A&A Business Consulting, a leading SME consulting firm recently carried out a nationwide SME survey an attempt to understand the persistent problems SMEs are facing in 2019, when the economy is going through a rough patch. The survey was designed to understand business areas/functions where SMEs are facing the major problems.
Key Findings of the Survey:
The survey was conducted online over a sample size of 0.08 million SMEs across the country led to an inference that 47% of Indian SMEs are facing sales as a major challenge. Since sales is one of the most important pillars of any company that assures its very existence, it was bound to top the list, especially when SMEs have been historically struggling with sales. However, the real eye opener was that 20% of SMEs are finding it difficult to manage working capital. This projects a troublesome situation because either they are not able to pay off short-term expenses or their assets are not being put to good use. With the economy going through a sluggish phase, liquidity crunch appears to be a major growth deterrent.
The survey, further pointed out another alarming stat that 20% of SMEs are facing problems in getting and retaining good employees. Employees are the heart of a company. Without them, a company cannot even conceive of moving ahead, let alone reaching its true potential. Talking about the survey, A&A CMD, Pravin Daryani said, “We are here to solve the core issues being faced by SMEs. We want to handhold them to the next level. Our survey revealed the real pain points that Indian SMEs are facing at this time. It will allow us to build a strategy to deal with them effectively.”
The survey also revealed that 8% of SMEs are facing real issues as far as Branding and Marketing is concerned. This has adversely affected their ability to convert prospects into consumers. Inability to attract right talent can also be attributed to the lack of marketing and branding activities. Since good employees are brand conscious, they don’t want their CVs to reflect a less professional employer. For the SME industry to go forward, this figure needs to decrease at the earliest.
Talking about the survey, A&A Group CFO, Vishal Kumar said, “Indian SME segment is an unorganized sector. The prolonged economic downturn has made it even more difficult for them. The nationwide SME survey has uncovered the underlying challenges that the SME segment is facing and brought it to the foreground. We will take corrective actions and help them overcome their immediate challenges.”
Another important revelation of the nationwide survey is that 5% of SMEs are facing hurdles in creating a profitable business model. Without making profits, SMEs are compelled to downsize, which has exacerbated the unemployment problem in the country. SMEs in India have generated 14.9 million jobs every year over a period of 4 years (2014-18, as per CII report). If this situation persists, the very purpose of this industry stands defeated. The survey was conducted online on over a sample size of an estimated 0.08 million SMEs across 9 major states in India.
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