The SME sector in India has emerged as a crucial contributor towards the growth of the Indian economy by bestowing employment opportunities, exports and lending, innovation, and in the overall GDP. It is also considered as the backbone of the socio-economic development of our country.
In an exclusive interview with CRN India, Yvette McEneaney, Senior Director, Channel Sales – APAC, GoTo shares her views on the current macroeconomic conditions affecting the SMEs, her company’s plan to engage with the SME sector, the future of this segment in India and how GoTO will contribute in its growth and development.
- Can you share your insights on how the current macroeconomic conditions are affecting the SME industry in India, and what are the main pain points for customers in this sector?
India boasts the second-largest population of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally and is projected to contribute $2 trillion to the economy and generate 50 million new jobs by 2024. To meet these aspirations, SMEs must prioritise resilience, flexibility, and adaptability. However, in the last few years, various changes like adopting to new ways of work due to the pandemic, uncertain economy, and inflation have forever transformed the way businesses operate at different organisational levels including how SME business leaders think and set their business objectives today.
Macroeconomic conditions play a significant role in shaping the business environment for SMEs. Changing market conditions, customer demands, and trying to gain a competitive edge over the bigger players in the industry have always been challenging for SMEs. Amid an economic slowdown, today’s SMEs in India face similar fundamental challenges as enterprises anywhere else particularly due to their smaller setup, including limited budgets, skill shortages, and overburdened resources, regulatory complexities, and infrastructure deficiencies. Even in a tech-intense world when it comes to adopting technology for business efficiency, SMEs face challenges like lack of awareness about cost-effective tools in the market, technical expertise required to support their remote/hybrid workforce, the dynamic pace of digital technologies, data management and its protection, and more.
The increasing capabilities of new-age technologies like cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation are slowly making their way into multiple business use cases that include ease and security of integration into workplace IT tools. These IT tools are not only cost-effective but easy to deploy and use for SMEs with limited technical expertise and technology budgets. Such solutions have a tremendous impact on SMEs’ operational efficiency, reducing human labour, promoting transparency, quick decision-making, and much more. Furthermore, with new government initiatives and incentives to empower SMEs in the country, business leaders are slowly realising the importance of digitalisation and are expected to increasingly embrace it in the coming years.
- How does GoTo differentiate itself from its competitors in the Indian SME marketplace, and what unique value proposition does it offer to its customers?
According to GoTo’s IT Priorities Report 2023, 93 percent of Indian SMEs are looking to consolidate their IT tool stack to improve productivity and achieve cost savings. The survey also revealed that in India, the four main business objectives for IT decision-makers include growing revenue, improving operational efficiencies, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction.
GoTo is a leading provider of flexible-work technology solutions, simplifying IT management, support, and business communication through flagship products such as GoTo Resolve and Rescue. We make IT easy, anywhere, with easy remote management and support, and business communication software. GoTo’s portfolio in India helps securely support and connect businesses to what’s most important: teams and their customers. We are committed to building IT solutions that are simplified, easy-to-use, and provide maximum ROI for enterprises of all sizes. Our goal is to make technology accessible to all, which is why we design our IT tools with the end user in mind. GoTo’s intuitive and streamlined IT product portfolio requires minimal training, allowing our channel partners and customers to quickly onboard clients. Not only that, reliability and security are paramount for us, and we’ve built products like GoTo Resolve with a first-of-its-kind zero trust approach to remote access security like banking-grade encryption, Single Sign-on (SSO) and Active Directory (AD), Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), auditing and reporting. Additionally, we offer dedicated 24/7 support to address customer concerns.
GoTo’s simplified and easy-to-use tools provide an ideal solution for SMEs seeking collaboration, communication, and remote IT management tools to manage their dispersed workforce securely. With the most user-friendly interface, reliable performance, robust security, and competitive pricing, we empower SMEs to embrace seamless IT experience and maximise their productivity in this digital age.
- What are the new innovation/product developments at GoTo that caters to the pressing challenges of the channel partner ecosystem in the APAC region?
With over two decades of expertise grounded in creating software that enables flexible work, GoTo is a global leader in making workplace experience seamless and agonistic of time and location, fulfilling the promise of reliability, connection, and simplicity for tens of millions of people. We have experienced a significant 60 percent channel revenue growth in India last year which reaffirms the channel’s strong contribution in delivering exceptional customer experiences through GoTo’s IT products and solutions.
We at GoTo are actively pursuing expansion opportunities in India and SAARC, with a strong focus on enhancing our channel and product offerings. Our investments in the region have been substantial, and we have ambitious plans for further growth. Last year, we launched GoTo Resolve for Managed Service Providers (MSPs), a specific option of our flagship product GoTo Resolve tailored to help our partners offer their clients frictionless and secure IT support and enable them to exceed customer expectations. By tailoring marketing campaigns and maximising visibility, we strive to generate higher demand and sales for our partners. We also plan on allocating additional investments and resources to help our channel partners drive growth and attract new qualified leads.
