On the occasion of World MSME Day, Sridhar Vembu, CEO and Co-founder, Zoho Corp. said: “MSMEs form the backbone of any economy, contributing significantly to the GDP growth and creating employment for a large segment of the population. In India, MSMEs are well-positioned to revive industries like textile and help create manufacturing hubs for everyday items that we consume. Various initiatives from the government under schemes like Digital India and Make in India, have pushed digital adoption in MSMEs. This can help in improving efficiency and productivity, while creating room for investing in research and innovation. As more MSMEs emerge across the country in diverse locations, they can help in revitalising rural areas and turn them into economic powerhouses.”
Zoho works closely with MSMEs to create digital literacy, help them overcome resistance to technology and digitally transform, while also providing skill development and technology counselling. Zoho has a dedicated programme—Zoho Empower—that works with MSME clusters.
Also, check out Faiz Askari and Sridhar Vembu’s exclusive Interaction which was highly rated SMEStreet Podcast of 2021.
One of the small businesses that leveraged Zoho’s technology to digitise its operations, and pivot during the pandemic is Kalpataru, a small retail shop selling pooja (ritual) items in Guduvancheri, near Chennai.
Bhavani Sai Venkat, a former nursery school teacher, started Kalpataru in April, 2021. After exploring multiple e-commerce platforms that charged hefty fees, she discovered Zoho Commerce, and set up her store kalpatarutrading.com in a matter of weeks on her own. “When I started exploring ways to manage and engage with the website traffic, I discovered SalesIQ and PageSense that allowed me to study visitor behaviour and engage with them through chatbots,” said Bhavani. She started mapping visitors who showed interest to Zoho CRM using rules and workflows, and started engaging with them through email newsletters, informing them about new products and offering exclusive discounts.
Bhavani switched to Zoho One which provided her access to 45+ apps at a better price. She tracked orders through Zoho Mail, conducted interactive online sessions—such as singing contest for children during festivals like Navratri—on Zoho Meeting, and used Zoho Survey to gather feedback. “I had access to all the apps I needed to increase customer satisfaction and optimise customer touchpoints. When I first set up the online store we had about 600 visitors. We started promoting the store using Zoho tools during festivals and received around 27,000 visitors. Even without having a tech background, I could easily learn to use these apps. The seamless experience with Zoho One made our business process much simpler and easier to handle,” she adds. Over time, all these measures have helped Bhavani convert small orders into bulk orders and establish herself as a successful small business owner. Video here.