Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses
in India and the Way Ahead

Executive Summary

In the last quarter of 2020, we reached out to 250 randomly selected owners of Small Businesses with annual revenue between INR 1 bn and INR 3 bn across 7 big cities in India to learn the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. We found that more than 82% of the businesses had a negative impact and 70% of them believe that it will take them almost a year to achieve the pre-COVID-19 level of demand. Around 60% of surveyed businesses expect more measures and support including government interventions. Findings from the survey further reveal that three topmost challenges that might impede Small Businesses to scale up their businesses are Market Access (42%), Improving the Overall Productivity (37%) and Having Access to More Finance (34%).

Countries are witnessing the 2nd and 3rd wave of the pandemic amidst battling the deepest recession since the World War II. Small Businesses are the worst affected across countries, sectors and segments and India is no exception. In India, more than 99% of businesses belong to Micro, Small and Medium category and 94% of them are unorganized. This provided the background for our survey to understand about Small Businesses on:

  1. What is the depth of COVID-19 impact on businesses?
  2. When will pre-COVID-19 level of demand return?
  3. What challenges will they face and what are the support measures needed for revival?
  4. What is the role of digitization during the pandemic and in the post pandemic scenario?
  5. What are their future plans regarding adoption of Next-Gen Technologies?

This report provides insights on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. The outcome of this report will also help in understanding how Small Businesses are using marketing and digital solutions/tools to overcome their biggest challenges and how the government and the private service providers can help them to recover.

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