For the longest time, the Small and Medium Enterprises in India had stayed away from technological advances. With their conventional ways of doing business, SMEs have often looked at advancing with customer acquisition and not necessarily by implementing the technological developments from around the world.
However, with the Government of India’s more and more emphasis on being digital, SMEs too have been forced to look at going online for solutions to their problems, while also building products online. Coming to their rescue are B2B start-ups who are looking at SMEs as their consumers.
Entrepreneur India takes a look at start-ups that are helping SMEs save money with their technological advancements.
For SMEs, reach and marketing becomes a big deal. Customer acquisition be it B2B or B2C, needs a lot of marketing which in needs SMEs to invest a lot into it, but they aren’t ready for the same. Spotting the opportunity in the same, there are various start-ups that help SMEs find consumers and build more trade relations. Connect2India is one such platform that helps businesses find each other. Similarly, Nowfloats helps SMEs find consumers and are engaging in encouraging conversation between the two.
With GST rolling in, there is a greater need for SMEs to stay compliant. But given their record of shying away from technology, the need to put their documents and records together and that too on an online platform, became a task. Legal tech start-ups or those in taxation like Lexplosion or ClearTax, reached out to SMEs, empowering them to go online. With their GST special products, they also helped start-ups understand the GST process, thus saving them a lot of money which they would otherwise spend on hiring an agency to do their taxes.
Putting their Financial Foot Forward
Keeping in mind that their main focus is on building the business, SMEs often find it difficult to look at the financial side of it. While banks and other financial institutions have been coming up with quite a few plans for SMEs, it also brings about a sudden inflow of choices, which confuses the business owner. Start-ups like Numberz are offering end-to-end financial solutions to SMEs.
Aditya Tulsian, founder of Numberz said, “Historically, majority of a bank’s business banking services were limited to large corporate clients as the cost & effort required to offer these to SMBs was prohibitive. We are leveraging cutting edge technology stacks to seamlessly deliver these to the SMBs in a way it integrates with their business workflows, hence solving their biggest pain point around cashflows.”
Improving their Business Operations
In their process of reaching out to a larger base of consumers, SMEs have also been looking at shifting their business processes online in order to save time and money. Startups with their tech are offering better business management to SMEs. Logistics tech startup like Loadshare for example, is looking at creating a tech platform that makes way for smoother and faster business operations while also providing for possibilities of expanding their network and branding advice.
Procuring Raw Materials
For SMEs in the manufacturing sector, one of the biggest investments lies in the procurement of raw materials. Often equipments or raw materials come at a higher price, that is not easy for SMEs to afford. They turn to banks for loans or other unauthorised sectors to borrow money to afford the same. Recognising this problem, start-ups are creating “buying clubs” for them. Power2SME states that raw material procurement is approximately 70 % of recurring costs of a manufacturing SME and thus they are creating a network of manufacturers of equipments for SMEs. Another startup OfBusiness too enables SMEs to get secured and unsecured credit line & cost-effective raw material procurement.