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SMBs can increase revenues by 27pc using digital technology: Study

June 6, 2018

Adoption of advanced business digital technologies in India can lead to increase in revenues by up to 27 percent, increase in employment by up to 84 percent, and enhanced access to international markets by up to 65 percent for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study.

Digital infrastructure also helps in reducing the cost of business travels by leveraging technologies like telepresence. The study titled 'Digital India: Unlocking the Trillion Dollar opportunity' also revealed that in India, it is estimated that employees in SMBs with advanced digital engagement are 8.7 times more likely to collaborate than offline businesses.

The government has taken several measures to improve ease of doing business in India. As a result, India has witnessed an improvement in the global ranking for ease of doing business. Services such as eBiz portal, KYC, and other e-governance initiatives have started to contribute to the improvement in ease of doing business and this is expected to further improve.

The availability of digital infrastructure will help companies drive significant efficiencies, reduce time to market (new products, new markets) by digitising their core operations and supply chains, said the study. Currently, a number of domestic and global companies have announced investments in the digital space in India.

“Digital India is likely to have a significant impact on the profitability and operations of the business. Through adoption of digital technologies, companies can consolidate documentation, automate processes, and have access to efficient and cheaper information and communication technology capabilities,” said ASSOCHAM President Sandeep Jajodia.

Widespread implementation of telepresence and cloud computing technology under Digital India will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions. For example, telepresence can eliminate 20 percent of the business travel, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions by 1.08 million tonnes globally. Use of cloud storage for documents will significantly reduce the consumption of natural resources like paper.

India is the fifth-largest producer of e-waste, discarding approximately 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste each year. Under Digital India, adoption of information and communication technology solutions such as waste collection automation and waste management information and prognostics are expected to considerably reduce e-waste.

Using Digital infrastructure that is developed under the digital India program, city municipalities will be able to better manage the collection and disposal of solid waste and sewage. Several cities have started the deployment of pilot solutions for waste management in cities.

Digital India can prevent deforestation by increasing the use of digital solutions in the coming few years. For example, Google in collaboration with the University of Maryland and the UN Environment has developed Global Forest Watch 2.0 to prevent deforestation. This tool uses satellite technology, data sharing, and human networks to better manage forests.

Availability of digital infrastructure across various locations along with sensors and customised applications will help provide better information related to environmental challenges like pollution, climate change, weather monitoring, etc. This can help local governments react to local issues (like traffic congestion, high levels of pollution, etc.) in real time.

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