With over 500 million internet users, India is one of the biggest and fastest digital consumer marketplaces, but corporate participation is inconsistent. As digital capabilities increase and connection becomes more accessible, technology is set to rapidly and dramatically alter practically every area of India’s economy. This is expected to have a substantial economic impact as well as affect the nature of labour for millions of Indians.
How did turning digital help brands?
Let’s start by looking at one of the major names of the digital entertainment industries that turned itself into a big-league company that has over 8.5 million new subscribers. Of course, it is less than half of what Netflix acquired during the first quarter of last year when the COVID-19 pandemic began and lockdowns around the country forced people to find alternative forms of entertainment. Netflix had around 16 million subscribers at the time.
So what did Netflix, a DVD rental company that used to send their customers DVD’s over mail, do differently in the competitive entertainment industry? The answer is simple! It looked ahead of the curve at a time where the internet era was just developing and used digital platforms to curate its services according to the needs and preferences of its users.
1) Slurrp Farm:
Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik co-founded their organic baby food business Slurrp Farm in February 2020. Within weeks, that ambition was dashed when India imposed curfews to halt the spread of the coronavirus. As income dropped to near nil, the two entrepreneurs were forced to change and modify their strategies to stay in the market.
They began with two goods, cookies and infant cereals, and have now expanded to 17, selling in over 600 outlets across several cities and online. Slurrp Farm’s products also include packaged healthy meals and mixes for pancakes and dosas, etc. Until that moment, their revenues were evenly split between offline stores and e-commerce platforms. They felt it was time to change their strategy and sell mostly online.
Slurrp Farms is taking advantage of these developments. The company’s revenues are now double what they were before COVID-19, their cake mixes are popular, and they just concluded a fundraising round with Fireside Ventures, an early-stage investor specialising in consumer products. Slurrp Farm has also begun selling in Singapore and Europe in recent months and has sought a certificate from the US Food and Drug Administration to sell in the US.
Bata is a Czechoslovakia based multinational footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer formed in 1894. However, it has since spread all over the world, operating 40 production firms in 26 countries, operating 4,600 outlets that serve around 1 million consumers every day, and employing over 40,000 people globally.
Bata India’s net profit fell to Rs 37.60 crore in the three months to March from Rs 88.26 crore in the same period last year, owing mostly to the lockdown-induced slowdown in operations.
Bata will improve its online presence to grow sales, as the business anticipates that more consumers will turn to e-commerce in the coming months. According to India CEO Sandeep Kataria, demand for the company’s online store Bata.in is increasing.
As part of its efforts, Bata has diversified its products on Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra, and has also brought out WhatsApp shopping across the country. Customers may shop from home via WhatsApp conversations with Bata stores in their area.
Japanese Value retailer, Miniso, which launched in India in 2017, has grown in popularity as thrifty Indian buyers have welcomed its low-cost items such as accessories, purses, storage containers, stationery, fragrances, and so on, with the majority of them costing less than Rs1,000. As a result, it has launched in India’s main cities as well as tier-two cities such as Jalandhar, Kanpur, and Howrah, among others.
According to the firm’s India president, the company has established a partnership with Noida-based Achhacart, a B-to-B online distribution company that would offer the retailer’s items to other e-commerce platforms such as Paytm, Amazon, and Flipkart as a reseller.
Miniso backed out from the plan of opening 800 stores in India to just 60 and chose to move digital and grow its own franchised stores.
4) Goldmedal electronics:
Goldmedal Electricals, situated in Mumbai and with a turnover of Rs 1,400 crore, began establishing its own IT staff four years ago and is now working on its ERP system.
The firm has its application, via which all dealers may log in and view their financial transactions with the organization. Dealers get access to all the data, including inventories, purchases, payment, and agent schedules, at the touch of a button. Goldmedal intends to build another application that will link dealers with the site’s approximately 40,000 electricians to enhance the segment.
Why should MSMEs embrace digital?
Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format using digital technology. However, when used in the actual world, digitization has the potential to convert humanity into a domain that no one could have envisioned a century ago.
Because of government efforts such as Digital India, Skill India, and the JAM trinity, our country’s digital participation has skyrocketed. According to numerous indicators, India is well on its road to becoming a digitally active country. India already has one of the largest and quicker bases of digital consumers, due to the decreasing cost and increasing ease of access of smartphones and high-speed connectivity, and it is digitising faster than many developing and advanced countries.
MSMEs can search within themselves to determine what their company’s primary goals should be. This might include producing money to sustain and extend their business, delivering value to consumers, establishing a challenging environment for their goods, generating income to support and grow their businesses, and information protection. These goals can be attained on digital platforms easier than the offline markets. Since everything including registration to managing the financial aspects has turned digital it only seems fitting that MSME Digital Transformation is the way to go!
Moving towards a cashless experience:
A cashless economy has a fairly greater advantage in today’s scenario. It reduces money printing costs and eliminates counterfeit cash fraud. It is tough to track down cash. Cash can also be used for illegal operations such as tax evasion, misappropriation of funds, and so on. As a result, becoming digital with all transactions encourages a cashless economy. The government has launched several plans and programmes to encourage digital payments in small enterprises. Digital transformation for SMEs involves learning ways of going digital and learning tricks of managing finances online.
Documents saved in digital format and on the cloud significantly reduce costs. There is less need for office space, and stationery expenditures are lowered. Printing, processing, and storing use a great number of working hours and raises the cost of the output.
Overall productivity enhancements occur on a huge scale. All vital data is now immediately accessible on a device, so the organisation and its workers may access it at any time and from nearly any location. Storing data is one of the major issues that MSMEs face. This data might range from detailed financial information on stock prices, market data, effective contact with clients, and up to field employees who can transmit any changes immediately. SME digital transformation involves moving the enterprise data to digital platforms and making use of software that is compliant with government regulations.
Reduces security threat:
When interacting with tangible papers, there are several vulnerabilities to consider. Sophisticated current security constraints to secure data function extremely effectively across all businesses worldwide.
Digital transformation of MSMEs is not a goal in and of itself, but rather a means of improving business management and increasing efficiency. Currently, digitalization is not a choice, but rather a need if you want your company to be successful and profitable. The market has fundamentally changed as a result of the continual and rapid technological revolution. Consumers’ habits, wants, desires, modes of communication, and consumption have all altered. If you can’t read and grasp this new environment, no amount of money spent on the greatest technology and apps can help your firm.