Technology is very diverse in its forms; one of its branches is Information Technology (IT), which acts as a boon for MSMEs. IT has a great impact on all aspects of life and it is transforming the global economy in terms of ways of doing business. IT has a huge impact on most industries and usage of these technologies is reforming the rules of business, leading to the structural transformation of enterprises and businesses. Use of correct technology for businesses can lead enterprises touch sky-high successes, as accurately stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity”.
Information Technology plays an essential role in escalating the profitability of the organizations. It also gives rise to competitiveness among the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) making them think about the research and development along with the availability of the latest technology. IT is a mechanism, which enables SMEs to respond to customers’ complaints and requirements efficiently by enabling information to be transmitted through various mediums including emails, telephonic, and social media channels. Enterprises can use various platforms of IT services for learning, marketing and advertising, selling their products and services, as well as trading, among various other uses of this technology.
The potential benefits of Information Technology to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are variedly known. It can enhance MSMEs’ efficiency, reduce costs and expand market reach, at domestic and international level. As the MSME sector plays an important role in the Nation’s economy, the sector benefits individual MSMEs collectively rendering into positive results, leading to employment creation, revenue generation and overall country’s businesses competitiveness.
It would not be wrong to say that majority of MSMEs hesitate to adopt the latest technology due to their lack of understanding and knowledge while selecting the correct technology solution for their enterprises, which affects their overall profitability. Such a situation is the result of a lack of skilled manpower to run high-tech machines and equipment, less trust in technology, and high capital investment for equipment. All these issues can be resolved by creating more awareness amongst MSME entrepreneurs and enterprises about benefits of technology adoption through trade bodies, as well as industry associations, helping them understand factors of transformation from conventional businesses to digitally active space.
In the present business ecosystem, a majority of global entrepreneurs talk about adopting cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), data-enabled systems, internet-based businesses, etc. to become more efficient, gain more trust from consumers and stand high over the competitions. However, there is still a need for more for Indian MSMEs to transform their traditional and conventional method businesses into an updated and contemporary business. From small towns to metro cities, a lot of MSME entrepreneurs are harnessing technology to innovate their products and services, thereby giving a boost to their business and encourage slow MSME sector to grow faster. Though MSMEs may have been slow to technological adoption, they are now actively embracing technology to revamp old businesses and even start technology-based businesses such as e-commerce, online services, etc.
To widen the scope of Information technology, the Ministry of MSME has been actively working towards ways to facilitate MSMEs and assist them through all the stages in the business cycle. For ease of doing business, the Ministry has launched a robust Information and Communications Technology (ICT) based Internet Grievances Monitoring System portal called ‘Champions’ (www.champions.gov.in). The ‘Champions’ stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength. The ‘Champions’ portal is a combination of technologies formed to help, guide, empower, ease and support the MSME sector of the country. Besides ICT tools incorporating telephone, internet and video conference, the system is enabled with Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning, to bring and tackle all grievances and suggestions under one-stop to help MSMEs. It is also fully integrated on a real-time basis with GOI’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME Ministry’s own other web-based mechanisms.
The Portal is packed with astonishing user-friendly features providing people with a fully integrated dashboard comprising organised data, the registration method is with OTP generation, for every grievance a new Complaint ID is created, different categories are available for users based on Association, MSME Unit, Would be Entrepreneur, etc. The Champion portal users can check all the grievances at one place on the dashboard as well as track the status of the same.
The Champions portal works on Hub and Spoke model comprising 66 State-level Control Rooms at offices of MSME- DI, BR MSME- DI offices, KVIC offices, NSIC offices, and Coir Board offices, which are impeccably connected with the Central Control Room at the Ministry of MSME, Delhi. The portal aims to help MSMEs in the present difficult situation due to COVID-19 lockdown as well as support them in future in terms of finance, raw materials, labour, regulatory permissions, etc. The system encourages MSMEs to capture new opportunities, as well as identifies potential MSMEs, who can become National and International Champions. The motto of the Champions portal is to solve problems of the MSME sector in the short run and create them as National and International Champions in the long run.
Article Originally Published on MSME website.