[IOS Exclusive] Indian SMEs – the cornerstone of Indian ecommerce industry, Flipkart reveals

According to a report published by SMB Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, there are more than 48 million SMEs in India. 45% of India’s industrial output comes from these SMEs, while total exports from them account for 40% of the country’s export. They generate 1.3 million jobs per year.

But SMEs still struggle, some due to financial constraints, some challenged by credit issues, yet some others are hassled by regulations.

Ankit Nagori, SVP Marketplace, Flipkart

Ankit Nagori, SVP Marketplace, Flipkart

In this IOS Exclusive, Ankit Nagori, SVP-Marketplace, Flipkart tells us why SMEs are the cornerstone of the Indian ecommerce industry and how the ecommerce giant helps them.

2015 will be a year which will see rapid growth of the ecommerce industry with more and more SMEs adopting online selling route. Flipkart alone aims to create 10,000 millionaires this year.

In the past few years, e-commerce in India has witnessed an unprecedented growth and by the end of 2015 this growth is projected to continue and touch the $22 billion mark. With increasing adoption, e-commerce marketplaces have opened up new opportunities for local artisans and entrepreneurs from across the nation. Rise in interest from the government, private investors and entry of global ecommerce giants have significantly contributed towards the development of the online ecosystem—effectively putting Indian SMEs on the global map.

Home to over 48 million SMEs, India is a power house of unique and small brands which are waiting to be explored. Offering access to millions of customers, e-commerce is a sustainable business model which can enable every small business to scale up and grow. The recent surge in ecommerce adoption stands testimony to its success in the Indian marketplace.

As India’s largest e-commerce marketplace, we strongly believe that SMEs form the keystone to the success of e-commerce in India. This symbiotic relationship has been a driving force in helping the industry cross over $5.3 billion in sales last year. And this number is expected to grow tenfold in the coming years.

Absence of marketing platforms and distribution networks has always been the primary obstacle for SMEs who aspire to grow nationally. Today, given the reach and infrastructural support offered by e-commerce marketplaces, no SME can ignore being a part of this industry.

So what’s in it for the SMEs? Why should they join this industry?

Here are some pointers:

  • SME Training Centre

    Our SME Training Program trains and supports SME’s to adopt the e-commerce platform. This initiative provides training that encourages manufacturing and creates future employment. These courses are available for the following entities –

    • SME Owners
    • SME Employees
    • Potential Entrepreneurs
    • eMarketplace Service Providers (Cataloging and Photo Shoot Providers)
  • Modern technology

    Access to new-age technology and analysis is not very easy for SMEs located in remote corners of the country. Flipkart is primarily a technology company. We believe technology is the backbone of e-commerce and we invest heavily in developing technology which can offer seamless selling and buying experiences. We are continuously working towards creating and offering best in class tech support to every seller on our platform.

  • Financial assistance

    Working capital has been one of the key hurdles when it comes to expanding their businesses. Flipkart in association with NBFC’s and other finance providers have worked out a model to offer working capital support for SMEs to grow and develop their businesses. With average loan value of Rs.5 – 10 lakhs, even high loan values up to Rs.50 lakhs is available for sellers.

  • Assured payment

    We have a well devised payment system in place which ensures that the payments are done within an interval of five days. The assurance of regular payment is always an added advantage for SMEs which have always been known to be cash strapped.

  • Infrastructure support

    With strategically located warehouses and dedicated seller marketing teams, any SME can reach out to Flipkart 24X7. Warehousing facilities helps SMEs ensure timely deliveries and faster access to customers across geographies.

Overall, 2015 will be a year which will see rapid growth of this industry with more and more SMEs adopting online selling route. The SME ecosystem will contribute towards generating employment opportunities in rural and semi-urban areas. In fact, Flipkart alone aims to create 2 million jobs and 10,000 millionaires this year.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author/company.

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