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Technology to aid trade and commerce development

TPCI Feb 1 2019-9 Technology

Dating back to ancient times, technology has played a crucial role in impacting factors of production. We have been witness to countless occasions in history when a slight technological advantage on opponents has enabled an army to inflict crushing defeat on its adversaries. In modern times, technological advancement has played a crucial role in trade and commerce; enabling businesses and firms to reap rich dividends. This is why large firms are willing to spend enormous amounts to adopt technology and/or to make innovations.

Technology streamlines and optimizes the use of other complementary resources of an enterprise. This is the reason why technology will be the most crucial driver of growth in the 21st century. It will play a crucial role in enhancing productivity and cutting cost and to enable enterprises to manage in a structured and planned manner.

Though leading firms in India are second to none in adopting technology, the state of technology adoption among MSMEs in India remains a matter of concern.  A good percentage of Indian MSMEs still remain rooted to traditional systems of manufacturing with little innovation in recent decades and have failed to understand that technology is a driver of growth and competitiveness.

Upon having a broader look, we find majority of Indian MSMEs are still in the nascent stage of the technology, especially in adoption of IT. This problem is of such enormous proportion that we found, only in recent past, a lot many MSMEs losing good amount of business or even shutting shop, upon introduction of GST. This is despite the fact that the bulk of IT usage at present is geared towards office automation and accounting etc. and there is general lack of knowledge about the business performance improvement potential of ICT. In developed economies, the ICT usage is much higher in the maturity continuum, covering functional automation and cross functional process integration.

It is with this objective in mind that the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Mr. Suresh Prabhu has announced full focus on digital technologies saying that India is on course to optimally leverage technology to offer various services on digital platforms and is poised to take full advantage of new generation of technological advancements.

The Minister has stressed that the future of digital services will be based on convergence, and effective use of broadband and these technologies, in near future, will become all pervasive. To promote the use of technology, he has also announced a Rs. 5000 crore action plan for champion sectors, which includes in IT and related services.

“Our ministry is working on promoting services in a big way for which we set aside Rs. 5000 crore to promote champion sectors of the service sector, in which IT and relate services will play a key role… We will ensure the sector develops, creates job opportunities… and ensure complete coverage of the population to eradicate digital divide, through digital literacy and infrastructure development,” the minister said.

It is time now for the MSMEs to reinvent themselves to be successful in the changed global environment. They will have to adopt a global outlook to grow into new development ecosystem by transformation of their business model through optimizing human factors so that the innovation can bring differentiation to catch new markets or defend their home turf from international competitors.

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