As the world adjusts to the ‘new normal’ brought forth by the pandemic, businesses have found help from every corner of the ecosystem with a collaborative mentality ruling the market. Even the most remote areas in India are now seeing internet penetration like never before thanks to the rise of digitised small businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
With over 574 Mn active internet users currently, it is estimated that India’s monthly active internet user base will reach 639 Mn by the end of 2020. This outweighs most large markets and naturally, the attention of the whole tech world is on how India’s tech and SMB industry will recover.
Naturally, there is still a lot of untapped potential with the next wave of internet consumers and businesses coming up. If we talk about just the horizontal SaaS market that is helping digitise SMB operations, the estimated total market opportunity is well over $8.7 Bn, according to a recent analysis done by Inc42 Plus. Out of which 22% or roughly $1.9 Bn is from the retail SMB segment.
With social distancing norms in place and customers preferring ecommerce and D2C brands, areas such as contactless checkouts, improved digital payments and delivery order management are poised to see immense growth and scale. Furthermore, our analysis revealed that the productivity unlocked by digital applications could also create up to 65 Mn jobs in India by 2025.
While SMBs are progressively tapping the opportunities in the online landscape, this has come with its own set of challenges for them. A joint report by Google India and Kantar revealed that while 93% of them were struggling with customer-related challenges, the other majority is under severe pressure to digitise.
This is where tech giants are playing a major role, by not only assisting in tech adoption but also helping them reach a wider audience more efficiently and effectively. This focus of the tech giants on SMBs and startups from the country, providing products, guidance, mentorship as well as capital, to help them not only survive but also grow in the current conditions.
Some prominent names amongst these giants are Amazon, with its $1 Bn investment decision to support the digitisation of SMBs as well as the ‘MSME Accelerate’ programme, Google’s Digitization Fund, Walmart’s Vriddhi Supplier Development Programme and Dell, which has dedicated programmes, computing products, software solutions and personalised partnerships for small businesses.
Dell’s Small Business Month
With a deep understanding of the pain points of small businesses, the tech giant has taken various initiatives that help SMBs not only overcome the hurdles of tech adoption but also understand what will work best for their particular needs, such as:
- Small Business Security — data backup and cybersecurity to protect the business information
- Small Business Services — financing, deployment and equipment maintenance
- Small Business Innovation — the latest tech products to help boost productivity
- Small Business Productivity — optimised software to increase efficiency and productivity
Apart from these host of solutions from the tech giant, it has an initiative called ‘Small Business Month’ (SB Month), which it launched over three years ago. “ Our programs for our small business customers are focused on talking about our solutions and support services. As part of the SB Month initiative, we take the opportunity to thank our small business customers for the essential role they play in our business and communities. “said Ritu Gupta, marketing director, Dell India.
In the past, Dell has debuted new, full-funnel creative campaigns, large experiential events and discounted pricing on its products for SMBs, during this month. This year, it told Inc42 that while the key elements remain the same but ‘the look and sound will be much different due to the environment driven by Covid-19’.
Below are a few aspects of this year’s SB Month that tech giant is focussing on:
- Drive awareness about Dell’s solutions for all of its small businesses’ tech needs
- Build on last year’s success and come up with more offers for its SMB customers
- Increase awareness of its small business tech advisors
Through this focus on the SMB sector, Dell has helped many businesses not only counter the challenges hindering their growth but also scale up with ease through the company’s years of association.
An example of the impact of Dell’s services is the 2013 founded healthtech startup, healthi. The startup says to have helped users in over 250 locations across India make smart choices regarding their health and wellness. Dell’s Small Business Advisor programme guided the startup in its scale-up journey and growth. It has been leveraging Dell’s SMB solutions to figure out the right approach for sustainable growth since its initial days and today has a team of over 80 employees and all of them use Dell computing products.
The tech giant, with a focus on the Indian SMBs, is set on shining a spotlight on the innovations, products and services from the sector. For the same goal, Dell has built solutions and services that work for the SMBs and help them overcome any tech-related challenges. An example of that is its Small Business Advisors, guiding these businesses to adopt tech solutions and leverage them for growth and scale efficiently.
Apart from that, it has previously also launched a Small Business Solution Centre in Bengaluru, which also includes solutions from other tech giants such as Intel, McAfee and Microsoft, and other major software vendors. Designed on the lines of a coworking space, it is a platform where entrepreneurs can meet, network, collaborate, and showcase their products.