The 3Cs to sustain Indian SMBs: Expert View

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The coronavirus outbreak is causing a global health crisis, and a global economic slowdown. Trade, investment, growth, and employment are all affected. The manufacturing sector across the globe is badly affected by COVID-19 and going through a tough phase.

In the current situation, SMB requires to transform its business from various aspects. According to the UNCTAD report, India’s trade impact due to the crisis is expected to be about $348 million. As COVID-19 continues to impact lives and economies with multifarious challenges, the Indian SMBs need to follow 3Cs-Compassion, Collaboration and Commerce to prevent future impediments and bring resilience and sustainability to the business growth.

Compassion: Both Compassion and empathy have been at the core of human values. The crisis is providing the organization the opportunity to define and demonstrate values as corporate citizens. Consumers and small businesses tend to seek a problem-free environment wherein they can rely on bigger brands and the larger set of stakeholders for support. And in such situations, it is in the interest of brands and stakeholders to provide them with that environment. The Government can work with banks and NBFCs to release funds for SMBs to provide faster disbursement of payments that can aid working capital requirements, help cover utilities and lend SMBs the timely support they need.

Collaboration: Our Indian industry consists of market leaders who have a long-standing legacy of expertise in their respective domains. During these times, these market leaders and players must come forward to join hands with the larger industry and pave the way for a collaborative future. Organizations from the same industry can come forward to help each other. SMBs will need to use a combination of offline and online customer touchpoints to sustain businesses so that larger players especially those working in the B2B can assist or guide SMBs.

Commerce: Even though the world waits for the crisis to get over, there is also the need to recognize the great opportunity that lies ahead for India i.e to substitute imports by fostering a robust local manufacturing ecosystem. Although there are challenges with regards to the supply of raw materials, manpower, and working capital, policymaking should support local manufacturing, especially the SMBs who can play a huge role in making India self-sufficient in certain areas. The Government and NBFCs will also play a significant role in helping SMBs tackle financial problems that the sector is facing.

The world needs SMBs to thrive, they account for more than half of most countries’ GDP. Now, more than ever, SMBs must be provided with the necessary financial backing to support their employees and their communities.

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