Technology is now an essential part of all businesses across all industries, however not all entrepreneurs and businesses have the financial and technical means to incorporate technology into their daily operations. This can act as an obstacle, especially on the way to transforming India into a $5 trillion economy. Consistent with thisArchanna Das, Chief Executive Officer of the ASCENT Foundation, shares some crucial aspects that every entrepreneur or micro, medium and small business needs to consider in order to future-proof their business models.
Understanding the plug and play model
Today, technology is not only necessary for service-oriented companies, but also for traditional manufacturing companies. However, many organizations are still constrained by the lack of funds needed to innovate and sustain their business models. This is where the plug-and-play model can be groundbreaking. The inherent embedded and integrated nature of this model provides flexibility and affordability, even allowing entrepreneurs to fully control employee-level information to maintain complete confidentiality. In order to understand which integration is best for their business, it’s critical that entrepreneurs and small business owners are supported by executives and technology professionals whose businesses have also gone through these kinds of changes. Sharing best practices, gleaned insights, and access to trusted toolkits will help organizations of all sizes integrate technology at greater scale and develop products at effective cost and with reduced turnaround time.
Choosing the right expertise
Choosing the right curated learning sessions and applying the insights to the various business functions is a key factor in the success of an organization. However, whether such training is delivered in-house through entrepreneurial toolkits from reputable sources or through external cohorts is a decision entrepreneurs must make. For example, an entrepreneurial toolkit includes various frameworks, tools, and templates needed to build, operate, and scale a business.
Likewise, the involvement of external consultants is necessary when expertise is needed or entrepreneurs lack the necessary internal skills, especially for diversification. This external perspective brings freshness to the approach that ensures MSMEs stay ahead of the competition. Also, experts bring diverse experiences, improve, collaborate and engage, providing a 360-degree view of the company’s operations.
The hybrid working model has made technology ubiquitous in all facets of an entrepreneurial endeavor. Especially when it comes to activities like human resource management, the technology enables a framework that manages the planning, forecasting and budgeting for smooth day-to-day operations. By using automation tools, entrepreneurs can develop and achieve strategic goals at low cost while remaining efficient. According to a recent study, 35% of Indian SMEs spend more than 10% of their turnover on technology. A variety of entrepreneurs use technology to create long-term solutions that span stakeholder management, marketing, supply chain management, and product development. For example, the advent of digital payment methods has also reduced reliance on physical banks and accelerated payment cycles.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are expected to create 2 million jobs over the next five years. Therefore, using technology to create democratic hiring practices will allow for a diverse talent pool. Likewise, feedback-based learning and constant innovation are key to long-term success. As most small businesses and entrepreneurs are diving into the technology pool for the first time, learning from one another and consistently improvising on existing technology is crucial to reaping tangible benefits.
growth of entrepreneurs
India’s culture of entrepreneurship has made the country the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. This is creating a generation of young entrepreneurs who are using technology to modernize their family businesses and transform traditional systems to create cost-effective, seamless and more automated ways of managing operations. Before the pandemic, SMEs were slower to adopt the technology due to high infrastructure costs. However, as technology has advanced, business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platforms, innovative payment solutions, alternative financing mechanisms, office management suites, and continuing education programs have emerged. Therefore, more and more first-time and even second- and third-generation entrepreneurs are gravitating towards advanced technology-based operations that streamline their business processes and reduce unwanted costs.
(The author is Ms. Archanna Das, Chief Executive Officer of the ASCENT Foundation, and the views expressed in this article are her own.)