On the third episode of the three-part series on Amazon Smbhav broadcast on CNN-News18, top leadership of Indian businesses and policy makers discussed the infinite possibilities for Indian small and medium businesses in engaging panel discussions.
Amazon Smbhav, which brought together various stakeholders in the Indian SME ecosystem, had plenty to offer all parties involved. The two-day summit provided a platform for over 3600 small and medium business owners to engage with peers, policy agents, and prominent thought leadership on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the sector, and how technology can be an enabler for scaling up. The proceedings were documented on CNN-News18 in a three-part series, the first two parts of which featured the likes of NR Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys; Kishore Biyani, Founder & CEO of Future Group; and Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon. The event also felicitated some SMBs for their work, with some prizes handed over by Jeff Bezos himself.
The full list of winners:
• ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the Year,’ Tanvi Johri of Carmesi
• ‘Digital SMB of the Year,’ Playshifu
• ‘Global SMB of the Year,’ Vahdam Teas
• ‘Best SMB Brand of the Year,’ Pee Safe
• ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year,’ Kadam Haat
• ‘Innovator of the Year,’ Try and Buy Fashion
• ‘Youth SMB of the Year,’ Arjun Vaidya, CEO, Dr. Vaidya’s
• ‘Fastest Growing SMB of the Year,’ Loom Solar
• ‘Transformation of the Year,’ Being Chef
Amazon Smbhav was punctuated some thought-provoking panel discussions, one of which was titled ‘Physical Retail and Ecommerce: Growing In Harmony,' Moderated by Sameer Khetrapal, Director – Category Management with Amazon India, the discussion saw top leadership from popular retail brands in India like Shoppers Stop, Bata India, Amazon India, Vijay Sales discussing the balance between online and offline retail spaces. Most discussants agreed that it was a mixture of online and offline retail that held the highest promise of continued success for the Indian SME ecosystem. Sumeet Narang, Founder & MD of Samara Capital emphasising that it is ecosystems that ultimately win, said, “Having the right ecosystem partner is going to make a difference.” Nilesh Gupta, Managing Partner of Vijay Sales spoke about how online retail has spurred on the huge growth of electronics consumption, and said, “Most customers still buy things both online as well as offline. I think the retail ecosystem is still evolving.” Manish Tiwary, Vice President – Category Management with Amazon India advised up and coming SMBs that they use the online platform as a launch pad where they can experiment, then fine tune the product or service online before taking the product to physical retail spaces.
‘Blurring Geographical Boundaries For SMBs,’ was the title of another panel discussion where key leaders from Amazon.com, HSBC, TRIFED, Vahdam Teas, among others discussed the challenges that lay ahead for Indian SMBs for scaling up not just inside the country but also abroad. HSBC’s Aditya Gahlaut, MD & Head - Global Sales and Receivables Finance spoke about how banks are simplifying transnational transactions thus helping small businesses by reducing the amount of paperwork. Pravir Krishna, MD of TRIFED, a cooperative that sells products made by tribals in India, said that selling products abroad could be a game-changer for Indian entrepreneurs. “Marketing outside the country fetches twice or three times the price you get within India,” he said. Nicholas Denissen, VP-Small Business with Amazon.com, explained how technlogy can be a great enabler to the SMB ecosystem, saying, “We recently opened marketplaces in Australia, Singapore, and the UAE. SMBs look to Amazon to be able to reach such customers around the world. And we’re developing tools to help businesses with complicated challenges like pricing.”