R S Maan, Managing Director and Global Chief Revenue Officer, Codleo

RS Maan, who is the Managing Director & Global CRO of Codleo, he has been introducing the power of CRM- Salesforce to the corporates in India and North-Eastern USA since 2010. Presently, he heads Codleo with his impressive leadership and business skills that drive sales & improves ROI. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Indraprastha University followed by a Business Marketing Diploma from IIM, Calcutta. He is an occasional reader and prefers reading only KhaledHosseini’s novels. In his free time, he spends his time by playing with his dog, Leo. He finds solace in counseling people around him and hence is always on a quest to build communication and connections.


The rise of Indian SMBs has always been at the peak. But they have been facing an array of troubles and traumas with their existence lately. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic being the main culprit has caused significant upheavals to the Indian SMBs. When larger organizations were able to continue operations for having a strong IT infrastructure, the SMBs lost their footfall in the journey by not being backed up by any. Thus, the pandemic brought a plethora of challenges for these businesses to survive and allow their business continuity. Now, as the country is looking forward to gradually revive its economy, the Indian SMBs too, are opting for innovative ways to pivot their business by embracing strong Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and technology.

Impact of COVID-19 on Indian SMBs

The lockdown has brutally affected millions of SMBs to suffer in terms of production, distribution, and consumption with utmost damage. Consequently, these small businesses after being compelled to face an acute liquidity crunch and their incapability to retain migrant workers have realized that they have no other choice except pivoting & persisting.

Manufacturing, Professional Services, and Retail – the three verticals of SMBs suffered a humongous pandemic-driven impact. The shutting down of factories and plants in the Manufacturing and Retail vertical would not have damaged its footfall if it embraced an IT infrastructure via CRM. The unprecedented situation paves the way for these small brands to embrace CRM more than ever which would help them to connect with their customers.

Role of CRM & Digital Services to Reinvent SMBs Post Lockdown

Indian SMBs have an inherited disadvantage of limited resources and time with the pandemic doubling the effect more. It is the reason why every emerging start-up and business should leverage a strong CRM solution to reinvent post lockdown. Without a digital transition, the road to recovery of the Indian SMBs is just not viable. Only those SMBs who have a strong willingness and courage to utilize strong CRM to manage contacts & sales activities can emerge as winners.

Like every business, SMBs too, have customers demanding their attention and best services. As customer footfall increases in a business, it becomes truly challenging for them to serve each one of them efficiently and make them always feel special. It signals that without the presence of CRM, these SMBs cannot put and serve their customers first, facilitate advanced engagement, and gain customers’ loyalty by staying organized in the process.

CRM can help these businesses to connect with their customers, revive customer loyalty, increase missed sales, and advance all their marketing services, & sales efforts. As a result, they are blessed with a holistic view of their data & customers, enhanced customer service, improved communication, and efficiencies, understanding customer buying patterns & emotions, and a quick boost to quality analytical reporting & data.

A CRM platform helps SMBs to identify all the potential obstacles to the success of their customers. Besides, they can track all basic information including names, addresses, and contact numbers of customers. Alongside, all the activities of a particular customer on the website, all the employees who have already engaged with a customer, all the interactions a customer has over email, social media & phone messages etc. can be tracked via a CRM solution.

Today, the Government stimulates a larger portion of the digital transformation of the SMB sector. Intending to enable technology adoption for Indian SMBs and MSMEs, the Modi Government launched a three-year project titled ‘Tech-Saksham’ in 2019 to help them overcome the technological barriers and facilitate the growth & development of this particular sector.

It is important to note that digital empowerment can help them improve supply management & management practices, garner digital access to both local & global value chains. As many of them lack the required skills and resources to leverage this opportunity, the government along with big corporations, policymakers, and industry stakeholders must assist the SMB sector by up skilling to achieve a strong footprint in the digital ecosystem post lockdown.

Summing Up

Indian SMBs run far behind any other business in a developed country sadly. Their growth has always been negligible due to the lack of IT infrastructure. Thus, to unlock the full potential of the Indian SMBs now to contribute hugely to the Indian economy, the sector needs to leverage digital transformation by the above-mentioned ways to steadily stand on their feet in the post lockdown.

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