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Revolutionizing SMEs: Unveiling New Avenues with Emerging Technologies

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By: Prerna Kalra, Co-founder, DaalChini Technologies

In the fast-paced world of business, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are no longer just dipping their toes in the water of technological adoption. They are diving in headfirst.

According to a report by industry body FICCI, SMEs have been utilising digital technologies for various functions, with 60 percent of them using it for human resources, 51 percent for sales and marketing, and 48 percent for finance. The use of emerging technologies has become more than just an option; it’s a strategic necessity for these businesses that are striving to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers and streamline their operations.

Integration for operational enhancement

To embrace emerging technologies is crucial for SMEs aiming to boost their operational capabilities. The rise in mobile and internet usage has led to a surge in digital financial inclusion, pushing SMEs to integrate technology across their various functions. Reports suggest that SMEs are making extensive use of digital tools. This proactive adoption speaks volumes about a sector that’s recognising and harnessing the transformative power of technology.

Unveiling opportunities with AI and data

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data are opening up new avenues for SMEs, particularly in reaching underbanked populations. The impending shift to 5G promises to bring innovative business models to the fore, driving the evolution of the industry.

AI helps small and medium businesses compete with bigger companies and international small businesses by making their products, services, and how they talk to customers better. Using AI with data can really change how advanced a small business is. A lot of companies in India are already starting to use AI.

According to the PwC report on ‘AI: An Opportunity Amidst a Crisis’, 45 percent of companies in India have increased use of AI due to the Covid pandemic.

SMEs shaping India’s tech landscape

As per the latest data, the technology industry in India, including hardware, is estimated to cross $245 billion in FY2023 with an 8.4 percent year-on-year growth. The technology industry has over 10,000 SMEs dedicated to providing either traditional or digital solutions to technology buyers. This subsegment will contribute an estimated $15-20 billion in FY23 revenues, comprising 7-9 percent of the overall technology industry in India.

Democratising technology with cloud computing

Cloud computing has leveled the playing field, allowing even the smallest enterprises to access cutting-edge technologies without the need for hefty investments. Its scalability and cost-effectiveness have brought about a revolution in the IT landscape of SMEs. The inherent flexibility of cloud technology enables SMEs to operate remotely, fostering seamless collaboration and a culture of productivity. This adaptability ensures responsiveness to market dynamics and customer needs. 

The road ahead: Promising growth trajectory

Looking ahead, the Indian tech SME sector is set for exponential growth, with forecasts indicating a substantial rise to $40 billion by FY30, tech industry lobby group Nasscom said in a report. The sector is expected to contribute 7–9 percent to the overall FY23 tech industry revenue at $15 billion – $20 billion, higher than the pre-pandemic share of the tech industry at 4-6 percent.

The convergence of emerging technologies with the ambitions of SMEs is paving the way for unprecedented growth and innovation. As pioneers shaping the future of business, these SMEs are charting the course for sustained growth and resilience in a dynamic market.

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