It is imperative that emerging MSMEs in India take that giant leap and become globally competitive by leveraging the latest technologies. Although the MSME community has fostered budding entrepreneurs along with providing macro-scale employment opportunities, without digitization, the way towards growth and innovation remains blurry. MSMEs must become early adopters of technology to facilitate business excellence.
One of the highlights of the Dare to Dream Awards 2022 event held in Mumbai was an inspiring speech by Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan (SVP - Midmarket, SAP APJ), focusing on key aspects of digitalization that can empower the midmarket sector in India, and what SAP’s journey on that front has been like. He set the context with an interesting anecdote from an event four years ago, when he was left speechless by a question from an automotive component supplier in Pune – “You say the best run businesses run SAP. But for small companies that want to run SAP and become the best run, how can you help us?”
Although he didn’t have an answer at that point in time, Subbu elaborated on 5 key initiatives by SAP to address this million-dollar question. He started with SAP’s home-grown website www.growthmattersforum.com, an exclusive community for MSME executives and promoters to share ideas and most importantly, bring out value-added insights.
Subbu then proceeded to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the MSME sector in India and how going virtual paved the way for limitless opportunities. He spoke about SAP’s flagship program called the Global Bharat Movement, a three-pronged approach to empowering the Indian midmarket sector and helping them become globally competitive. The program opened up SAP’s global B2B marketplace to the SME community. It also democratized the learning process through SAP’s digital upskilling platform Code Unnati, offering professional and personal development courses to elevate the workforce. And lastly, digital transformation tools to unlock growth.
Moving on to the third program, Subbu emphasized the importance of mentoring small and midsize enterprises through the Mentors of Global Bharat initiative. The idea was to request industry leaders to spend some time in coaching and mentoring start-ups and entrepreneurs, and support them in navigating the new normal.
Further on in his keynote, Subbu talked about how most of the SMEs in India are situated in non-metro cities, and living in a fast-paced world, it becomes increasingly difficult for small-scale enterprises to approach SAP for solutions. This sparked SAP’s Transformation Express campaign, which intended to reach solutions to businesses right where they are. He talked about the experience – a bus filled with transformative technology by SAP, traversing 7,500 km across several cities over 45 days.
Subbu strongly believes that the midmarket community has the potential to boost the Indian economy and with the help of solutions by SAP, facilitate innovation and growth. Towards the end of the speech, he talked about the 5th part of his story – the Dare to Dream Awards 2022, a national platform to recognize industry pioneers who have been relentless in their commitment to inspiring a digital-ready India.
Addressing the audience and tying together these 5 programs with a single thread, Subbu said, “Since the time Covid has happened, the market has been changing so rapidly, that we’ve had to increase our efforts to come up with new campaigns, to be more relevant and ensure that we are there when it matters to you".
For more on his talk about how SAP is helping the MSME community realize its true potential, please go through the video segment from the Dare to Dream Awards Ceremony.