Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) will certainly be one of the big drivers of India’s growth in the coming years. As campaigns by Google and GoDaddy have shown over the years, it is not an easy job to get these smaller entities to go online, especially if those running it are not well-versed with the Internet.
Singapore-based e-commerce suite Shopmatic hopes to make the process a little easier for India’s SMEs by offering an entire ecosystem for a small business that wishes to go online. From logistics of setting up a website or online payment gateway to listing on other platforms and handling deliveries, the company does it all for an SME.
“Shopmatic provides the entire ecosystem for someone who wants to take their business online. Even payment acceptance is auto-integrated. We give our customers data insights, let them even track their shipments to customers,” says Anurag Avula, CEO and founder of the Singapore-based firm.
While the company is going a limited release version of their services till end of 2015, it plans to target 40 cities in India in 2016. The Shopmatic suite costs around $20 or Rs 1,300 per month and the company hopes to get small-scale businesses and home entrepreneurs on board.
“If you have a business, we want to create an online category, market for that,” says Avula. Shopmatic will also handle delivery for its business and has signed up Delhivery. The company will also help businesses that want to sell abroad by managing international delivery and logistics.
Avula is confident that more SMBs will sign up for a service like Shopmatic. “During our research we spoke to 400-500 home business owners. And most were interested in what we have to offer. Not a single person said ‘we’re not interested’. They want something like this,” says Shopmatic’s CEO. The initial plan is to roll out in metros and also target tier II, tier III cities like Chandigarh, Mysore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Coimbatore, etc.
Avula admits that it won’t be an entirely Do-It-Yourself process with most business and that there will be some hand-holding from their part. “We will have e-commerce consultants who will walk these home business owners through the process. We have to make them understand how easy it is to go online, but educating them about it will also be a part of the process,” add Avula.
For Indian SMBs, not going digital is no longer an option. This July, a Google and Deloitte report had said that in India a massive 36 per cent small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India are still offline with just about 10 per cent of them near an “Advanced Digital” adoption stage. The report said going digital could help these businesses increase revenue and will also help create new jobs in the economy. Deloitte and Google found that businesses that operate totally offline saw an annual 8 per cent fall in revenue.
Even Google has stepped up its enterprise game in India and recently announced free cloud credits for $20,000 worth free credits in Cloud Services for the period of one year to 1000 startups.