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E-commerce driving India’s SME growth

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New Delhi:  The surge of e-commerce in India is driving the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which in turn is contributing to new job opportunities and GDP contribution, a recent study shows.

The study, jointly conducted by domestic e-commerce player Snapdeal and market research firm KPMG, which also claimed that e-commerce sector in India is projected to cross $80 billion by 2020, examined the macro-impact of the sector on the growth of SMEs and identified remaining gaps in the ecosystem that needed to be plugged.

As per the report, 85 percent of SMEs who adopted e-coommerce believe that it is a cost effective medium for sales growth. The study also claimed that SMEs who actively adopt the internet for business activities boast 51 percent higher revenues, which results in 49 percent more profit and a seven percent broader consumer base than their offline counterparts.”At Snapdeal, we are working towards building the most impactful digital commerce ecosystem in the country and SMEs form the foundation of this ecosystem in many ways,” Kunal Bahl, co-founder and chief executive of Snapdeal said.

“With over 200,000 sellers operating on our platform, we felt the need to conduct a systematic unbiased study to identify opportunities and challenges to further accelerate the growth of the sector.”

“We have taken a number of initiatives like seller training programmes, seller financing programmes – Capital Assist and Snapdeal Seller Advisor Programme, with an aim of creating life changing experiences for over one million sellers in the next three years. This study has given us deeper insights into what more we can do to enable small businesses become more successful online,” he added.

The study also highlighted the importance of SMEs in the country which accounted for over 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and contributed to 45 percent of the nation’s industrial output and 40 percent of the total exports.

It also claimed that SMEs are capable of creating 1.3 million jobs per year.

“The fast paced growth of the e-commerce industry in India represents an unprecedented opportunity for SMEs. We hope that the findings of this report will assist policymakers, industry bodies and e-commerce companies to strengthen the support ecosystem, which enables SMEs to ride the e-commerce growth wave successfully,” Richard Rekhy, chief executive of KPMG India, said.

Snapdeal also said that it is aiming to disburse Rs.1,000 crore by the end of the year under its seller financing programmes.

“We have zero non-performing assets (NPA) under the programme,” Bahl added.

(IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)