Post-Covid, small businesses to bank on digital transformation: HP study

By 11 Sep 2020

Small and Medium Business (SMBs) in India are looking to bounce back after facing stiff challenges due to the ongoing pandemic. The HP Asia SMB Report 2020 – a study conducted among SMBs in the region has revealed that over 73% of SMBs in India are confident that they will survive and bounce back post Covid-19. This number is significantly higher than the regional average, which stood at 60%.

The highlights of the HP Asia SMB Report 2020

This confidence is reflected in the fact that almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents from India believe that this period presents a good opportunity to reformulate the business strategy. And half of the sample believe that the pandemic will ultimately bring opportunity, but in the longer term.

More importantly, SMBs in India recognise the importance of going digital to revive their businesses. Three-quarters (75%) of the surveyed businesses believe that digital adoption is essential or very important to their success.

“SMBs are critical to our economy as they contribute nearly a third of our GDP and generate employment for millions. The ongoing pandemic has impacted SMBs as much as any other segment. But the agility and flexibility in their operations, coupled with the adaptability to changing business environment and customer needs means they can bounce back far more quickly. However, it is critical to discover their challenges and address their pain points, which was the primary motivation for HP to commission this study,” said Ketan Patel, managing director, HP India Market.

“A key finding from the research is that the more a company values digital transformation, the more positive they are about future growth, and nowhere in Asia is this reflected as strongly as in India. The results of this study will enable HP in helping them adapt to new agile work environments, providing them the right devices, technology, and tools for them to unlock innovation for customers and drive growth for themselves,” he added.

The survey also touched upon key challenges that Indian SMBs have identified as roadblocks on the road to recovery. While global instability tops the list of concerns, it is less pronounced in India than the rest of the Asian countries surveyed.

In addition, the research shows that growth correlates with how a company values digital adoption for its success. Of SMBs that reported good business growth in the past year, 56% see digital as a lever for success, with only 14% considering it of low importance.

As SMBs look to capture future growth opportunities, it has never been more critical to prioritise innovation and work with a partner to drive digital transformation.

In total, 1,600 SMBs completed the survey between 26 May 2020 and 7 June 2020, which comprised of 200 interviews in each of the markets — Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Only an owner, partner, managing director, CEO, COO, CFO, or a director of a business with less than 200 employees was qualified for the survey. Interviews were split evenly between micro business (<10 employees), small business (10-49 employees), and medium business (50-199 employees). Multiple industries were represented including retail/ wholesale, manufacturing, professional services, healthcare, education and financial services.

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