Since 2012, NowFloats has been helping small businesses all over the country get discovered and grow online. This year, the company launched a new initiative called Digital Desh Drive as a part of its mission to get every local business online by 2020.
Prathibha Sastry (Ex-COO, MS Ventures & startup evangelist) alongwith Animesh Khan (Zinnov), Arpan Ramtek (NowFloats), Swapna Kucherlapati (NowFloats) travelled to 24 important cities across the sub-continent from Amritsar to Kanyakumari. During their journey of approximately 7000 KM, the Digital Desh team met over 200 people.
NowFloats has released, “Inside the Internet of India 2015 – A NowFloats/Zinnov Report” The report highlights how small and medium businesses are adopting technology based on the insights they gathered during the Digital Desh Drive.
The report was released in presence of Sharad Sharma (co-founder, iSPIRT), Karthik Reddy (CEO, Blume Ventures), Karan Bajwa (MD, Microsoft), Kiran Karnik (Director, RBI), and Anuradha Ramachandran (Director, Omidyar Network)
On the launch, Jasminder Singh, CEO & co-founder, NowFloats, said, “The Digital Desh is the NowFloats attempt to understand the rapidly changing technology behaviours across the country. With over 125K customers and 4M consumers a month, we certainly had lots of data and signals, but what Digital Desh uncovered surprised us significantly. The speed at which India is adopting smartphones and Internet is much faster than the general view. In many ways the Digital Desh has become an functional and UX spec to our product teams.”
- The team met roughly 200 people out of which only 5 didn’t had a smartphone.
- Retail businesses are using smartphones equally to interact with customers and the suppliers.
- Tier III cities are the largest adopters of smartphones and PCs for communicating with customers, managing business data and accounting related activities.
- Apps like WhatsApp are used in Vinglish (vernacular + english) to communicate. More than 80% of the businesses use WhatsApp for communicating with the customers. Its like WhatsApp is the new Salesforce for small businesses.
- There is a healthy trend of SMBs investing in technology tools across business process with primary focus on engaging customers.
- Ecommerce apps are used to check price trends of their respective products and drive a more competitive positioning.
- SMBs in the hospitality domain create targeting marketing and receive about 20X returns. On the other side, SMBs into wholesale increased their top line by over 2X by tapping into the
- “.com” continues to be the 1st choice of domain name among SMBs with or without websites.
- A third of SMBs use email or websites for marketing, rest are still dependent on the traditional ways.
- Cash is still King! Mobile wallet adoption has been lukewarm still, due to concerns about repatriation of digital currency into liquid currency and lack of demand push from the SMBs customers for the use of mobile wallet. However, Tier II Indian cities are the highest adopters of the payment technology for sales and transactions in comparison to others.
- SMBs from the Tier III cities are the highest adopters, and the users of conventional technology devices compared with peers in Tier I and II cities.
- Apart from the SMBs into Manufacturing, there is a healthy adoption of smart technology (smartphones) across verticals. On the other side, PC adoption is highest in the manufacturing vertical.
NowFloats has also announced second edition of the Digital Desh Drive which will be kickstarting in November from Kutch to Kolkata.