MSMEs should tap Internet to take on competition: William

MSMEs should tap Internet to take on competition: William

MSMEs should tap Internet to take on competition: William

Reinforcing the importance of Internet and social media for facilitating business, Professor William S Lightfoot from Brenau University, USA, has called upon micro,  small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to use the Internet medium to tap new markets and take on competition.

Delivering the keynote at the National MSME Conference for Technology and Marketing organised by Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA), Lightfoot said,  “MSMEs which used Web technologies grew twice as fast as others; currently, we have over 2 billion Internet users globally. It is a reality that if tapped properly, the Internet can help MSMEs reach out to their customers directly.”

Besides the government of Karnataka, Brenau University  (Georgia, USA),  and Rangnekar Institute of Management Studies & Research (RIMSR) Bangalore, the conference is supported by Laghu Udyog Bharathi, AWAKE, MAlT, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta, and the Asia-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Lightfoot described Bangalore as an excellent example of city for innovative technology.
He also cited the example of Kenya where 40 per cent of its GDP is routed through mobile phones and payment systems like M-Pesa. “This has really given speed and hassle-free service delivery to citizens. But in France and the US, people continue to pay bills with paper cheques,” he said.

Prof Lightfoot said that doing business should not be only for profits, but also to add customers who could be satisfied with quality products and services. “The advent of the Internet dramatically changed the way of doing business and priorities like driving sales, managing costs and retaining customers became major factors in the MSME sector.”

“This also brought identity, engagement and developed loyalty for customers . Besides establishing presence globally, the internet brought in critical differentiator to MSMEs to reach out customers,” he said.

He also pointed out that in US business community from MSME gave primacy to customer services. “Customer is king and queen for them. They work hard and retain them all along. But here the companies in US are facing the challenges of immigration, outsourcing and retirement,” he said.

Kassia president Chidananda M Rajamane emphasised that networking is as much important as any other attribute for an entrepreneur in the context of global competition and boundary-free markets.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of ‘Made in India’ can come true only through networking with MSMEs of other nations for technology and access to global markets and not by isolating ourselves. Here, the government has given massive priority to manufacturing with due policy thrusts on SEZ, NIMZ, industrial clusters, smart cities and industrial corridors,” he said.

RIMSR Director Harsha Kestur said few people know that maximum job creation and as much as 60 per cent of exports growth in Karnataka did not come from IT, but from readymade garments.