The Business Today SME Roundtable in Bangalore - a precursor to the BT Best SME Awards - saw a rousing debate on how cloud and Saas technologies were helping small companies scale their businesses without the attendant high costs, and how this is helping them get on to a more level playing field with bigger companies. Of course, not everyone agreed, which is why this was such an engaging discussion.
Vivek Kulkarni, Founder & Chairman, Brickwork India, explains why he feels small companies can use technologies like cloud and SaaS to compete with their bigger couterparts.
Rajesh Jagtiani, CEO, Think7 Business Systems, says that while we have no issues sending financial documents on email, which is on the cloud, we have problems uploading them on cloud servers.
Aravind Melligeri, Chairman & CEO, Aequs elaborates on how cloud solutions can help small companies cut down on their costs of computing, and help them to go global in a cost-effective way.
Anant R. Koppar, Chairman & CEO, KTwo Technology Solutions says SMEs are usually influenced by friends and relatives on their choice of software and systems, but they should also explore what is available on the cloud.
Bharat Goenka, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Tally Solutions says cloud or no cloud is not the issue; the issue is whether you have ubiquitous connectivity. Connectivity will become the most important leveller.
In the recent past, the dip in air travel post the global economic meltdown in 2008 and severe financial crisis afflicting most airlines had affected airports across the country but CIAL navigated the lean period without taking a big knock.
Around 70 per cent of its revenues come from outside India, the US topping the list of foreign clients with 29 per cent, followed by West Asia at 28 per cent.
Everest Flavours exports 95-99% of its products, with demand from China - driven by the country's focus on food crops since 2008 - acting as a driving force.
In the past four years, its revenues have grown by 250 per cent and were $30 million in 2014/15, says Narayanan Ramanathan, Chief Executive of San Engineering and Locomotive.
Cigniti Technologies' revenue in 2014/15 stood at $63 million. The odds are in its founder CV Subramanyam's favour. The company has expanded at a rapid pace over the past few years.
Rossell India, which has the lion's share of its revenues coming from tea, has dealt with the twin blows at its plantations in Assam, but still says it will not stop acquisitions in the state.
Nitin Fire Protection Industries plans to achieve the target by growing organically and also by acquiring companies in the Gulf, Europe and Africa.
Despite the challenges, the 88-year-old company has expanded revenue by 10.5 per cent a year, on an average, for the past three years, helped by its diverse portfolio and pan-India reach.
A fourth of Forace's revenues come from its innovations, which are propelled by a specialised R&D team. It has developed a solid resin technology for use in the shell process in foundries, which is more efficient than the traditional liquid resin technology used in India.
The major chunk of Cravatex's business comes from Fila, the 1911-founded Italian sportswear brand that is now owned by Yoon-Soo Yoon, who was once its Korean licensee.
Established in 1991, Control Print has made admirable strides in the coding and marking industry. The company has a wide range of customers, including Holcim, ACC, UltraTech Cement, Unilever, Emami, and Tata Steel.
One of the largest producers of cotton seeds, including hybrid variants, the firm caters to 15 Indian states. And, innovation has been key to its success.
Symphony has a 50 per cent share (40 per cent in volume terms) of the domestic organised market, followed by Kenstar (35 per cent), Bajaj Electricals (15 per cent) and Usha.
Nearly 55 per cent of PMR's business comes from global operations. The tenure of a typical contract varies from one year to 10 years. However, some engagements are for the long term. The relationship with Bharti Airtel, for instance, is 21 years old.
State-run HSCC has managed to successfully crack a sector primarily dominated by private players.
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