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The Decade of Small Businesses: Digitising Today for a Brighter Tomorrow

At the recently concluded Small Business Virtual Summit, Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and SAARC, outlined a gamut of vital aspects SMBs need to focus on to successfully navigate through this new world.

July 24, 2020 / 11:49 AM IST

While 2020 brought with it several challenges and uncertainties, it also strengthened our resolve in adapting to change and becoming unstoppable. In his keynote speech at the recently concluded Small Business Virtual Summit, Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and SAARC, echoed this sentiment and emphasised upon how we can take the setbacks and turn them into opportunities.

As we entered into the lockdown a few months ago, Cisco India focused on leveraging technology to help its customers, communities, governments, and citizens. Garde shared a few examples of how Cisco used their technological resources to help frontline workers and governments to stay connected and seamlessly manage this crisis.

“In Bangalore, we helped train 25,000 health workers about COVID-19 related methodologies. So far, we’ve conducted over 8,000 meetings on WebEx for this. We have connected COVID-19 hospitals across India, so that they can coordinate their responses for this crisis. We’re also innovating with our partner ecosystem to develop unique solutions that can help our frontline workers. At Cisco, we believe that digitisation can be a force for good, an enabler of inclusion, and an equaliser of opportunity. We strive to bring the positive benefits of digitisation to everyone in the world. We’re committed to positively impacting 50 million Indians by 2025.”

Empowering SMBs in the new post COVID-19 world

Garde also highlighted the pivotal role of small businesses in driving India’s economy by providing employment, decentralising growth and boosting GDP. He spoke about how the current scenario opened up new avenues for digitisation and future-readiness, particularly for small businesses. “For any country, small businesses form the bedrock of the economy, especially so in India. Given the critical role SMBs play, they are fundamental to India’s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy. We need to find ways to jumpstart this sector quickly and carefully, the key to which lies in digitisation. According to a Cisco survey, the digitisation of small and medium businesses (SMBs) could add up to US$ 216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024,” he said.

With the right digital solutions, small businesses can seamlessly transition and adapt to current times. Garde further stated how digitisation can make 2020 the decade of small businesses, and charted out some key things SMBs need to focus on to successfully navigate through this new world.

“First, you need to think about what areas to divest from and what areas to invest in. Divest in areas that are not important right now, and make a strong pitch for areas you need to invest in. It’s important to conserve cash, and invest it in areas that will provide significant ROI in the future. Plan to pivot your products/services to cater to the newly dispersed and diverse digital consumer. Second, go digital. The new normal is witnessing the rise of a low-touch, contactless economy that necessitates the reinvention of existing business models. How you deploy technology at every touchpoint in the supply chain to future-proof your business is going to be critical. And finally, everything cannot be done by one SMB alone. You need to leverage partnerships and collaborate with others to emerge stronger from this crisis,” he concluded.

Watch the entire summit here to gather more insights on how to launch your own digital journey:

This is a partnered post.

Tags: #Features
first published: Jul 24, 2020 11:49 am
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