SMEs – THE UNTOLD STORY
Our research on micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) indicates that there are two underline factors directly affecting SMEs in India.
Firstly it is the inability of the organizations to effectively build and change operational capabilities to deliver in an ever disruptive world successfully and secondly the organizations are not agile enough to compete and adapt market change swiftly.
Even though SMEs provides the highest rates of employment opportunities, and constitutes over 90% of the total enterprise in our economy, It is still adrift with the quality talent pool for their business. Neither It can afford to provide the higher compensation to the real talent, nor can they commit to the genuinely required infrastructure, career planning, and a growth path to retain them.
Due to which SMEs are prone to weaker market linkages, and at the time of demand disruption in the supply chain, their operations are further corrupted severely as their working capital is stuck in receivables and idle stocks.
Where as corporate leaders and MNCs are succeeding through Research and Development (R&D) activities, handling policies, procedures and process disruptions, while further taking proactive approach in innovative steps, accurately analyzing market trends and creating scalable and sustainable change.
SMEs struggle to understand these crucial trends of the market demand and economic disruption etc., on time and get stuck in it.
It further aggravates their problems in terms of poor unmarketable product design, poor quality control, and sub-standard compliance, further compelled to sell their products solely on prices, sometimes generates only single-digit or even negative margins on it.
Under such circumstance, SMEs play defensively and does not explore potential markets from different territories, fearing out of ill-liquid inventory and financial losses.
There comes the cash flow management which is the worst affected area for any SMEs in India which is due to multiple reasons.
They are often troubled to manage the payment life cycles under severe competition, commodification of the products to poor negotiation capability that directly affect the future flow of business, missing consistency, inefficient overspending on pre-defined budgeting of marketing while trying to meet out the stipulated FY targets.
Delay in payable and receivables create information asymmetry in financial records and books of accounts which further complicate SMEs’ banking and finance positions.
The banks perceive these records as high-level risk and further demand enhanced collateral’s for financing despite high performance and proven business models.
MSMEs are further choked in maintaining social legislated norms under the umbrella of environment protection, health, and hygiene, social compliance, fair taxation, cashless economy, etc. on the name of diversity and sustainability. These legislation are highly cost consuming, while constraint creating for small enterprises.