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Entrepreneurship and Competition in the Time of Covid-19
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What’s the News:

The news we’ve read about Covid-19 and the economy points to downward trends, struggles and new challenges. However, now research suggests that there was also a positive in the form of new companies being created across India. Registration of new companies over the period of April to August 2021 has increased by 25.3 percent as compared to the previous year.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

As more and more companies choose new business practices, the competition in the market is going to increase. Here’s how new company creation will change the competitive landscape for SMBs:

  • Digital transformation will set businesses apart: Covid-19 sped up digital adoption across India, which means that more and more new businesses are now learning how to use online tools. With lower capital investment and physical space required to start up, these companies are finding ways to reach their customers faster. This trend will make getting online necessary for all businesses if they are to survive and succeed.
  • A new, lower barrier to entry for small businesses: New public policy ideas created due to the pandemic, such as ‘Work from Home’, digital payments, e-currencies and emergency government welfare schemes, have all been helpful in speeding up new company formation. Virtual business meet-ups, online conferences, and small business webinars have helped more people access and understand the business world better. This has reduced barriers for new businesses to enter the field.
  • New customer needs will dictate which businesses succeed: With lockdowns, work-from-homes and new working models, the needs of customers have changed. On the demand-side, online purchases have risen as more customers stay at home. On the supply-side, obtaining resources can become difficult, and so entrepreneurs are forced to innovate. Many people began to move into fields previously unexplored such as fitness and wellness, crafts and hampers, home-cooked food and premixes, catering, and hobby stores. This promises an increase in new SMBs catering to new customer needs online.
Our Final Viewpoint
  • The pandemic has created challenges that can be turned into golden entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • With rising competition online, SMBs will have to modify existing business models, add new channels and grow business networks to adapt faster.
  • As small businesses undergo this transformation, MarketCentral is here to equip them with the necessary tools required. Specially created for helping small and medium businesses succeed, MarketCentral is a platform where SMBs and new companies can enter the growing online market and manage their business with ease.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Amul, Parle Among Businesses That Has Cut Supplies to Udaan
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What’s the News:

Business-to-business e-commerce platform Udaan focuses on providing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with honest pricing and a wide variety of products across multiple categories. But recently, some of India’s large FMCG companies like Amul and Parle have said that Udaan is monopolizing distribution. This has led to them not supplying goods directly to Udaan.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

Udaan wants to simplify distribution of goods and services among small and medium businesses, wholesalers, manufacturers, traders and retailers. Now, stating that Udaan has too much control over distribution of their products to retailers, companies like Parle and Amul have stopped supplying to Udaan.

  • The concern of the FMCG companies is that Udaan is doing distribution to retailers directly. For a company like Amul, which has over 10,000 exclusive distributors, Udaan’s method of selling directly to retailers means that it competes with Amul’s own distributors. This ends up negatively impacting Amul’s distributors.
  • But for retail small enterprises associated with Udaan, these new changes might cause uncertainty in prices. This is because, in the absence of direct supply from Amul or Parle, Udaan will have to buy their goods from the open market. This will increase prices on Udaan, thereby causing challenges to the SMBs that buy from them at lower costs.
  • These SMBs will then have to turn to other wholesale distributors, where they might not receive competitive prices or ease of buying as they would with Udaan.
  • For “must-stock” items such as Parle biscuits or Amul products, such price fluctuations will put a big strain on small and medium retailers.
Our Final Viewpoint
  • While large distributors and retailers have a wider support network, smaller businesses often deal with unpredictable market conditions and pricing changes. Marketplace model e-commerce is not free from such fluctuations, as we can see in this case with Udaan. One way for small businesses to combat uncertainty is by investing in creating their own online channels.
  • By having control over buying and selling leads, reaching more customers, and expanding their own network, small businesses can make themselves shock-proof from such sudden challenges.
  • MarketCentral is also committed to equipping small businesses with these tools. Growing stably without disruptions is the need of the hour. At MarketCentral, we help businesses do exactly that.

