I looked out of the window; the darkness was absolute. At 30000 feet, sometimes, the revelation can happen quickly, but this was taking time.
I wondered how someone could fix the issue of seamless buying and selling in the B2B space resulting in easier and more effective means of conducting business. How could the regular MSME benefit from technology and implement the same to tacle and grow his business proficiently by utilizing his time to transact, rather than respond to and send out RFQs and RFPs??
How could the MSME access technology to avail working capital? How could we ensure that the 50 million strong load bearers of our economy find timely access to working capital and credit instruments?
I had read earlier that the SME sector contributes to 45 percent of the total industrial output and employs over 40 percent of the national workforce. Astounding numbers shrouded by a despondent fact. Ramesh had a reason to be despondent. The life of a SME was tough; made tougher by the fact that securing funds for the business at critical times was almost impossible. I continued to stare into the night sky! The distant flickering stars offered hope!
After a while of contemplative stupor, my realization was complete! What Ramesh needed was a platform that could help him engage with other SMEs; enable him to transact online and optimize his business; empower him with access to financial products and benefits that could enrich his business! A quick research into the subject threw up a fantastic fact; most businesses do not connect to the right person while chasing business ‘leads’ resulting in wastage of time along with delayed and negative responses. More food for thought!!! Hmmm………..my brain seemed to be in an overdrive of sorts!
Additionally, what the SME sector needed was someone to walk along with them through their journey of growth, and not stop at mere inevitabilities like leads and subventions.
A disruptive idea began to take shape in my head! Maybe, we had an empowerment solution for creating a level playing field where the Indian SME could take on the might of an enterprise, be it domestic or international! True empowerment could make our SMEs forces to reckon with; with access to direct B2B buying and selling, working capital and deployment of pertinent technologies & ICTs, optimization becomes inevitable! Optimization ensures profitability! And it’s this profitable model that could propel businesses to take on more business creating ripples of success which might, one day, engulf the entire SME sector, creating one big success story!
I turned to Ramesh and said ‘we’ll turn this depravity around’; we’ll ensure that the Indian SME gets his due! I knew what had to be done.
We had begun our descent! The captain switched on the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign, and I knew the ride of our lives had just begun!