The Indian economy is classed as a mixed economy, where both public and private sectors exist, function, and thrive in harmony. In recent years, the Indian economy in recent years has risen to prominent heights, thereby registering its presence on the global economic landscape. Currently, India is the world’s 5th largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 3rd largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It is noteworthy that small and mid-size businesses form an integral part of the Indian economic paradigm. After agriculture, small businesses are the second largest employment provider in the Indian economy. Small business enterprises generate the most employment opportunities per unit of capital invested In comparison to big-scale industries. 95% of the industrial units in the Indian economy comprise small-scale ventures, and 40% of total industrial output is generated by small-scale enterprises. The vision of India turning into a $5 trillion economy by 2025 is contingent on the success of small and mid-level businesses. As small-scale business ventures form a sizeable part of the Indian economy, their progression is crucial to the success of India as an economic power.
Over the past few decades, the importance and calibre of the small-scale industry have been duly realised by the government of India and several monetary schemes and plans have been introduced to render fiscal benefits to the small and mid-level enterprises. However, there are various hurdles that small-scale businesses face in contemporary times. The persistent flow of adequate funds forms the foundation of any commercial venture. The ability to get loans sanctioned often is a challenge for small-scale businesses due to lower creditworthiness and the lack of formal documents required for the aforementioned process. Lack of digitisation in the era of the electronic revolution and fraud and delays in payments also impede the routine functions of small-scale and medium enterprises. Fortunately, there are credit-granting firms, micro-savings platforms, and several loan agencies in the market to help small-scale ventures to thrive by granting them easy loans, convenient access to finances without the formalities of paperwork etc.
Mentioned hereby are the companies that help small businesses to thrive in India:
1)Castler: The persistent flow of finances forms the foundation of any business venture. The timely, smooth, and convenient monetary transactions ensure the proper execution of the business plans and strategies. Any kind of inauthentic or fraudulent activity can be a great threat to the security of the business. Potential frauds breach the privacy of an enterprise and thus impede business progression. Fortunately, there are online platforms which can protect enterprises, especially small-scale businesses, from such pernicious frauds. Castler is an online platform which leverages technology, expertise, and innovation to make escrow services more accessible and convenient for enterprises and consumers alike by digitising the escrow process. The platform shields businesses with its dedicated multi-party protection system and different levels of authentication.
Castler is a boon for the small-scale industry as it provides multiple services in addition to fraud protection like digital lending, business loans, money pool, dealer distributorship, software escrow, logistics etc. The platform has assisted various enterprises by securing money in its escrow pool which amounts to INR 2500 crore. Backed by leading banks, Castler aims to provide swift, smart, and convenient business solutions to its customers with services like real-time notifications, trusteeship assurance, access to a real-time dashboard, lowest cost solution, convenient esigning of escrow agreement etc. With its abundant commercial benefits and a sound immunity against frauds, Castler is one of the best online platforms for small-scale enterprises to secure their ventures against fraud and financially too.
2)Protium: Monetary funds are the basic requirement for business progression. Convenient sourcing of the finances can be challenging at times for small-scale enterprises due to reasons like lack of formal documents etc. Protium is a blessing for small-scale enterprises and also ambitious individuals who need easy loans to grow their enterprises. Protium is an Engineering-Driven Pan India lending company with a keen eye on risk management which empowers small and medium-scale businesses by granting them loans conveniently. Founded with the intense vision of incorporating the latest technology to fasten and enhance money lending solutions, Protium will have 100 branches operating in 65 cities across 17 states in India by the end of FY 2022.
Operating under the sub-titles Protium Finance, Protium Money, and Protium Sakshara, the platform lends easy loans up to any ticket size from INR 10,000 to INR 5 Crore to small and medium enterprises, aspiring individuals, and educational institutions across India. With the specialised lending services in MSME/business finance with machinery and equipment finance, Protium is the first choice of small businesses across India to get loans sanctioned easily. The platform has successfully disbursed INR 750+ Crore loans to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across India during the turbulent times of the pandemic to revive the small businesses. Protium grants loan up to 300 lakhs and funding up to 80% of the costs to encourage small and medium-scale business enterprises. The finance lending brand has the mission to build powerful and transformative financing solutions to fuel the ambitions of New India and its budding enterprises. Protium, as a lending platform with its brand philosophy of building a strong and stable foundation by fuelling the ambitions of booming enterprises, is a boon for small-scale industries.
