How 5G Technology Will Revolutionize SMEs in India? 5G is a technological leap that will bring together a major transformation of business models for all SMEs

By Aastha Singal

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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises make up for the strongest sector of organizations in the country. Considered conventional in their approach, SMEs have been overshadowed by the explosion of the startup ecosystem and promotion of digital acceptance. Needless to say, technology has become the core factor for all business to survive today.

The cheaper data and smartphones have furthered the need for digital inclusion in all aspects of business dealing. According to a recent report, online service users poised to increase to 360 million in India by 2022. With more and more customers going online, it has become inevitable for local service providers and SMEs to upgrade them.

India, specifically, has emerged as a mobile first, digitally driven economy. Having accepted online payments long back, the nation is now keenly awaiting 5G. The much-anticipated technology will add to speed and efficiency with which people will get served online and can possibly work towards revolutionizing SMEs.

Utilizing 5G

Research by Ericsson had revealed that internet users all over the nation are keenly waiting for the launch of 5G. "One in three smartphone users in India will change with device for 5G compatibility immediately or within six months. This clearly demonstrates a demand for faster and more capable telecom networks that can take care of the rapidly growing data traffic in India."

5G is not just another development in mobile usage. It is a technological leap that will bring together a major transformation of business models for all SMEs and in all sectors of the activity, exclaims Bhavin Pandya, CEO and Co-Founder, Play Games24X7. "5G will allow more users and devices to be connected at the same time. Simply put, more customers mean bigger business opportunities."

Adding onto about the requirements for smooth customer support and services, Pandya suggested that the operators need to be fully mobilized to support and develop solutions for the businesses. India's evolving internet driven ecosystem is being led by companies that are leveraging mobile internet to provide meaningful services across different platforms like e-commerce, payments and apps.

"The core reason for online product growth is convenience and accessibility. Indian companies are going global with SMEs acquiring customers by being online. The SMEs are driving this growth of e-commerce and offering services that can be availed online," Pandya provided. With growing computer literacy, SMEs are only going to grow in future.

Startups as Enabler

As per the KPMG report on "Impact of Internet and Digitalization on SMBs', it stated 68 per cent of Indian small and medium businesses are offline with only 2 per cent have an active online presence. Pandya accused lack of awareness, limited availability of digital skills and underdeveloped infrastructure for the dearth of internet adoption.

"Digital skill limitation (also) plays a major role in holding them (SMEs) back. Startups can act like a bridge that connects these SMEs to the consumer. Having the infrastructure, knowledge and digital awareness, it helps to take an offline business and make it grow, by simply taking it online." For most of the SMEs, the biggest challenge is to reach their target customer.

Customer acquisition needs a lot of investment into marketing which most of the SMEs can't afford. "Start-ups could help to bridge the gap between SMEs and their potential customers while also saving large marketing expenditure," stated Ankit Tayal, the Co-Founder of Step Industries. 5G technology will give a major boost to SMEs since fast and reliable communications is vital for small business' productivity, profitability and success, he added.

Automation is the Key

Automation is the need of the hour. While SMEs are already digitally managing their customer information and using social media activity for their business needs, it must automate different segments of its business for better efficiency. Several of the SaaS and digital organizations are helping customers automate a significant part of each of their processes at affordable monthly fees.

The CEO & Founder of Sulekha, Satya Prabhakar stated, "SMEs have adopted digital technologies far faster than corporates with respect to their customer acquisition and retention strategies. Growth of Chennai-based Zoho in acquiring millions of customers in a short period of 3 years in India shows the hunger than SMEs has in using an easy-to-use CRM."

The consumer today needs things fast and doesn't like errors. Managing all customers smoothly with manual processes is nearly impossible. To change the game, automation is the only key. With adopting the right technology, any task big or small becomes easy to manage. Decision making that is core to any business becomes seamless, with the right information, available at the right time. If a business wants to grow today, it must be automated.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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