MarketCentral will bring you interesting business stories and Small Business news every week through ViewPoint. Let us know what you think about this article at support@marketcentral.in. For more, you can follow our social media handles below:

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Covid-19 Second Wave: What Can Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) Learn From It?
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What’s the News:

A series of lockdowns last year have made big shifts in how Indian small businesses work. The SMB sector is challenged by stress on cash flow, government regulations, and restrictions on movement. This makes it important that small businesses adapt and make changes to how they operate. Many small business entrepreneurs have been discussing transformations which can help a small business grow and sustain during this time.

Read about it here
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

As things return to normal post the second wave, many entrepreneurs will turn to the following ways to grow their business:

  • Digital Commerce Will Grow Faster: As more companies go online, they will be looking for complete online business solutions. Companies will need online websites, accounting, invoicing, digital marketing and business networking to help them succeed. This will enable SMBs to grow beyond borders and reach more customers.
  • Cloud-Tech Solutions Will Make Business Operations Simple: Cloud technology includes internet services that customers can use without purchasing physical hardware or software. Cloud-tech will help SMBs improve data security, manage shipping and payments, create better customer experiences, and run business operations without depending on multiple vendors.
  • Digital Payments Will Help with Financing: By moving to digital transactions, billing and invoicing, SMBs can create a good financial record. This will be helpful in securing funds through government welfare schemes, RBI loan programs, or micro-lending.
  • Going Online Will Bring Future Security: Being present online will reduce dependence on manual processes. Using and analyzing customer data will help businesses respond to changing demand and market trends. This will allow businesses to overcome restrictions like lockdowns.

More Channels, More Reach, More Customers, More Revenue: Having a presence both online and offline is of greater benefit as you can reach more customers anywhere.

Experience Offline, Buy Online: Your customers can see and feel the product in the offline store, while being able to buy it online later. This leads to better customer experience.

Better Brand Building: You can grow your brand and improve your brand’s name, image and loyalty by being present offline and online, wherever your customers need

Future proofing: You can take advantage of changes in the market, or unpredictable situations. During lockdown, for example, online businesses saw a sudden boom.

Our Final Viewpoint
  • As the economy revives post second-wave, businesses that utilize new technologies will gain the most benefit.
  • A good financial record is important for businesses to make the best of the government’s new digital currency, emergency welfare schemes, or e-discounting systems. Managing transactions online can help create this record and improve credit scores.
  • Digital commerce and cloud software will bring in many more new channels such as social media or e-mail marketing, thus opening up new revenue streams for SMBs.

MSME entrepreneurs are choosing digital commerce to create a more secure future. Are you?

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Amazon is Opening Physical Stores. What Does it Mean for Small Businesses?
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What’s the News:

The business world has been talking about Amazon opening supermarket-style stores. The online giant has tried offline sales before: its Amazon Go model had small, semi-automated shops, and it had also opened stores for Books and devices such as Kindle. However, this is the first time that Amazon is launching large department stores.

We read the news here:
What does this mean for Small Businesses?

Even Amazon, which had a huge increase in shoppers during the COVID-19 lockdowns, is expanding its model offline. Amazon is not the only online company to try this. Furniture stores like Pepperfry, makeup website Nykaa, and even food website Freshmenu are all trying offline stores.

Why should you also go for more than one channel?

More Channels, More Reach, More Customers, More Revenue: Having a presence both online and offline is of greater benefit as you can reach more customers anywhere.

Experience Offline, Buy Online: Your customers can see and feel the product in the offline store, while being able to buy it online later. This leads to better customer experience.

Better Brand Building: You can grow your brand and improve your brand’s name, image and loyalty by being present offline and online, wherever your customers need

Future proofing: You can take advantage of changes in the market, or unpredictable situations. During lockdown, for example, online businesses saw a sudden boom.

Our Final Viewpoint
  • The trend of online businesses opening offline stores, or offline businesses coming online will continue. This is because businesses are realizing that customers prefer to shop in a mixed way.
  • For example, a customer might first see a product online, try it offline, purchase it online, and then sometimes return or repair it offline. Therefore, being on both channels is important.
  • Companies need to keep pace with customers by being where they shop: offline, online, on Instagram, Facebook or even Whatsapp. The ability to change and adapt is key to building a business that can grow in all situations.

Amazon’s decision to open offline retail means they’re not ready to lose a single possible customer, both online and offline.

How about you?

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