With the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of ebbing, small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India are under pressure to embrace technology and adapt to more innovative ways of operation, a survey jointly published by Google India and research firm Kantar revealed.
Among the 400 businesses across 16 cities who were respondents in the survey, 93% were facing customer-related challenges, while 63% reported a loss of revenue due to low demand.
Moreover, 58% of the businesses were struggling to meet their fixed costs, revealed the survey which was conducted to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown on small and medium businesses in India.
Around 30% of the respondents were clueless about restarting operations, while 29% were planning to adopt digital technology for their businesses.
In a world reeling under the impact of the pandemic, physical distancing has become the new norm. The study suggests that businesses will have to recalibrate their modes of functioning. As part of the measure, online payments and digital marketing solutions will become important aspects of new business models. The survey added that small businesses are mindful of that.
SMBs Look At Digital Marketing Solutions During Pandemic
The survey showed that while 60% of the respondents are willing to invest in digital marketing solutions, the remaining 40% want to seek help from technology firms for training which could help them stay afloat during the pandemic. Further, 79% were interested in learning about digital marketing solutions in regional languages.
“We have found that learning remains a big challenge, but a majority of the small and medium businesses are willing to learn. These businesses are looking for hand-holding from tech companies such as us in terms of digital solutions,” said Shalini Girish, director-India, Google Customer Solutions.
According to Google India, 26 Mn SMBs have a presence on Google Maps. There is also the ‘Grow with Google’ initiative where SMB’s are aided in the process of going digital.
An earlier Inc42 report had revealed that of the 75 Mn SMBs in India, more than 70% claimed to have been digitally influenced in their operations. The most overlapping use of digital technology by these SMBs was the use of mobile payment apps such as Google Pay and PayTM.
With around 42.5 million SMBs in India, both registered and unregistered, their survival through the adoption of digital technologies is crucial for India’s growth story.