MSMEs targeted in Vodafone Idea’s new enterprise play

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Vodafone Idea’s enterprise arm, Vi Business, has launched Ready for Next, a program targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that it hopes will drive enterprise revenues and make it more competitive with rivals such as Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.

Vi Business says Ready for Next was “curated to help the MSMEs accelerate their growth potential” and is “built on the philosophy of handholding the MSMEs in their entire digital journey”.

In practical terms, that means helping MSMEs access their digital readiness, and identify gaps and required steps to become a “future-ready organisation”.

Ready for Next – developed in association with Dun & Bradstreet – offers a suite of MSME solutions, including integrated IoT solutions, cloud managed services and cloud telephony solutions.

“MSMEs are the backbone of India’s economy, contributing 30% to the GDP,” said Arvind Nevatia, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Vodafone Idea, in a statement. “[Ready For Next] is aimed to simplify their decision making process and help them identify the right focus, direction and solutions for their business, to be ready for tomorrow.”

Nevatia was also quoted in the Mint newspaper saying that India’s base of 63 million MSMEs provides a sizeable market opportunity for the telco, and that Vi Business expects the program to be a game changer that will empower 250,000 MSMEs to fast track growth over the next year.

Around 40% of India’s telecoms revenues come from the enterprise sector.

Nevatia named retail, healthcare and electric vehicles as some of the sectors interested in adopting technology solutions for business growth, better efficiency and enhanced security, Mint reports.

Nevatia said that segments such as healthcare are coming up with demand for digitized solutions and cloud telephony. “We are seeing good growth and traction in this customer base—cloud telephony solutions, auto-receptionist elements, which I think are still at a low penetration and will grow with more and more MSMEs formalizing themselves,” he said.

Digital adoption will enable SMEs to add $158-216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024, according to Cisco SMB Digital Maturity Study 2020.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea is also bullish on the enterprise 5G network opportunity in India – Nevatia said the telco is best placed to serve enterprises once spectrum is deployed commercially. He added that telcos in general are better suited to offer 5G private network services, compared to enterprises themselves deploying their own networks

Indian telcos recently asked the government to ensure that captive private networks are set up strictly by enterprises or corporates and not “third parties” such as system integrators and Big Tech companies who would use their license to compete directly with telcos.

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