Our recent India Partner Summit 2023 celebrated our triumphs throughout the APAC region, uniting industry leaders, product experts, and partners to exchange customer success stories and strategies that have collectively propelled GoTo and our partner’s businesses to new heights. The event not only acknowledged the remarkable contributions of our partners through awards and panel discussions, it also equipped them for the challenges that lie ahead in 2023 through our partner program and the many benefits and support on offer to help our partners on their journey to success. With India offering significant growth prospects, we are committed to working closely with our channel partners and customers to drive mutual success and unlock new opportunities for growth.
- With the Indian SME sector being highly fragmented, what is GoTo’s strategy to capture a significant share of this market, and what are your expansion plans?
Cutting-edge product innovation, channel partnerships, and customer-centricity are some of our key business objectives for GoTo. We build and provide affordable and user-friendly IT solutions tailored to the needs of enterprises of all sizes from SMEs to large organisations. Channel partners are a core part of our expansion strategy and by collaborating with our growing network of trusted partners, we are looking to further permeate the SME segment in India. Through targeted marketing, strategic alliances, and investments in our channel relations, we are dedicated to exploring new avenues for channel expansion and portfolio development to deliver exceptional value to our customers in the region.
GoTo’s SME-specific IT tools are built with their needs in mind to enable SMEs to improve their overall IT experience and make informed decisions to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Recently, we introduced over 30 new features across the GoTo IT portfolio, demonstrating our commitment to driving cutting-edge innovation. These include exciting integrations like Rescue with Google Translate and GoTo Resolve with Zendesk. Additionally, we have enhanced GoTo Resolve IT helpdesk by introducing a customisable ticketing portal that aligns with customer workflows.
Our solutions are particularly beneficial for enterprises of all sizes in sectors such as Banking Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Higher Education, and Healthcare, enabling secure connections and improved service. With advanced product development and continuous improvement, our aim is to empower our customers with greater productivity, cost savings, and usability.
- Can you share any success stories or case studies where GoTo has been able to help SME clients overcome challenges and achieve their business objectives?
Gartner reports that 48 percent of employees will work remotely at least some of the time in the post-pandemic world, compared with 30 percent before. With the rising prevalence of remote and hybrid work, businesses and their dispersed workforce encounter several complex challenges as stated before with regards to digital adoption. To address the current business challenges, GoTo’s suite of IT Support and Management solutions brings all the remote IT management capabilities under a single pane of glass. The tools we develop are the very tools we rely on to foster essential connectivity and IT management in operating a remote-focused workplace effectively.
We have a strong track record of helping SME clients as well as larger enterprises overcome today’s economic challenges and achieve their business objectives, and esteemed organisations like Gujrat Fluorochemicals Limited, Shahi Exports, and Suzlon have benefited from this solution.
One of GoTo’s partners, Sonata Software, is a great example of how our flexible and easy-to-use IT management and support solutions have aided their customers to achieve their respective business goals. In the last two years, as a leading digital engineering company that delivers cloud, data and dynamic solutions, Sonata Software has realised increased growth and customer retention using GoTo Resolve to strengthen their customer’s IT infrastructure.
Alongside providing adaptable pricing and subscription options, GoTo actively engages in research and surveys to gain deeper insights into the evolving requirements and preferences of remote and hybrid professionals. This ongoing commitment enables us to enhance our solutions and cater to the evolving needs of our customers. To maximise the value of our tools, GoTo offers comprehensive training and support resources, ensuring users stay abreast of the latest features and seamlessly adapt to evolving work patterns.
- Finally, what do you think the future holds for the Indian SME industry, and how do you see GoTo contributing to its growth and development in the coming years?
The future of the Indian SME industry holds tremendous potential, with the sector expected to contribute $2 trillion and create 50 million additional jobs by 2024. GoTo recognises this opportunity and is committed to contributing to the growth and development of the industry in the coming years.
We have already made significant investments in the region and plan to continue doing so in the future. Last year, we witnessed strong growth, including 20 percent growth in new customers and 14 percent revenue growth across our IT solutions, which highlights the effectiveness of our robust IT management and support portfolio. As mentioned previously, with the adoption of technology becoming crucial for SMEs to thrive, we will continue to innovate and deliver solutions that improve efficiency in their business processes and provide optimal value for their technology investments.
With the evolving equation between customers, partners, and providers, we recognise the importance of channel and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partnerships. These partnerships will be the catalysts for gaining market share across India, strengthening our brand among customers and expanding both at the corporate and product levels. As India continues to emerge as a prominent center for SaaS-based technology, with a rising number of SMEs and enterprises scaling up, we are poised to leverage this growth. By capitalising on the opportunities presented by this thriving ecosystem, we are optimistic about the future and committed to making a significant impact in the SaaS industry particularly to benefit SMEs and growing organisations.