India is home to nearly 6.4 crore micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who contribute close to 29 percent to the Indian GDP. While they are present in large numbers, these businesses face several challenges, including regulatory hurdles and tax burdens, difficulties in accessing finance, and a lack of general guidance or support.
At such a time, financial literacy can be an important tool that can help MSMEs and potential entrepreneurs strengthen their money management skills.
In an earlier interaction with YourStory, Aditi Puri Batra, Country Manager, Intuit QuickBooks India, said, “With technology solutions to boost financial literacy, business owners can understand the true cost of running the business. This helps them decide the pricing for their products or services. They can also easily manage quotations, customer data, invoices, and GST with technology solutions.”
Here are five companies that are providing financial solutions to the MSMEs during the lockdown.
Bengaluru-based Instamojo is a full-stack MSME solutions provider that enables small businesses to build, manage, and grow their business online. It is a one-stop-shop for an entrepreneur that caters to their diverse business needs by leveraging technology, data, and design.
To encourage and promote financial literacy among merchants, Instamojo has launched mojoVersity – a knowledge platform that has webinars and detailed guides on many topics for MSMEs.
The learning platform was launched last year in June. It provides online video courses created by experts on topics ranging from digital marketing, social media, finance, taxation, marketing, and several others. These courses are free and are open to all who wants to learn business skills.
Apart from the mojoVersity courses, the startup also has a blog, where it covers the latest topics, new policies, policy changes, as well as business knick-knacks. It also conducts regular webinars with experts, and provides ebooks, allowing business owners to keep learning on the go regularly.
Founded in 2012 by Akash Gehani, Sampad Swain, and Aditya Sengupta, Instamojo has been known for its experiments and launching products for SMEs such as mojoPayments, mojoXpress, and mojoCapital. The platform aims to bridge the gap between MSMEs, who find it difficult to leverage the right technology and developers to reach out to relevant app users.
Third-party short-term trade finance platform Vayana Network recently launched Vayana Connect — a series of webinars to foster inspiration and learning on a wide range of subjects around supply chain and trade finance during and post-COVID-19 pandemic.
Started in May this year, the webinar series also aims at helping enterprises understand government reforms and policies extended for businesses across industries.
Founded in 2017 by Ram Iyer, Vayana Network is a B2B trade financial intermediary which connects SMEs and corporates with financial institutions for low-cost access to trade loans. To date, the startup claims to have facilitated $4 billion in loans without any defaults.
At present, the startup is helping its customers navigate during the lockdown, acting as a consultant for SMEs on what they should do next.
Headquartered in the US, Intuit’s flagship product QuickBooks Online — a financial software for small businesses — was launched in India in 2012.
With comprehensive dashboards that indicate exactly how a business is doing financially, entrepreneurs get a clear picture of how much money is owed to them or how much they owe others.
During the pandemic, Intuit QuickBooks has launched ‘Consult an Expert’ programme, wherein small businesses can avail advice from an external pool of experts in the areas of accounting, taxation, cloud accounting, GST, budgeting, payroll, management reporting, and compliance. Through the free programme, business owners can get advice on tax filing, managing a virtual business, and financial planning for the upcoming fiscal.
Apart from this, it has also created a COVID-19 microsite to give tips on business continuity planning and customer and employee engagement strategies. The microsite also provides access to important resources created by various government ministries and departments relevant to the current scenario of COVID-19.
Speaking about the initiative, Aditi Puri Batra, Country Manager, Intuit QuickBooks India, said, “Small businesses should be ready for the new normal of working from home. They need to be alive to this new reality and embrace remote working along with cloud-based tools and technology to enhance business productivity. Cloud, artificial intelligence, and blockchain will enable newer areas of business models and opportunities that will make it easier for small businesses to digitise.”
Launched in 2019 by Vivek Bindra, Bada Business offers a series of digital business education courses to help small entrepreneurs with the requisite knowledge and skills to startup and run businesses effectively.
Designed by Bindra and his team, the ‘Everything About Entrepreneurship’ programme is a two-year management course, created by condensing the curricula of top management institutions, and presenting it in vernacular language and easy to understand terminologies.
The edtech platform also offers a series of other digital business learning courses, ranging from two months to two years. The courses are created specifically to help SMEs and MSMEs find solutions to the burning problems of their businesses using frameworks, case studies, and proven techniques relevant to the Indian market.
Bada Business has roped in top business leaders from different sectors as ‘professors’ on its board, who dispense first-hand practical knowledge to students through business lessons and video lectures.
Earlier in June, addressing a virtual press conference, Vivek said that the startup aims to train 10 million entrepreneurs over the next six months as part of its ‘India Revival Mission’ for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
The India Revival Mission offers hand-holding solutions to MSMEs and skill training for digital transformation to lakhs of such businesses.
Tech giant SAP India in June announced the launch of a Global Bharat programme to equip micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with digital technologies to help them become globally more competitive.
The programme has been developed in association with Nasscom Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, and Pratham InfoTech Foundation, and is in line with the Government of India’s vision to empower the MSME sector by providing them access to the global marketplace, digital skilling for the workforce, and transforming business processes.
Under the programme, MSMEs in India will have an open access to digital marketplace SAP Ariba Discovery, where any buyer can post sourcing needs and any of the four million suppliers on Ariba Network can respond with their ability to deliver the goods and services required.
Ariba Network is among the largest digital business-to-business (B2B) marketplace with more than $3.3 trillion in global commerce flows annually.
It will also provide MSMEs access to its digital skilling initiative ‘Code Unnati,’ where they will have access to 240 courses on digital, financial, soft skills, and productivity technologies that will digitally skill the workforce and adapt to the new working environments.
Under this digital literacy programme, SAP India has already trained over one million youngsters with the help of 1,500 physical training centres.