73% Indian SMBs confident of bouncing back post Covid: Report

Over 73 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India are confident that they will survive and bounce back post Covid-19, said a new report on Wednesday.

The “HP Asia SMB Report 2020” showed that Indian SMBs are more confident than their Asian peers in bouncing back after the pandemic as the regional average stood at 60 per cent.

This confidence is reflected in the fact that almost two-thirds of respondents from India believe that this period presents a good opportunity to reformulate the business strategy.

Half of the respondents believe that the pandemic will ultimately bring opportunity, but in the longer term.

More importantly, SMBs in India recognise the importance of going digital to revive their businesses.

Three-quarters of the surveyed businesses believe that digital adoption is essential or very important to their success, said the report.

“SMBs are critical to our economy as they contribute nearly a third of our GDP and generate employment for millions. The ongoing pandemic has impacted SMBs as much as any other segment,” Ketan Patel, Managing Director, HP India Market, said in a statement.

“But the agility and flexibility in their operations, coupled with the adaptability to changing business environments and customer needs means they can bounce back far more quickly.”

Indian SMBs have also recognised four key aspects that will help them best to bounce back using online tools, flexible work options, advice on strategy and innovation at work.

The research showed that growth correlates with how a company values digital adoption for its success.

Of SMBs that reported good business growth in the past year, 56 per cent see digital as a lever for success, with only 14 per cent considering it of low importance.

“A key finding from the research is that the more a company values digital transformation, the more positive they are about future growth, and nowhere in Asia is this reflected as strongly as in India,” Patel said.

The survey also touched upon key challenges that Indian SMBs have identified as roadblocks on the road to recovery.

While global instability tops the list of concerns, it is less pronounced in India than the rest of the Asian countries surveyed.

Other challenges include adequate cash flow, accessing finance and leveraging digital tools.

For the study, 1,600 SMBs completed the survey between May 26 and June 7, which comprised 200 interviews in each of the markets: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.