How Emerging SMEs in India Can Use Technology to Compete on a Global Scale

7-23-2013 11-57-13 AMEarlier this year, I was in India and had a chance to spend time with colleagues, SAP channel partners, and our customers in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and also the city of Pune, located approximately 120 km (75 miles) from Mumbai.

Pune represents one of the fastest-growing cities in India, with a large number of emerging businesses focused on the automobile, manufacturing, government, education and IT sectors. Speaking to the members of the Pune Chamber of Commerce and our local channel partners, I learned that many of the companies across India were doing business on a global scale, and that more and more they were turning to technology and innovation as a way to help them compete with larger, global players.

I was recently reminded of my conversations from Pune when I read the results of the “SMEs Equipped to Compete” survey findings released a few weeks ago by Oxford Economics and SAP, which showed how small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) face many of the same challenges as multinational corporations.  In India, the study found that 77 percent of small and emerging companies are focused on new geographic markets.

Almost 60 percent of the surveyed SMEs stated that technology was a key differentiator for their company to help them improve efficiencies, extract actionable insight quickly, reduce costs, and strength customer relationships. Technology was also crucial for SMEs to connect across borders to other firms via online business networks. Clearly, innovation represents a major advantage that SMEs need to compete effectively and grow.

SAP has long been committed to the success of small and emerging companies, which represent over 80 percent of our customers, close to 200,000 companies worldwide.  Our solutions such as SAP Business One, an integrated and affordable application, help SMEs manage all aspects of their operations – from customers and sales to accounting and financials.  Additionally, with some of its latest innovations, SAP Business One is a great foundation for SMEs to take advantage of cloud, mobile and in-memory computing to yield advantage equal to and even greater than their larger peers.

Further illustrating SAP’s commitment to SMEs in India, SAP will be hosting an extraordinary SAP Business Forum on July 30 in Mumbai, India. The forum will showcase the latest innovations for SAP Business One, present more insights from the Oxford Economics study, and provide an opportunity to interact with other SAP Business One customers, partners, influencers and senior SAP executives, including Gerhard Oswald, member of the SAP Executive Board, and Bernd Leukert, corporate officer and executive vice president of Application Innovation.

Recently announced survey findings by the Oxford Economics research program, sponsored by SAP, show SMEs around the world are making major changes to their business models, products and go-to-market strategies. Respondents came from 21 countries around the world, with the total of 2,100 responses evenly divided among the countries. For more detailed information about responses from India, please view the country-specific fact sheet and infographic.

Sona Venkat is vice president of SAP Business One Marketing.