The Indian SME sector hopes that the economy will rebound in 2021 so that they can leave the nightmare of 2020 behind. SMEs can only thrive by implementing digitization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to streamline their businesses and better understand consumer behavior. Below are some companies that are helping SMEs in that direction.
Turning kirana stores into fintech clusters
Founded in 2016, PayNearby provides easy access to financial services to people in every corner of the country. The company aims to have 50,00,000 stores across Tier I, II and rural towns in India. Using Aadhaar card and mobile phones, the company wants to transform the nearby retail stores into fintech clusters. So far the PayNearby app has 22 services. The popularity of this app went up during the pandemic as the company helped customers get anything from groceries to money. At present there are over five lakh retailers on PayNearby app who sell various services and products.
Shopify shows the way
Founded in 2006, this Canadian company allows people to set up an online store and sell their products. Globally, Facebook Shops relies a great deal on a partnership with Shopify Inc. and its array of commerce tools for small businesses. Shopify has also made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create “shoppable” video ads that drive customers to online stores. The company which has its presence in 175 countries, started operating in India 2013. It lists more than 1000 partners across India. The numbers grew significantly during the pandemic. Small sellers, which retail mainly through Flipkart and Amazon, have now joined hands with Shopify to directly connect with consumers. The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) has partnered with Shopify to help its around 4,500 members set up their own online storefronts.
Transaction made easy
Since its inception over 15 years ago, payments and banking solutions provider Sarvatra Technologies has been developing innovative banking products, switching and payment solutions addressing the special requirements of the rural or co-operative banking sector. So far it has onboarded 50 urban co-operative banks on its UPI platform making them interoperable with large banks across India. By bringing the co-operative banks onboard its UPI platform, Sarvatra Technologies is bringing them at par with other large private and public banks. The co-operative banks onboarded by the company hail from 11 states across the country, with Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka having the greatest number of banks going live on the Sarvatra UPI platform. The customers of these co-operative banks can now send and receive money seamlessly using any of the apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm or NPCI’s BHIM app.
A simple solution for SMEs
Tally Solutions has been helping SMEs for over 35 years now. It recently launched TallyPrime that helps MSME owners and entrepreneurs to enhance their business productivity. TallyPrime’s GoTo and SwitchTo solutions help SMEs discover new insights to run a business. Its GoTo feature simplifies data entry. The product has been designed for scale and will allow customers to easily shift and adopt future releases without any requirement to upskill or learn new techniques. At present, it has two million SMEs paying for its accounting software, and nearly five million SMEs have used the product in the last three decades. Tally caters to over six million users across industries in over 100 countries.
Making GST easy
Launched in 2016, Vyapar app is a business accounting software for micro and small businesses to deal with invoicing, inventory, accounting needs, and more. With this app SMEs can become GST compatible, manage all parties from a single place and check how their business is performing instantly. This app helps in creating, printing and sharing customized invoices and doing business accounting offline without internet.
PayU helped SMEs increase business efficiency, increase convenience for customers, and reduce costs during the pandemic. During the April – June quarter, the company added 100,000 new SMEs merchants. During the pandemic and lockdown, PayU launched multiple initiatives to support SMEs. Data science is being utilized to better understand the customer. For determining a customer’s ‘worthiness,’ a set of models including both ability and willingness to pay is used. Their customer service chatbot uses a home-grown NLP model developed using past human servicing data. Customers’ repayment behavior, banking, and bureau data, as well as how customers interact with the platform, apps, as well as their spending patterns, are among the many data sources PayU uses.