India’s Digital Footprint- Inclusion & Diversity

20 Mar 2023

India has set an example for the rest of the world by demonstrating extraordinary growth in digital infrastructure in a very short amount of time. India as an up-and-coming digital economy must ensure that the advantages of digital transition benefit the society at large. This necessitates a joint interchange and sharing of resources so that everyone gains from digitization.

India has the potential to become a US$ 40 trillion economy by the time it turns 100, in 2047, with milestones of US$5 trillion by 2026-27 and US$9 trillion by 2030-31. In this journey, emerging technologies will play a key role in increasing the contribution of small enterprises and building future ready MSMEs with India@100.  

Digital technologies offer robust solutions for resolving major industry issues, lowering production costs, enhancing geographical reach, streamlining financial management, and making last-mile delivery affordable, particularly for MSMEs. 

Digital Payment Gateways and FinTech Bridging Access to Finance

Today, the world recognises India’s leadership in the digital transaction and fintech ecosystem, which has benefited micro and small enterprises. FinTech’s and digital payment gateways have reduced the waiting period for payment and the availability of finance for MSMEs.

India is setting an example for the world with its digital growth story. The transactions on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform are worth 55% of India’s GDP and reflect the country’s acceptance of digitisation and support in addressing challenges and issues faced by businesses at every scale. MSMEs who work with limited capital and low profits are leveraging the benefit of e-loans and digital payment gateways for less paperwork and easy transactions.

Digital Tools Eliminating Barriers for Women Entrepreneurs 

Through digital intervention, India is working towards mitigating gender diversity gaps by providing a level playing field for women-led enterprises, own account enterprises and self-help groups, owned and run by women entrepreneurs. 

Modern technologies have eliminated the barriers of scale and created gender diversity thus offering equal opportunities to every entrepreneur, emanating in several success stories of women entrepreneurs. Digital technologies are helping women entrepreneurs leapfrog traditional obstacles, such as limited access to financial services, entrepreneurial networks, and skill-building opportunities. This has increased women’s participation in the MSME sector as well.  

Digital Saksham Initiative

The MSME sector has always been an area of priority for CII as a development organisation because of its importance to the nation. To assist MSMEs numerous initiatives and exchanges have been made, both on an individual and a cluster level. These interactions have made us realise that MSMEs need digital and financial tools to become digitally adept and expand their businesses regionally and internationally.

CII launched the Digital Saksham Initiative in 2021 with an aim to educate and train micro and small business owners and entrepreneurs enabling them to integrate into the digital economy and access credit, expand their market access, diversify their customer base, digitize their financial operations and solidify their supply chain. The ultimate objective is to unlock the full potential of MSMEs in India, measured by greater profitability and financial resilience.

The project has an ambitious outreach target of creating awareness on digital financial literacy for 3 lakhs micro and small business who will attain the knowledge and access to personal finance strategies and digital financial instruments through this intervention which will spread across 25 cities in 7 states.

CII MSME Leadership Summit

CII is organising a MSME Leadership Summit on 28th March 2023 in New Delhi, focusing on Inclusion & Diversity. The Summit will offer a platform felicitating the beneficiaries of the Digital Saksham Project and deliberate on how MSMEs have reaped the benefits of digital transformation. A session will focus on how digital payment gateways have enabled MSMEs to think beyond boundaries and how the Fintech players have set an example for the world to leverage the benefit of digital financial transactions. 

The Summit will celebrate success stories and further discuss how to increase the participation of women enterprises in India’s growth story. One of the sessions will delve into how to increase MSMEs’ participation and adoption of green technologies for sustainable development and how Indian business enterprises will drive the digital transformation wave and transform India from a consumer of green technology to a producer of green technology.

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