In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Rajiv Gupta, CEO of eProcBay, emphasized the value that automated solutions can offer to the SMEs.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
According to you, what are the unique qualities of Indian SMEs?
SMEs in India have a huge amount of diversity. SMEs in manufacturing have different way of thinking towards business than those in the services sector.
Categorization within SMEs is very important. Understanding the nature of an SME becomes crucial, as each sector has its own unique way of doing business. For example, a majority of the SMEs in manufacturing are operating as vendors to OEMs. These OEMs are usually large organizations. There is a smaller section of manufacturing SMEs, which are operating as product companies. In this category, organizations manufacture their own product and market it accordingly. However, between these two categories within the same segment - manufacturing - there is a huge difference in the way internal business processes are implemented.
With regards to adoption of processes, what trends do you witness among SMEs?
Awareness regarding the utility of business processes is catching up among Indian SMEs, but there is still a long way to go. Implementation and execution of processes is indeed a challenging issue among SMEs.
Manufacturing SMEs, which are working as contract manufacturers or vendors to large OEMs, have to comply with certain standards. This forces them to adopt best practices, including building internal business processes. However, manufacturing SMEs with their own product to market tend to have a lesser focus towards internal processes.
How can these challenges be dealt with effectively?
I believe that automation of business processes is an effective solution to the challenges faced by SMEs in building internal business processes.
Defining roles of each individual employee is very important in implementing efficient business process. Automation helps in defining roles of individual employees, making the business processes easy to handle and access for the entire working environment of the SME.
What is the value that automated business processes provides SMEs?
There are several advantages of having automated business processes. First and foremost is the fact that automation brings transparency and efficiency in the way the organization works. A transparent and efficient business environment is always very useful for the entrepreneur or top management. Secondly, automation also helps organizations in lowering their dependency on a single individual.
What are the trends you witness in the adoption of automated business processes?
The only strong trend we are witnessing is that SMEs are getting interested in specific automated processes rather than off-the-shelf CRM, business intelligence or ERP. SMEs are adopting specific automation tools for processes like finance management, inventory management, sales force automation, supply chain, payroll and HR module, among other aspects. However, more importantly, SMEs are in need of easy-to-manage solutions rather than complex ones.
How has your business journey been for you so far?
We started our business in 2008. We spent about three years in product development. From July 2012 onwards, we started marketing our solutions, and we have been getting a great response to them.
As of now, our main focus is on 15 industrial clusters in six different states of the country. We have around 50 installations so far.
What are your plans for 2013?
We are excited about the way our solutions and services have been recognized by our customers. In 2013, we will be expanding our customer base. We will be focusing on our existing market base, and will also add new regions.