Indian SMEs are the so-called backbone of the Indian Industrial sector and they are increasing the Industrial production and employment in India with every passing minute.Though SMES are doing pretty well job in the terms of production but they face various challenges in the International market. The one of the main reason for the failure of Indian SMEs in the international market is the limited use and excess of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) . The adaption of ICT tools is very essential for the development of the SMEs and for improving SMEs competitiveness in the World market.
Some of the grounds why Indian SMEs fails to adapt ICT are:
Attitude is the problem not the availability: The availability of ICT tools is not the problem, it is the people’s attitude towards the adaption of these tools which creates the problem. Most of the SMEs owners don’t give much importance to the ICT tools. Only a limited number of SMES in India are having their own websites or online appearance and a hand-full of SMEs’ owners are the regular users of the Internet.
Lack of infrastructure: The poor internet connection, limited bandwidth and old technology systems with high cost of internet makes it impossible for the Indian SMEs to afford that.
Limited availability of electricity: The limited and improper supply of electricity throughout India even discourage the SMES to invest in ICT tools because these tools are useless in the absence of the electricity.
High cost of ICT tools: The ICT tools like updated computers, laptops, smart phones and even machinery are very costly and unaffordable by the India SMEs. Even the developers or the dealers of these machineries and other ICT tools use to market their products only to the large enterprises.
Neither the owner non the labours are educated about the ICT: Both the owners and the labours of Indian SMEs are not much educated about the ICT and its uses. They fail to identify the importance of having knowledge and using the latest technologies. The online presence of a firm is very important in order to improve its competitiveness in the International market.
Limited financial support: Most of the SMEs in India earn very marginal profits, they do not have much financial supports available to them. The cost of purchasing and maintaining of the ICT tools are usually out of their budget.
Awareness is missing: The lack of awareness about the uses of the ICT tools and their benefits, is another reason why the SMES of India are not paying much attention to the adaption of the ICT tools. The benefits of ICT are still not much clear to the SMEs in India. Some of the informative initiatives by the Government can be extremely help in increasing the adaption of ICT tools by the Indian SMEs.
The competitive disadvantages of not using the ICT tools are:
Fail to get businesses from the far located buyers: As the SMEs in India fail to make their online presents, the International or the far located buyers or dealers can’t reach them. The buyers are not even aware about the existences of offline SMEs, how can they do business with them?
Limited use of B2B portals: The lack of awareness about the uses of online business tools also restricts the profit of the Indian SMEs. The B2B portals can act as a platform where the SMEs can in touch with the buyers all around the world. But limited assess of B2B portals do not allow the SMEs to reach the potential buyers online.
Lack of E-commerce site usage: Most of the SMEs in India do not prefer to sell their products online. They avoid doing online business though it can help them in increasing their sales.
ICT tools should be widely used by the Indian SMEs in order to increase their profits. Each and every SME in India should have its own website and online presence. Information and Communication Technologies can help in increasing the production, reducing the cost of production and supporting the sales of the products of the Indian SMEs.