphasis on digital transformation of traditional brick and mortar companies across various verticals.

On my personal opinion any segment of startup here wants to be technology driven. For example, Chai Point, a highly-digital startup that sells tea, he said. Bose also quoted startup clients that have gone from the middle segment to the high segment, like Byju’s and Flipkart who have gone digital.

“We are focus on every type of startup and want to evaluate them. We do not want to miss out any startup across country in the top twenty cities and also in the middle layer of cities,” he adds.

The need to go digital

Tata Teleservices initiated SMEs as a part of their business four years back. The company  today determined to empower companies of the pharma, travel agenecies, jewellery and ITES sector in cities like Coimbatore and more. The company also intends to look at empowering sectors within the hard-core manufacturing space that intend to use technology.

Bose feels that in general nobody has the option anymore. “One has to be digital to move fast. Everybody will go digital and we want to be there wherever possible,” he adds.

Bose said from owners of tea gardens to jewellery business owners,  everyone today wants and more importantly needs to digitize their businesses.