How Power2SME is harnessing tech to enable SMEs make mindful decisions

One of the key barriers for small and medium enterprises (SME) to scale is balancing a procurement process that is time and cost-effective and can be managed with limited resources. From inviting quotes for products and services to managing contracts, assessing risk, and ensuring smooth supplier relationship management, several complex aspects of procurement need to be addressed well with limited capital and personnel.

Launched in January 2012, Gurgaon-based Power2SME, a tech-enabled digital platform, enables SMEs to address many of the above challenges, help them procure raw material at competitive prices, and access finance at improved interest rates.

With a team of 230 people spread across 16 cities, the company aggregates demand from small businesses and places a large order with the supplier. It then splits the large order into smaller parts per the requirement and delivers it to the small business using a third-party logistics provider.

Key challenges

According to the Power2SME CTO, Nitish Pandey, while technology has been the most significant enabler in these transformative times, SMEs’ potential is still not fully realized because of their lack of willingness to adopt the technology. And pushing them for this digital transition has been a significant challenge for Power2SME.

The prime module on which the entire business of Power2SME has based is the request for quote (RFQ) system, where companies come to the website to check the product, price, availability, finance options, and if something requires, they can raise the request. Second one is-Order of fulfillment system.

“There are people, for instance, who are not comfortable with Video KYC. They want to do that in an old-school way. While we can educate them, few are waiting for the ecosystem to educate them. For instance, even if everything gets uploaded on the website, many of our users continue to reach out to us through phones and emails, as they are not comfortable browsing the website for details. So, the challenge is the adoption, especially in the B2B with large ticket size,” Pandey states.

In addition to the above, the company is also facing challenges related to getting the right talent who can understand the SME challenges and know the relevant technologies to address those gaps. A key focus is also to understand the unique requirements of varied customers and provide the appropriate support and solutions.

Data-led approach to bridge the gap

A ray of sunshine for the company is that assigned Chartered Accountants (CAs) of many users are comfortable and well-versed with assessing information online. “When we found out that CAs are becoming more tech-savvy than the owners themselves, we built a hierarchy login system on the website and secured one for the CA. People are attaching value to the information that is coming from our system, and for those, we are making our system flexible for different people in their ecosystem to access that information but with clear traceability,” Pandey informs.

Power2SME says that it is using message buses to promote its communications. In addition to addressing the communication challenge in the management, they are putting up in place the API gateways. Power2SME recently upgraded its customer relationship management (CRM) suite to strengthen its forecast, reporting, and multichannel capabilities.

Power2SME has also developed a platform to enable a smooth connection between SMEs and financial institutes called FinanSME. Besides, they also have an online marketplace, SMEshops, to meet SME buyers’ growing and frequent requirements of industrial maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) goods.

As the company’s business continues to grow, it expects to see an exponential surge of data in the next two to three years and continue to deploy technologies to make a meaningful and intelligent interpretation.

“The data we receive is not from the customer’s perspective. We have a robust BI. A team dedicated to BI invests much effort in scientifically building a data mart and data warehouses. We use tableau for that. We use reports to analyze where is a constraint in suppliers, which commodities are getting us a good margin, which financial product is getting more traction, which sales head is doing a good job but not an automated way right now,” notifies Pandey.

What?s next?

In the future, Power2SME plans to provide services like enhancing, merging, acquiring, health insurance, worker insurance, and B2B service exchange. There is also a massive focus on automation, predictive analytics, providing ratings to the suppliers, and developing effective workflows and feedback capturing analytical tools to ensure the products and services offered on its platform are of superior quality.

In 2021, the company moved to AWS, and the next step in the journey is to adopt cloud-native tools and to move their data centers to the cloud architecture.

To manage its talent needs for tech, the company heavily relies on LinkedIn and partnerships with HR Consultants, whose priority is to hire people with product backgrounds.

As the company forays into the loan lending system, it extensively uses in-house technology to record the data, scan people, CIBIL score, banking signatures, and other details.

Share on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *