Dr Vivek Bindra, Founder & CEO, Bada Business

Entrepreneurship is a coveted role. If you talk to 100 young professionals, chances are that 50% of them would express a desire to start their own business. Many people do start side businesses along with their regular jobs, hoping to turn full time entrepreneurs once their business picks pace. Millions inherit small enterprises, shops or factory units from their families and continue to conduct the businesses without any improvisation. Unfortunately, in the absence of adequate awareness and up to the mark business skills of entrepreneurs, a large number of small and micro businesses in India fail to reach their true potential. Limited exposure, low level of skills or lack of long term vision prevents many businesses in India from growing and scaling up. This also prevents them from becoming job creators.

According to the estimates given by the Ministry of MSME, India has 6.33 crore Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises, out of which 6.30 crore or over 99% are micro-enterprises. Making business training and up skilling accessible to entrepreneurs running these small and micro enterprises will give millions of businesses the knowledge and wherewithal to apply the right strategies for scaling up. In turn, this can deliver rich dividends for the Indian economy.

Entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs today can undertake a series of online courses to up skill themselves in multiple aspects of business operations. From learning effective digital marketing skills, acing working capital management to effective cost cutting techniques for a cash crunch situation to branding, here’s why Indian entrepreneurs need relevant business training and up skilling:

To establish sustainable businesses

An entrepreneurship monitoring report prepared by Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) in 2016-17 estimated that as much as 11 per cent of India’s adult population is engaged in ‘total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA)’. However, only 5 per cent go on to establish their own businesses. While many drop out early on in their entrepreneurial journey, others end up failing within the first five years. A Survey by the Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics estimates that up to 90 per cent of startups fail within half a decade.

This is why wantrepreneurs and small entrepreneurs need access to easy yet effective business training to make them abreast with elemental business lessons and the do’s and don’ts of entrepreneurship. It is true that a large number of successful businesses are established by people without any formal business training and that these people learn the tricks of the trade on the job. However, making business training and up skilling available to a large number of entrepreneurs can help them adopt the right strategies to establish sustainable businesses that last.

To be able to scale up and grow

A majority of micro businesses in India function with just 3-4 people managing all operations. In many cases a few family members join forces to run the entire enterprise. This implies that these handful of people are engaged in everything that the business does from end to end – procuring, manufacturing, marketing, selling, financial management etc. If you are conducting all business operations by yourself, you will have no timeleft to consider business expansion and innovation.It is important therefore to teach and train these businesses in the art of relegating work and focusing on expansion. As a business coach who trains small entrepreneurs, this is one important aspect of training I focus on. Small business owners must learn to expand their workforce and move to managerial roles themselves. This must be accompanied by strategic moves to increase the consumer base, look for newer markets and undertake digital outreach. Undergoing business skill training can help small entrepreneurs avail the necessary guidance and hand holding solutions that can enable them adopt suitable strategies to scale up their businesses.

Training in digital marketing media and outreach

Despite a large population already abreast with the Internet and digital medium, most small businesses in India are yet to turn digital. COVID 19, however, has given a definitive push towards digitization as most businesses now depend heavily on online sales and digital marketing for survival. According to an SMB Digital Maturity Study by CISCO India, digitalisation of small and medium businesses could add USD 158- USD 216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024 while enabling a recovery for the COVID hit Indian economy

However, lack of awareness, training and guidance to undertake digital initiatives remains a challenge for most small businesses. Business training for small entrepreneurs must include dispersing effective knowledge on how to leverage digital technology to expand the business. From selling online to adopting digital customer relationship management to having a robust digital and social media marketing strategy, small businesses need to learn how to undertake an effective digital consumer outreach.

Adopting profitable strategies and technology

Let’s illustrate this with an example. For a small entrepreneur who uses traditional manual labour and processes to harvest honey from beehives, knowledge and availability of new age technology for bee farming can be life changing. Converting your traditional business into new age bee farms where technology adoption enables bees to further thrive does not just boost your profitability but also engineers new opportunities and employment. Business training and up skilling also enlightens entrepreneurs about the new technologies that can be used to improve productivity and efficiency in their domains.

What can I do to further improve productivity of my business? How can I transform my business by adopting new profitable strategies and technology? Can Artificial Intelligence based technology be a boon for your business? Every small entrepreneur considers such questions and the answer lies in relevant business training and up skilling.

Right skill training support can enable entrepreneurs usher in innovations into their businesses and generate employment and income for the economy.

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