Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and Tata Teleservices, among India’s top telcos, are focusing on medium and small-scale enterprises (MSME) as these businesses become more digitized and offer better revenue opportunities than larger established corporates with fixed network service providers.
In its recently issued annual report for FY20-21, India’s largest telecom Jio referred to MSMEs as the “bedrock” of the Indian economy since they lack access to integrated digital services and the know-how to implement them.
“JioBusiness is bridging this gap by providing enterprise-grade voice and data services, digital solutions, and devices to small businesses which would make them efficient, competitive…,” said Reliance Jio in its report.
Analysts predict that, with stability in the mobile customer sector and stickiness among major corporations, the MSME segment will stay unexplored and will be the income source after the pandemic.
“There are about 20 million small and medium businesses or what we call Kirana stores in the retail segment. They are now largely fragmented but post-Covid, are trying to digitize and this is where telcos can woo them with their cloud-based enterprise solutions,” said Rohan Dhamija, partner and head of India and the Middle East at Analysys Mason.
Airtel, Jio’s main opponent, is also pursuing the MSME market while providing B2B solutions to its business customers. Airtel has teamed up with the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) to provide MSMEs products such as corporate mobile plan bundles, cloud solutions, network security, and toll-free calling, among other things.
The enterprise segment now accounts for roughly 10% of a telco’s revenue, but analysts predict that it will expand to 20% -30% in the next several years. According to economists, the MSME sector will account for the majority of this increase.
Leading telecommunications companies are having difficulty attracting customers to their high-end pricing plans. MSMEs, on the other hand, may purchase an Rs. 1,000 plan to cover their data needs as well as other solutions that have been created for the sector. These technologies will aid MSMEs in enhancing their digital presence, and this might be a new market for telecoms to tap into.