- COVID-19 has increased adoption of tech solutions by SMEs
- Devices are driving solutions for SMEs; B2B payments still a pain point
A recent survey by Kotak Institutional Securities showed over 50 per cent of the SMEs reported a year-on-year decline in revenue in FY20 with more than 30 per cent of these seeing a decline of over 10 per cent. With receivable cycle stretched and lack of low cost financing, COVID-19 has turned nothing short of a death blow to many. During these difficult times, Deskera, a cloud-based ERP solution provider for SMEs, says it is seeing an increased adoption of mobile-based accounting and tax solutions in the last three months.
Shashank Dixit, CEO of Singapore-headquartered company, which started in Pune said, "In the last three months nearly a million SMEs have started using our applications. In a survey we conducted recently, most SMEs said they were using an application for accounting for the first time."
Though SMEs form the backbone of India's employment, the rate of adoption of technology driven solutions for efficiencies has been low. Dixit says that the SME technology landscape has been stagnating for the last two decades. Out of the 50-55 million-odd SMEs that are in the country, the number of desktops in India are less than 20 million.
"For an industry that employees 400-450 million people, only one in 10 have a computer. With less than 5 per cent of employees having access to computers, this number hasn't improved drastically," he said. While admitting that most companies in the space have been making a mistake of putting all the applications on the computer, what has been changing is that unlike earlier software-centric solutions, today devices are driving the infrastructure, adoption and applications, which in turn, are driving the adoption of GST and e-commerce etc. Easy B2B payment solutions is still a critical missing link that he further points out.
Deskera recently launched a super app that helps SME business owners manage customer relationship, human resources and their accounting needs . "Today SMEs have better access to phone-driven technology and if we make technologies available on phone, the chances are that the adoption will go up. It has happened in our case," said Dixit. Unlike the popular perception, the solution is free and is chargeable after a certain usage number or transaction value. Every SME, he says, is happy to pay and not cut corners as long as they are gaining efficiency or making money out of it.