Empowering Bharat: The Role of MSMEs In Driving India's eCommerce Revolution

For India to truly realise its potential through MSMEs, the need for fostering growth through mentorship and knowledge sharing becomes essential.
Empowering Bharat: The Role of MSMEs In Driving India's eCommerce Revolution

The world is watching India's billion-dollar growth story unfold. It's not just impressive numbers; it's a testament to the unwavering entrepreneurial spirit coursing through the veins of every Indian citizen.

From bustling metros to remote villages, a wave of innovation is being unleashed across the nation. This isn't a pipe dream; it's the reality of New-age BHARAT, where millions of MSMEs are transforming the landscape. Take Adil Qadri, for instance. This young man from Gujarat had a passion for reviving traditional fragrances. This landed him on Shark Tank India, where his pitch wowed Vineeta Singh, who helped  him turn his dream into a nationwide sensation.  

While Adil's story exemplifies the power of our MSMEs of BHARAT, a challenge persists. To fully harness this potential, we must empower the backbone of our economy – the MSMEs. While India boasts over 63 million MSMEs, employing millions and contributing a staggering 40.83 per cent to the GDP and creating over 120 million job opportunities, their presence in the eCommerce landscape remains limited. Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, housing 49 per cent of India's startups, struggle due to a lack of digital literacy, limited access to technology and infrastructure, and complex logistics networks. Bridging this digital divide requires a multi-faceted approach.  

Simplifying Access to Technology and Infrastructure 

India is home to over 692 million connected Indians with their fingers flying across their smartphones with 80 per cent of them having a preference to shop online. This number is going to reach 1 billion in the next two years, and MSMEs, the growth drivers of our economy, risk getting left behind unless we bridge the technology gap.

Government support through tax benefits and subsidies for essential technology, combined with facilitating trade agreements and simplifying export regulations, can empower MSMEs. Collaboration with eCommerce enablement platforms can offer bundled solutions tailored to their needs, including pre-configured software, affordable hardware, cloud-based options, and marketing alternatives- a one-stop shop addressing upfront investment concerns.  

Fostering Growth through Mentorship, Knowledge Sharing 

For India to truly realise its potential through MSMEs, the need for fostering growth through mentorship and knowledge sharing becomes essential. Mentorship programmes involving industry leaders, successful eCommerce entrepreneurs, and experts can guide MSMEs. Online communities and knowledge-sharing platforms specifically designed for MSMEs can provide access to industry experts, successful case studies, and resources like e-books, webinars, and online courses tailored to their specific eCommerce needs.

India's ascent towards becoming a global manufacturing hub hinges on achieving the ambitious target of $2 trillion in exports by 2030. In this mission, the role of MSMEs becomes paramount.

Government initiatives like Digital India and Skill India are equipping MSMEs with the necessary digital skills and infrastructure. Furthermore, the Districts as Export Hubs initiative by DGFT paves the way for promoting eCommerce exports, creating a robust ecosystem for MSMEs to thrive. 

Financing the Journey: Unlocking the Flow of Capital 

Access to finance remains a major hurdle for MSMEs and addressing it requires a collaborative effort. The government can introduce tailored credit guarantee schemes and simplify loan application processes for eCommerce ventures.

Exploring alternative funding options through crowdfunding platforms and angel investor networks can provide additional resources. Partnerships with companies offering innovative financial solutions like Revenue Based Financing (RBF) with quick disbursal and easy repayment options, can further empower MSMEs. Consider this, India is home to over 5,00,000 eCommerce businesses, but traditional financing methods have long presented challenges for eCommerce entrepreneurs of Bharat. Offering a swift and efficient means of accessing much-needed capital, RBFs have been increasing startups’ growth by up to 30 per cent.  

Igniting the Spark: MSMEs building a Prosperous and Equitable Viksit Bharat  

The vision of Viksit Bharat demands a robust and dynamic economic ecosystem. In this landscape, MSMEs hold immense potential as the engine propels us forward. Their agility, deep-rooted local understanding, and innovative spirit perfectly align with the government's vision of inclusive and sustainable growth. 

Imagine a future where every chai-wallah and village artisan can leverage the power of e-commerce to showcase their unique offerings to the world. This is not just a vision; it's the promising reality of a thriving Digital Bharat, where MSMEs take centre stage.

Authored by Atul Mehta, COO, Shiprocket

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