Business Standard writes:
Access Market International (AMI), the US-based IT research agency, reckons that the size of the Indian SME market will rise sharply from $ 6.33 billion (Rs 28,504 crore) in 2003 to over $ 10.45 billion (Rs 47,056 crore) in 2005.
Dhawan points out that SMEs already account for over 45 per cent of the total IT revenues in the country. Whats more, the segment is growing faster than the overall IT industry by 20-25 per cent this year versus the average growth rate in the IT market of 17 per cent. More importantly, India has some 18 lakh SMEs and only the surface has been scratched.
An AMI study of SMEs shows that only three per cent of them in India have a local area network at their offices or factories, just 15 per cent have a internet connection, four per cent have broadband and a mere one per cent have their own website. Notes AMI analyst Deepinder Sahni: This clearly shows what a large untapped market is waiting for everyone to leverage.
Encouragingly for IT companies, Sahnis market research suggests that most SMEs are increasingly realising that investing in IT can improve bottomlines. The AMI study found that over the next 12 to 18 months, 17 per cent of the SMEs AMI contacted want a data back up and recovery system, 18 per cent want to interconnect their offices, and about 21 per cent want instant messaging systems to be installed in their offices.
To be sure, IT companies realise that catering to SMEs is an entirely different ball game. Unlike the big boys, they are extremely sensitive to price, demand quick implementation, want continuous support as they dont have IT departments and often are not located in metropolitan cities.