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India's Digital Drive: Experts discuss growth drivers, challenges for B2B sector

Updated : February 25, 2021 11:40 AM IST

In the special segment 'India's Digital Drive', CNBC-TV18 maps the B2B landscape, what are the growth drivers, challenges and opportunities.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of India’s largest B2B portal, Indiamart, said there is a lot of opportunity in the sector going forward because from the 75 million SMEs in India, only 20-25% use the internet.

"There are 75 million small and medium businesses in India and out of that only 20-25 percent as of now are using internet for some or the other purpose. If you look at China, America, about 60% of Chinese businesses are now using internet and about 80% of American businesses are now using internet. Unlike here in India, where the internet adoption has come a little late and the desktop adoption was slow and mobile phone phenomena has happened only in the last 4-5 years, we believe a lot of opportunity is there going forward," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

Arpit Agarwal, Director of Blume Ventures, said there is a great need for efficiency software to be adopted by SMEs. However, he expects the pace of adoption of efficiency software to be slow.

"We have seen that accounting software like Tally has a very wide adoption across SMEs. So, it is not that people are averse to using technology. There is also high usage for UPI and payment methods amongst the SMEs. There is definitely that level of digitization. However, what is unclear to me is why would a business change its processes to fit into a product paradigm of a new company? If you have a very simple ERP software, maybe it will require some degree of change of processes; it is not clear and the case has not been made strong enough why will an SME change its processes to adopt that software. However, the new crop of the companies, for example an Khatabook or OkCredit are now being adopted in a very wide manner to change some of these processes to make SMEs use software in a much deeper manner. So, I am hopeful that a lot more will happen in the coming years. However, the pace of change is going to be slow," he said.

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