The Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been contributing significantly to the expansion of entrepreneurial endeavours through business innovations. Stronger participation by SMEs in the Indian market is helping to strengthen economic development and social well-being.
The HR leaders of these fast-growing SMEs and startups must nurture and enable their business and talent to thrive in an ever-evolving environment.
In an interview, Rohit Prasad, Managing Director and CEO, Easebuzz talks about the rise of SMEs and puts the spotlight on the changing role of HR.
What’s driving the exponential growth of the SME industry?
Nurturing this massive entrepreneurial ecosystem is crucial for the country to achieve its mission of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. Access to technology and better digital infrastructure can fuel the growth of SMEs and startups.
Some important factors that are acting as a catalyst for the rise of the SME and startup economy:
1. Digital adoption:
Indian Consumers and Business have adopted digital channels rapidly in the past two years. Digitization, today is influencing the value chain of businesses including Product Proposition, Service Delivery, Marketing Communication, etc. Today an SME or a startup can take their business online without heavily investing in technology. They can use products like Webstore to list their products, Payment Gateway and Payment Links to digitally receive payments from their customers. Managing finances has also become easier and cheaper with solutions offered by companies like Easebuzz that automates reconciliation, and gives a full and real-time view of cash flows for businesses.
2. Access of new markets
The rise of digital adoption has fuelled online commerce, which inturn has taken aways the geographical limitations for businesses in terms of new market access and selling products and services to remote clients is just a click away. Product Demonstrations are being done through Walkthrough videos and DIY Tutorials. Today an apparel manufacturer in the remotest part of Rajasthan can sell his products via Webstore to a prospective customer residing in the Southern part of Kanyakumari. This digital empowerment is powerful and it is here to stay.
3. Availability of Capital
Today, there are more options for raising money than there were 25 years ago. The idea of seed funds, angel funds, crowdfunding, venture capital funding, etc., has made it simpler to establish a business today as a startup or as an SME.
4. Investing in right talent:
By regularly monitoring employees performance and analysing their productivity, HR professionals are helping to improve employee productivity, uncover skill gaps, engage the workforce, etc. HR professionals with new tech capabilities such as workforce analytics and data-driven decision-making skills are empowering businesses.
How are the macro disruptions and developing SME sector impacting your business?
As the business and tech ecosystem evolve, we see our client’s requirements are also evolving as per their increased needs. At Easebuzz, we cater to more than 70,000 businesses across sectors like Education, Healthcare, BFSI, Travel and Leisure, Real Estate etc.
Each sector has its own use cases and problem statements when it comes to managing their financial operating system that includes Payment Collections, Payouts, Expense Management, Reconciliation, etc. Talent that can empathise with these client needs and create digital solutions & services becomes paramount. On top of this, the best solutions can only be created through the best technologies. Hence, we invest in upskilling and re-skilling our talent to meet the growing needs of our clients.
What are some critical changes in your talent management policies that you have introduced to navigate through the ongoing business demands and talent requirements?
Companies all over the world had adapted to changed circumstances and behaviors during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This required lots of innovation and adaptability in the way we operated. At Easebuzz, we have taken a conscious and proactive decision to work from home during the pandemic and in the post Covid world to flexible working mode as per each of the business function’s requirements.
We were adaptive, resilient and our hybrid virtual model helped our employees to contribute to the business continuity during and after the pandemic. Our HR professionals managed to foster continued employee engagement through scheduled weekly team meetings, fun sessions with the teams, online townhall sessions and many more interactive activities to deal with the stress caused by pandemic in all our lives.
What is one big HR transformation you have successfully led in recent times? What worked?
We implemented a new HRMS tool in our system and made the payroll process of our employees error-free. It is easy to access on any device and gives you the advantage of simplifying the daily activities. Our managers from every department are able to track the work progress of their team members with ease. It also offers Pay slip details and computes the income tax deduction on salaries. Apart from it, we are able to recruit and onboard employees with the right set of skills along with internal job posting and employee referrals.
How is the role of HR in SMEs, startups, and fast-growing organizations changing? How are you enabling your HR teams to gear up for this change and contribute to the exponential growth of your company?
If you are into HR, you already understand that the company's success is built on its people. The goal is to understand the ins and outs of a company’s employees. This includes what’s really going on in the workforce and how to best utilise the resources. Our HR team comes up with learning and development opportunities for every employee based on their requirements and performance. Sessions for the newly hired employees are held with our managers from each department to guide the newcomers on the existing products and services. We also provide our employees with a one day tour to our headquarters welcoming them in our office and guiding them with our company’s culture.
Learning Enhancement. And Development (LEAD) Townhall sessions are also initiated by our HR in which employees across various departments get to learn new technology and skills they need in their evolving job rolls.
The role of the HR, which was never under the spotlight a few years ago, has become vital today. While designing policies, processes and practices, what are the key principles that make HR professionals in fast-growing organizations more effective?
Human resource management and designing work policies play an important role in building an organisation. No matter how much capital you invest in your business, you always need people to make the capital work. HR professionals in an organisation bridge the gap between employees’ performance and the organisation’s strategic objectives.
5 effective key principles of HR Professionals in fast growing organisations:
1. Individual growth
Any company should provide equal opportunity to every individual to grow along with the business. HR departments in every organization have the responsibility of encouraging the employees to upskill their skills.
2. Selecting right people
Selecting the right mix of skillful individuals for your firm is one of the crucial tasks of HR professionals. If there is a mismatch, the particular team gets impacted.
3. Allowing equal participation
To increase the commitment towards work every individual employee must feel that their voice is being heard. This automatically boosts their performance and gives them a sense of authority towards their work.
4. Right pay scale
The remuneration of every employee hired must be fair. This can be measured with parameters like the amount of effort put-in, outcomes and the responsibilities they hold in the team.
5. Team Building workshops
Regular events and workshops in organization help employees to build team spirit benefiting the organisation overall. It's the responsibility of HR to promote the sense of mutual respect and camaraderie in the ecosystem.