What are the key business challenges that SMEs face?
According to my observations, Indian SMEs face two types of challenges - one is about people and the second is about finances. Skilled manpower is the biggest pain point for SMEs. Somehow, SMEs lack in the areas of employee hiring and retaining strategy.
What is the status of marketing and branding among SMEs?
SMEs want to do a lot of things, but they work on limited resources. They needed to have clarity on subjects like effective marketing. Although branding and marketing are very important for an SME’s growth, owners show less action towards these areas. There is a lot of scope to do better work in the area of marketing and branding for SMEs.
What market trends do you witness among SMEs with regard to newer business dynamics?
The market is growing rapidly, and being an optimistic individual, I see lot of positive trends in the market. For example, with the advent of modern retail, any small company can take their products to a super market where they can directly compete with the products of any large company. This is a great opportunity for any small business in the FMCG space. Secondly, reaching out to the target customers is also not very expensive anymore. With the advent of internet and social media, the cost of marketing has also came down. Tapping target customers has also become easier for SMEs.
What are the roadblocks in the adoption of newer means for marketing?
SMEs have to be adaptable towards change. Sticking to conventional means of business processes is a common problem among SMEs. Mindsets towards branding has to changed. Openness towards innovative ideas is required among SME owners.
What are the key components of branding that SMEs should keep in mind?
Entrepreneurs must be made aware of the core objective of branding. It is highly recommended to create a positive impact outside the business. Three things have to be kept in mind for branding – building trust, credibility and visibility in the market. These three goals of branding can be achieved by engaging with the end customers.
What is the ideal RoI on marketing ?
Marketing must be viewed as a long term initiative. Based on my own experience, efficient marketing can increase revenue three fold. These results can be achieved in a period of approximately two years. Efficient marketing can also help the company increase its pricing and at the same time, the market consumption can also increase.
For instance, I worked with a company in food processing sector called Mala Foods Products. Their revenue increased to Rs. 45 crore from Rs. 15 crore. This transformation has taken around three years.