NEW DELHI, INDIA: “Majority of SMEs would come online and use self serve models for business in next two-three years” was the key takeaway from the SME Conclave 2013 organised by IndiaMART.com in association with TiE Delhi NCR at India Habitat Centre, here recently.
Vineet Nayar, vice-chairman, HCL Technologies gave a start to the Conclave with his keynote address full of anecdotes that inspired the SME audience to have the wherewithal to take risks and move up the chain.
Speaking from experience of working closely with SMEs, Dinesh Agarwal, founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com opened the keynote address by bringing the spotlight on the challenges SMEs face and the need to empower them to make them future ready. The Conclave had over 200 SMEs in the audience
Echoing the sentiments of SMEs, panel discussions were held at the Conclave. Some of these interactive sessions were on technology as an enabler, elements for scaling up – funding, people & outsourcing, and building access to SMEs.
The discussions at the conclave suggested that embracing technology was the need of the hour for SMEs to drive business growth and for internal efficiencies it was important that SMEs make use of internet and online marketplaces like IndiaMART.com to access markets and easily identify buyers, suppliers & channel partners for their businesses.
The online marketplace serves as a complete ecosystem that SMEs need and catalyzes business opportunities for them. Social media also emerged as another internet tool that SMEs can adopt to build awareness among their target audiences and also drive engagement. Moving to cloud was also highlighted as a cost-effective medium for them.
On scaling up, three key elements – funding, people and outsourcing – were discussed. The key takeaways included: need to build a robust business model and a good team before going in for funding; creating a balance in delegation and keeping a control, and understanding own process well first before outsourcing them.