Indian SMEs more aggressive on technology: SAP

Globally,about 80 per cent of SAP's more than 248,500 customers are SMEs.

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Published: July 30, 2013 9:48 pm

Small and medium enterprises in India are more aggressive than their global counterparts in using technology to expand their operations overseas and driving efficiency and innovation within the organisation,a study by technology firm SAP said today.

Globally,about 80 per cent of SAP’s more than 248,500 customers are SMEs.

According to a study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of SAP,93 per cent of respondents from India said they have either completed or are in the process of making a significant business transformation.

The global average stood at about two-thirds of total respondents,a sign that SMEs understand the need to adapt to an increasingly global marketplace.

The study titled “SMEs: Equipped to Compete” was conducted with 2,100 executives from SMEs with revenues ranging between USD 20-750 million from 21 countries including the US,the UK,Australia,Brazil,Germany,Mexico and South Africa across five industries like manufacturing,professional services,retail and consumer products.

Unlike its global counterparts,increasing global competition emerged as the biggest issue affecting Indian SMEs as 43 per cent cited it as a top concern,compared to global average of 26 per cent.

Economic uncertainty (34 per cent) and shifting customer expectations (29 per cent) were the second and third most important concerns,while 77 per cent of Indian respondents said they are increasingly focussed on new geographic markets and 58 per cent said that global expansion is the key to growth.

About 45 per cent said innovation,cost reduction and efficiencies,besides expanding products as well as services would play an important role in growth of SMEs.

Almost all Indian SMEs said they have global exposure,with only two per cent respondents saying they generate no revenues outside the country today.

Only one per cent of respondents said they would not generate revenues from overseas in the next three years.”This is an indication that Indian SMEs are perhaps the most globalised of all countries we surveyed,” Oxford Economic Associate Director Andrew Tessler told PTI.Investing in new technologies was a top strategic priority,including investing in business management software,data analytics,mobile,social media and cloud computing.

Indian SMEs are also conscious about their spends on technology,as 57 per cent respondents said they invest in new technology only when there is a clear return on investment.

“In terms of spending,business management software is expected to see the greatest focus among Indian SMEs,followed by business analytics software and mobile technology,” SAP India Head of Marketing Rajesh Kumar said.

The report clearly shows that SMEs are willing to spend on technology and they are looking at leveraging technology to grow in a tough economic environment,he said.

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