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Indian Micro-businesses Remain Resilient Amidst COVID-19 Economic Impact

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A survey unveils, micro-businesses in India are optimistic about the future of their very small business, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 60 percent of the Indian very small business owners responding that despite the slowdown and negative impact brought on by the pandemic, they are confident that their business will continue (as compared to 52 percent globally). The survey further reveals strong values of resilience, self-reliance and zeal for digital skilling amongst Indian entrepreneurs – indicating a strong commitment to fight back in a post COVID-19 new normal environment. Micro-businesses continue to remain positive despite setbacks. With 57 percent of the respondents said they expect to be able to recover from the aftermath of COVID within the next three to 12 months. This clearly states how determined SMBs in India are to get back on track.

The survey also studies the challenges micro-businesses are facing during the current pandemic. Eighty-three percent of the Indian entrepreneurs surveyed reported a reduction in revenue and nearly half of them had to shut their business (45 percent) temporarily. Additionally, 45 percent had to make changes in the way they operated. Many small businesses in India are being impacted by low financial investment due to the COVID-19 environment, with more than 70 percent of respondents reported experiencing an overall decrease in investment with 37 percent say they started donating to charitable causes as compared to 17 percent globally. 

Secondly, during this challenging time,  a major things been highlighted and there is no denying that in recent months, with cyber criminals taking full advantage of the current crisis, there has been increased online fraud, malware and hacking into various private and governmental systems. The rise in cyber security incidents like phishing and ransomware are leading to an emerging demand for incident response services.

The Coronavirus pandemic outbreak is impacting businesses all over the world. Whether it is a multi-national conglomerate, or medium and small enterprises, businesses across the globe are facing the stalling of their operations. To survive such times, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it is imperative to adapt to the new normal.

As industries strive to sustain and strengthen long-term capabilities, they must also deal with immediate operational risks associated with disruptions in the workforce and service provision as well as with risks arising from cyberthreats and fraud. Today, over 80 percent of data breaches now occur at the app level. Protecting customers’ data and strengthening security to support remote work requires integrated security solutions to defend critical areas of risk. As more organizations embrace DevOps to improve their workflow and productivity, focus will be on application business logic and customer experience with cybersecurity policy and control consistency across on-prem and multi-cloud environments.

The survey further highlights how digital technology has proven to be a key growth enabler during these tough times. As a result of the national lockdown due to COVID-19, 53 percent said they will focus on accelerating online/social selling capabilities.  Moreover, about one third of the respondents from India said that this year they might increase financial investment in digital education (35 percent) and cyber security & data privacy (32 percent). As the most common mode of communicating with their customers, 35 percent of Indian respondents prefer to engage through a phone call (as compared to 25 percent globally), rather than by email, direct message or an in-person visit. Thinking about the long-lasting implications on work post COVID-19, 40 percent of the entrepreneurs in India are ready to modify their policies related to allowing remote work.

 

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