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SMBs and the AI Advantage: Driving Success Through Technology

SMBs and the AI Advantage: Driving Success Through Technology

20 Jun, 2023

SMBs are the often overlooked powerhouse of the Indian economy. With a staggering 70 Mn+ SMBs contributing 34% to the country’s GDP, they form an essential pillar of our economy. India boasts the second-largest number of SMBs in the world, and the traditional sectors of Retail, Manufacturing, Logistics and more, make up the bulk of these businesses.

AI in SMB Operations

In today’s hyper-competitive global economy, businesses of all sizes must stay ahead to thrive. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the game-changer that can empower Indian SMBs, enabling them to not only compete in such a competitive landscape but also grow exponentially. From enhancing products and services to transforming customer engagement, AI has the potential to revolutionize SMB operations and drive success through tangible outcomes.

The best part? Indian businesses are already embracing AI, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating this trend. In response to the crisis, an impressive 45% of Indian small businesses have significantly increased their utilization of AI. This indicates a widespread adoption of AI among Indian SMBs, recognizing its immense possibilities.

AI provides SMBs with a crucial competitive edge by automating tasks, processing data, and facilitating data-driven decision-making. Ignoring its significance is no longer an option, as staying relevant and competitive in today’s business landscape is increasingly challenging. SMBs understand the benefits of AI in boosting productivity, enhancing profitability, and improving customer service by minimizing errors, automating tasks, and gaining valuable insights into customer behavior.

To ensure sustainable growth and secure their position as industry leaders, Indian SMBs are boldly embracing AI’s transformative potential. Here are the top three remarkable use cases through which AI is revolutionizing the future of Indian SMBs.



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  1. AI-powered Conversations

Did you know that AI-powered chatbots can skyrocket SMBs’ sales by a staggering 67%? And it’s no secret that today’s consumers are increasingly drawn towards conversational AI, with around 69% preferring it as their top customer service channel.

These AI-powered bots provide a scalable one-on-one connection with customers, and have thus become a crucial tool to boost operational effectiveness by improving the intelligence, knowledge, and convenience of the customer journey. By utilizing Automation and Machine Learning (ML), they also ensure constant customer engagement and satisfaction levels, by offering 24X7 support and an always-on presence consistently.

An online education platform, IvyKids (formerly Yellow Class), is a prime example of how chatbots can drive success for small businesses. Their AI-powered WhatsApp bot created personalized promotional messages and responded to frequently asked questions quickly, freeing up human agents to handle more complex requests. The result? Over 35,000 people supported, and 150,000 conversations completed, making it a massive success for AI chatbots in the SMB industry.

  1. Predictive Analytics for Decision-Making

In business, it is often said that one bad decision can lead to a chain of events that can bring even the strongest of companies to their knees. For SMBs, the stakes are even higher as the repercussions of a poor decision can have disastrous effects on their future. But with AI-powered predictive analytics, SMBs can navigate the murky waters of business with greater confidence and intelligence.

Gone are the days of relying on gut instinct and a limited network of connections and influencers to make critical business decisions. Today, businesses have access to unprecedented amounts of data and analytics that can help them identify risks, trends, and opportunities. Predictive Analytics, in particular, has emerged as a paradigm shift for SMBs, allowing them to foresee potential financial difficulties and take proactive steps to mitigate them.

Take Aibono, for example, an Indian agricultural SMB, that has harnessed the power of Predictive Analytics to transform its supply chain and operations. By analyzing data on weather patterns, soil moisture levels, and other environmental factors, Aibono was able to boost crop yields by 30% and reduce production costs by 15%. Imagine the impact such insights could have on any SMB’s bottom-line.

  1. Personalized Recommendations for Customer Connect

In India, SMBs are no longer playing catch-up with large enterprises owing to the emergence of technologies such as Generative AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP). By leveraging these technologies, SMBs are now able to produce premium content and personalized product recommendations that connect with their target audience in a way that was once only possible for big corporations. This technological revolution is transforming the landscape, giving SMBs the power to compete and succeed in a way that was once unthinkable.

One standout example of a successful AI-powered SMB revolutionizing the travel industry is PickYourTrail. This innovative travel business is reshaping the way travelers explore the world. By leveraging the power of AI, PickYourTrail crafts personalized travel plans that cater to every individual’s desires and preferences. Whether someone seeks sun-soaked beaches, immersive cultural experiences, or adrenaline-pumping adventures, PickYourTrail’s AI-driven itineraries have the ability to make that dream trip a reality.

These innovations demonstrate how technology can unlock new possibilities and take businesses to new heights. The game has truly changed, and SMBs like Pickyourtrail are showing the world how it’s done.

Way Forward

The potential of AI in SMBs in India is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The dawn of the digital age and the exponential growth of data have set the stage for a revolution in the way SMBs do business. According to recent projections, by 2026, almost 75% of the total SMBs in India are expected to integrate AI into all aspects of their business operations. The statistic highlights the widespread recognition of AI’s potential and its ability to drive significant impact across various industries.

AI has demonstrated immense potential in the supply chain and logistics domain. SMBs can achieve unparalleled efficiency, cost reductions, and improved delivery times by leveraging AI. Notably, AI implementation in supply chains can result in up to 30% cost savings. SMBs can effectively monitor inventory levels, predict demand patterns, and identify bottlenecks, enabling data-driven decision-making that sets them apart in a crowded market.

With predictive analytics, SMBs can anticipate market trends, pivot swiftly, and seize opportunities at the right time. Through AI, businesses can tap into valuable insights hidden within vast amounts of data, driving targeted marketing campaigns, and delivering personalized customer experiences. Moreover, AI-powered chatbots provide 24X7 support, leading to a remarkable 40% increase in customer engagement and satisfaction. The future is here, and with AI at the core, Indian SMBs are poised to unlock their full potential.

We help businesses to build and evangelize AI-driven solutions and orchestrate strategies that cater specifically to SMBs, enabling them to capture this thriving market segment. To delve deeper into our expertise in the SMB segment and explore how we can collaborate to drive impactful growth, drop a note at

  • Digital SMB
  • Growth of SMBs
  • Indian SMB
  • Indian SMBs
  • MSMEs
  • RIse of SMBs
  • Small Medium Business
  • SMBs
Atit Danak, Partner, Zinnov
Pranav Mangla, Engagement Manager, Zinnov
Chetan Kapur, Project Lead, Zinnov
Shivangi Arora, Consultant, Zinnov

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