Taking local to global: How Indian SMBs are thriving in global markets with technology

India has witnessed a rise of a strong entrepreneurial wave which is becoming stronger. In recent times, various small and medium businesses (SMBs), backed by technology, have been able to scale and serve customers across domestic and international markets. Automation, digitalisation and integration of latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, Internet of Things, and others, have enabled them to streamline operations, become productive and efficient, and cater to market needs with innovative products and solutions.

The Indian SMBs, thanks to availability of skilled labour at low cost, resources and government support, have gained a competitive edge. With deeper internet penetration, cheap data rates, affordable smartphones, they are now well connected digitally to global markets. Through seamless communication, they are now engaging actively with global customers and creating a strong presence across international markets.

Technology, the biggest enabler
In a digitally connected world, it has become possible to reach out and cater to a customer sitting in a different corner of the world with just one tap on the mobile phone. Technology has made communication seamless and with social media, the Indian SMBs have been able to expand their visibility across the globe. It has broken the barriers and enabled Indian entrepreneurs to cross borders and take their businesses to foreign markets. They are now able to virtually communicate with customers without personally meeting them and sell their products to them. Online meetings, instant file sharing with cloud, VR-based interactions, digital payments, among others have made it easier to support businesses to go from physical to digital and serve customers in various geographies.

According to a recently conducted ‘Microsoft SMB Voice and Attitudes to Technology Study 2022’, Indian small and medium businesses led their global counterparts on technology spend with about 35% spending over 10% of their revenue on technology. The realisation about the benefits of technology among them has resulted in an increase in productivity, efficiency, agility, resilience and helping them to become successful and compete with foreign counterparts.

As Indian businesses go global, it is also crucial for them to deliver excellent customer experiences to match expectations of global consumers. Apart from bringing businesses closer to customers, technology is supporting them in improving customer services. It is also serving as a tool to expand their presence and find more customers and markets with powerful mediums like social media, digital marketing, and many other channels which are far more convenient, accessible and affordable than traditional mediums.

The Indian companies have demonstrated their abilities to thrive in globally competitive markets really well. Additionally, government support with policies like Atmanirbhar Bharat is helping them in taking local to global. Low-cost production, innovative strategies, distinctive offerings, are some of the key elements which are giving them the needed edge in foreign lands. India enjoys a base of talented, young entrepreneurs who carry the potential and skill to take on global businesses. Their abilities have enabled them to build scalable businesses. Even the larger enterprises or corporates are acknowledging the disruption and need for a change in strategies to withstand it.

The small and medium businesses form the backbone of the Indian economy, if linked with the global markets, they can be benefitted from the great opportunities which exist and contribute to India’s economic resilience. The global customers too can benefit from their low cost, high quality products and services. The pandemic and global disruptions have made the world realise the importance of more trade partnerships and support to meet the needs of the world population. India, which supported the world with vaccines, medicines and essential supplies in the pandemic, now has the opportunity to take a step ahead and do more to serve larger markets and foster global collaborations, supported by technology.The writer is CEO, MVW-MSME Development Centre

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