The Indian e-commerce market is one of the fastest growing in the world, and is estimated to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026. It has transformed the way businesses are carried out in India, especially in the last 20 months, hand holding small businesses to leverage online platforms to access wider audiences, scale-up production, and accelerate digital transformation.
The significance of the MSME sector is evident from the government’s numerous initiatives to boost its growth, making MSMEs more robust, competitive, and resilient in the national as well as in the global scenarios. With the need for accelerated digitization across sectors, brought about by the pandemic, it has become crucial to incentivize MSMEs to leverage the opportunities of e-commerce to digitize, move online, and build digital infrastructure that better facilitates technology adoption.
In a session organized by India SME Forum (ISF) to extoll the virtue of e-commerce to local and small sellers, Mr. Dhanendra Kumar, Former Chairman, Competition Commission of India, spoke to over 1200 sellers part of ISF Gujarat chapter, emphasizing how e-commerce is a great leveler between large and small sellers, presenting an opportunity to serve customers beyond the immediate locality. He highlighted that it provides an accessibility to hassle-free cross-border trade, enabling exports through already established infrastructure and supply chain.
During the discussion, he also mentioned about the PM’s $400 bn target for exports and how e-commerce will be an important channel to achieve the same. According to a recent NASSCOM report, ecommerce exports will be USD 125 billion by 2030. Therefore, it becomes the need of the hour to help local products gain access to international markets through e-commerce and simplify compliances and regulatory requirements for e-commerce exports. He said, “Digitalization is the only way to increase exports and accelerate domestic growth in the country. MSMEs should create e-commerce profiles, accept digital payments, use advanced analytical tools, improve logistic services, integrate shipping services, and effectively use social media platforms to leverage their growth.”
Mr. Kumar also brought in the importance of global marketplace players like Amazon with programs such as Local Shops that enable small sellers to increase their footprint, or ‘I Have Space (IHS), a last-mile delivery program. It is evident that programs such as these have been able to empower and unlock the entrepreneurial potential of many mom and pop kirana store owners, who deliver for Amazon to supplement their income.
He concluded by saying that Indians are already leading the charge in major corporations globally. Hence, it is essential for Indian businesses to follow suit and take advantage of the opportunities that come with the onset of the festive season and cater to the increasing demand and purchasing power of the economy.