Rituparna Kakati | 22 Feb, 2017
Marketing is the toughest challenge a small and medium enterprise (SME) has to face successfully in order to survive and succeed, said Neha Yaduvanshi, founder of Vastada Consulting, a business consulting firm. That is why, she viewed, SMEs should work with consultants to build right strategy, execute that strategy for sustainable growth and develop effective marketing programs.
Yaduvanshi added that Indian SMEs tend to stay small or become even smaller, in contrast to their counterparts in developed countries like US, Germany & UK due to lack of supports the Indian business ecosystem provides. "We need to create an ecosystem for SMEs of business consultants, technology partners, equipment suppliers and competent professional with right skills where SMEs can feel safe and make big decisions," she said.
Commenting on growing need of automation in the Indian SME sector, Yaduvanshi said that there is a common misconception that small enterprises cannot afford automation while in contrast in reality industrial automation companies have also developed solutions and products for SMEs called affordable automation solutions/products.
Excerpts from the interview...
Please tell us something about your company?
Neha Yaduvanshi: Vastada Consulting is an independent & young research and business consulting firm providing professional strategy, campaign, intelligence, events, digital and communication services to its clients based on continuous research and analysis of facts. Our list of services includes:
1. Research & Analysis
2. Multi-Dimensional Campaigns
3. Media Planning & Buying
4. 360* Marketing
5. Creative Strategy
6. Social Media
7. Event Management & Training Workshops
8. Public Relations
How does Vastada Consulting help SMEs to plan their growth strategy?
Neha Yaduvanshi: SMEs play a vital role in Indiaâs growth and SMEs are primary drivers for jobs and economic growth. We provide extensive research & intelligent analysis at grass root level that provides valuable insights for the SMEs and we develop customize strategy and marketing programs resulting in business growth, increased productivity and excellence at innovation. We work on the following 5 perspectives for SMEs:
i. Business Model
v. Structure & Human Potential Management
What common mistakes do you think SMEs are prone to?
Neha Yaduvanshi: An important factor contributing to the success of SME is marketing. Marketing is one of the most important business activity and essential element to the survival and growth of enterprise. First we need to ask ourselves. Do we have the requisite competencies in the right places to do a holistic marketing & growth? Certainly not to the scale required, as far as the SME sector is concerned in India. The challenge here is not only technical and budget but often more complex in terms of managementâs approach towards marketing (rather than system), unshared vision and unclear approach to long term goals. There is a huge opportunity but the initial steps of engagement revolve largely around consulting; and SMEs should work with consultants to build right strategy, execute that strategy for sustainable growth and develop effective marketing programs. Vastada Consulting have developed some specific business growth plans and marketing programs for SMEs. The right kind of consulting and infrastructure would make it easier for SMEs to refine their ideas before making the big decision like entering into new location/market, launching new products and making investments.
How does Vastada Consulting help choose right marketing and advertising mediums for SMEs?
Neha Yaduvanshi: We start with converting a business idea into a business plan for SMEs. We value their business and do research and comprehensive analysis to find out where the company currently stands in the market. We believe every campaign is different. A winning message created by Vastada Consulting begins with research, planning, and a deep understanding of people & goals. We build winning long-range media plans that maximize campaign effectiveness, ensure the message gets in the front of the right audience and makes a positive impact. We create innovative and compelling marketing & advertising strategy for SMEs by leveraging the right combination of strategy, content, programs & creative to effectively engage key audiences.
As you have worked in the Automation Industry Association before starting your own consulting firm, please tell us how difficult it is for an SME company to go for industrial automation and make a big investment for automation and how do you help SMEs to make right choices for implementing automation technology.
Neha Yaduvanshi: The need for automation is significantly increasing in all businesses in India. Itâs really difficult for an SME to go and talk to an industrial automation company as they perceive these companies offering solutions and equipments at a very high price. But this is not true. Industrial automation companies have also developed solutions and products for SMEs called affordable automation solutions/products. We have good industrial automation consultants in our team and also have tie ups with companies offering solutions to SMEs keeping their budget and requirement in the first priority. As a business consultant my first responsibility is to advice our client to go for the best technology and automation solutions which fit in their budget and result in efficient processes, increased productivity and superior quality products.
What is your view on the current position of Indian SMEs in this regard as compared their global counterparts?
Neha Yaduvanshi: Across the globe, a majority of firms are born small and they grow over the years in terms of revenue, size and employment. But SMEs in India tend to stay small or become even smaller, in contrast to their counterparts in developed countries like US, Germany & UK, which grows substantially. Average number of workers in Indian SMEs is also low in comparison to SMEs in other countries like China & Indonesia. We need to create an ecosystem for SMEs of business consultants, technology partners, equipment suppliers and competent professional with right skills where SMEs can feel safe and make big decisions. Government can play a bigger role in the growth of SMEs in India by providing them support in training, investment and policies. SMEs should also take next steps by going for collaboration to learn new methods, processes and technology.
Whatâs your future plan?
Neha Yaduvanshi: We are going to open offices in Bangalore, Lucknow & Mumbai. We are also planning to have international presence by starting our operations and opening our office in USA & Europe next year.
* Neha Yaduvanshi is an independent consultant.
* The views expressed by him/her are his/her own and not that of SME Times.