‘Internet has Transformed SMEs, Now it’s Time to Grow Beyond’
India’s leading digital marketplace for local needs with 75,000 SMEs base and over 5 million connections and transactions per month is vastly focused on the Indian SME segment. The portal is considered to be among the pioneers of Internet medium for small businesses. In an exclusive interaction with Satya Prabhakar Founder and CEO of Sulekha.com, Faiz Askari of SMESTreet found some interesting trends and findings of this market.
The edited excerpts:
You have been part of Internet revolution since long. Please share your observations with regards to Internet consumption trends among SMEs?
The first part of digital disruption played out in the 90s, when the Internet’s rise overturned traditional forms of distribution and commerce. From an industrial economy, we are now in an information economy where the rules of business are changing. As we have celebrated 25-years of Internet, all of us have witnessed great traction towards Internet by the Small and Medium organizations. It is imperative to understand the critical role of SMEs in India’s economic success as well as Internet’s role in SMEs’ own growth.
According to you, how is Internet becoming a key enabler for SMEs in India?
With conservative marketing budgets, SMEs find it difficult to scale up their businesses and run profitable businesses. The power of the internet has provided many opportunities for small and medium businesses to market themselves on a shoestring budget. Digital platforms like Sulekha.com have helped such businesses grow with as low budget as Rs. 3000. We have a great focus towards SMEs and we are getting great participation from this segment.
There are several online marketplace platform, how is Sulekha is differentiating itself from the competition?
There are several online platforms available in the market. Many of them are doing good. It is because of the fact that competition in the market has reached to a very dynamic level. SMEs which could be smaller in size but are competing with larger organizations. Thanks to Internet, SMEs are able to come forward and present themselves in front of their targeted market segment. This has created a great dynamic pool of competition as well. We at, Sulekha.com offers an interesting business/marketing model to SMEs to help them successfully run their businesses. With a one-time registration, Sulekha.com is able to help SMEs (with lower marketing budgets) to reach out to its target customers, provide lead generation and eventually help them grow.
What are the key areas of priority for next 12 months at Sulekha?
We are focusing on Mobile and mobility platform. If you see our business evolution, we have always committed to add the value to the end customer. We will continue to work on this mission and we understood that mobile has become very important end point for the businesses as well as for consumers.