Technology for MSMEs: A whopping 55 per cent of the Indian MSMEs use mobile hotspots to connect to the internet for daily activities, finds the report MSME Digital Index by digital banking network PayNearby.
Released on National Technology Day, the report on trends in the adoption of digital technologies by MSMEs was based on the survey conducted among 5000-plus MSMEs in the retail space such as those owning the Kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical stores, customer service point, travel agents, among others.
The survey found that small business owners in the age group of 18-30 were most digitally adept, with over 75 per cent of business owners owning a smartphone to run their day-to-day activities. The report suggests that the uptake of smartphones played an important role in narrowing the infrastructure gap and driving tech inclusion to the last mile of MSMEs.
On the digital solutions front to manage business operations, almost 25 per cent of tech-savvy MSMEs used accounting software, followed by the Point of Sale software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at 20 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
Regarding financial services, the use of AADHAR banking and UPI services was the most prevalent in the sector. About 32 per cent of the owners said that technology adaptation helped them improve their business, while 28 per cent said that technology increased their sales and income.
The greatest barriers to technology adoption are its high cost (for 30 per cent of MSMEs) and poor connectivity (at 20 per cent).
On the report’s findings, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder MD and CEO, PayNearby, said, “The digital gap in the country is gradually getting bridged. Riding on the back of smartphones, the internet, and fintech, MSMEs at the last mile are increasingly embracing tech. However, this is just the start. We need to create a strong eco-system where not only access to technology is made cheaper and easier, but also provide an infrastructure where people can be skilled and their tech inhibitions and apprehensions suitably addressed. For this, technology has to be form factor agnostic, easy to use, easy to manage, and easy to scale.
According to the National Payment Council of India (NPCI) data, India recorded 8.8 billion UPI transactions valuing 14 lakh crore in April 2023.