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Microsoft focused on Indian SMEs

 
Rajiv Sodhi, Director – SMBs at Microsoft India shared some interesting insights related to Indian SME market in an exclusive interview with Faiz Askari, Editor – North, SupportBiz.com. He stated that the company understands the growth of Indian small businesses and caters to the segment with a diversified portfolio of technology which complements them.

 

What importance do Indian SMEs carry for Microsoft?

SMEs are a very active component of the Indian economy and Microsoft considers them an important business segment. I also feel that the next tranche of growth will come from SMEs.

What is the market size of the Indian SME segment according to Microsoft?

The definition of SMEs varies vastly according to the Ministry of MSME. According to MSME ministry data there are approximately four million to 30 million MSMEs operating in India. As a breakup of this number, around 40,000 SMEs have between 100 and 1,000 employees. As an organization we target a vast pool of SMEs. At least they must have a basic IT set up, for example, computers/laptops or a basic level network.

What value does Microsoft offer to such SMEs?

Microsoft acts as a one-stop shop for the entire IT automation requirement of MSMEs.

From software, windows servers, networking products, SQL servers, SharePoint servers, small internet portals, CRM, ERPs we have a comprehensive product portfolio which can fit at various levels business growth for technology adoption. We understand the growth of typical Indian small business as we cater to this segment with a diverse portfolio of technology which complements their growth.

According to you what are the key trends in this segment with regards to technology adoption?

Although, we are witnessing good traction towards technology adoption but India is still far behind terms of technology adoption among SMEs when compared to developed countries. Having said this, Indian SMEs are on the right track.

Basic infrastructure is improving, bandwidth availability and affordability is becoming more favourable for most of MSMEs operating in India. These are some driving trends for technology adoption among Indian SMEs.

Another key factor that is having a positive effect on the adoption of new technology in the SME segment is mobility. Businesses have understood the utility of employee mobility. Use of smart phones, tablet PCs and laptops is rapidly increasing among SMEs.

We have entered into a new era of business where businesses are expecting better delivery of services, user friendly experience, productivity oriented technology solutions.  

India is a price sensitive market. How do you look at this aspect while approaching SMEs?

There is no doubt that cost is a driving element in SMEs' technology adoption. But in due course of time, perceptions have changed. The market has evolved quite a bit, prices have come down, and people’s perception towards technology has also changed. So both the graphs are coming closer to each other making it possible for us to accelerate technology innovation for this segment. 

Having said this, entrepreneurs are usually very price sensitive, they expect a clear value from their investment. From a technology provider’s standpoint it becomes very crucial to deliver a clear return on investment.

Managing IT infrastructure is also a big challenge for most of the SMEs. What is a most appealing way to tackle this challenge?

Yes, we understand the limited resources that typical Indian SMEs carries with them. Managing complexity in IT infrastructure often becomes very challenging. As a solution for this problem, cloud computing can be considered as a valid option. In today’s scenario, cloud solutions are playing a key role in making the technology more user friendly, accessible and manageable for the users.