3)IndiaMART: The mutually beneficial coordination of the demand and supply equation is necessary for the success of any commercial venture. Especially in the case of small-scale industries, the amiable correspondence in-between the buyers and suppliers leads to profit generation. Finding a suitable buyer for small-scale enterprise products can be challenging for entrepreneurs sometimes. IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace which connects buyers with suppliers and thus, provides optimal services to small-scale industries. An enterprise can feature their products or services on IndiaMART and can find the apt buyers conveniently on the platform. Headquartered in Noida, the platform was launched in 1996 as a website directory for the customers in Delhi-NCR. IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd. is an Indian e-commerce company that provides B2B and customer-to-customer sales services via its web portal.
IndiaMART is a popular online platform among the fraternity of small-scale buyers and suppliers due to its efficient and convenient service model. IndiaMART has registered traffic of 257 million and Total business enquiries of 115 million during Q1 FY23. Supplier Storefronts grew to 7.2 million, an increase of 10% YoY (Year over Year) and paying subscription suppliers grew by 23% YoY to 179,260 with a net addition of 9,936 paying subscription suppliers during the quarter. The platform’s successful sales, promotions and merchandising strategies have rendered big profits to the enterprises. As a platform which connects buyers and sellers across borders and time zones through business solutions, IndiaMART has assisted numerous small and mid-scale businesses to thrive and generate sizeable revenue.
4)DigiChal: In an era of technological evolution and digitalisation, any enterprise must be digitally sound and updated to run the business efficiently. The commercial ecosystem in the contemporary era is highly advanced and technology-oriented. It is the indispensable need of the hour for every aspiring individual or enterprise to catch up with the ever-evolving technology. Founded in 2021, DigiChal is an online platform which caters to all the digital needs of small-scale enterprises and offline store owners. The platform is smartly devised to handle and keep track of the enterprise’s monetary transactions. DigiChal nurtures a brand vision to become a digital SAATHI (Companion) of small-scale enterprises by providing them with cost-effective and proficient services.
DigiChal offers a variety of services like online acceptance and delivery of orders, digital ledger, shop insurance, convenient financing on best interest rates, online payments through QR codes, store branding, creating custom discount coupons etc. The platform has an ideology of making small-scale businesses an integral part of the digital economy. With so many independent enterprises with small and mid-scale commercial ventures joining in indeed an innovative and progressive digital platform which is made for India & made in India.
5) Meesho: Social media is rife in contemporary times. From being the best source to acquiring knowledge on different skill-sets to mint money online, social media has imparted diverse opportunities to individuals and enterprises to thrive. Small-scale businesses use social media to promote their enterprise successfully. Founded in 2015, Meesho is a platform that helps an individual or a small-scale venture to start and build their business online with zero investment. The platform is widely based on the concept of reselling goods. As a reseller, an enterprise or an individual can share products listed on the Meesho app either on their network or on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. and can earn a share of profit with every sale.
There are over 1 Lakh beauty, fashion and lifestyle products featured on Meesho through which considerable profits can be earned. The products are provided by suppliers who have a tie-up with Meesho. Meesho offers the perfect platform for small-scale enterprises to start their entrepreneurial journey by establishing an online presence at no cost. Almost 90% of the users on the reselling platform are ambitious women from tier-2 and tier-3 cities across India who aspire to start their businesses. Meesho, as an online e-commerce platform, has imparted an opportunity and liberty to individuals and enterprises who want to venture into the commercial landscape with zero investments.
The overall success of an economy is contingent upon the progression of its sub-sectors. Small-scale industry forms a significant part of the Indian economy, and its success is pivotal for the whole nation to prosper. In an era of evolving technology and digitalisation, the mentioned platforms have transformed the way in which small businesses operate, which marks the economic and technological progression of small and mid-level enterprises.