The interesting thing about SMEs in across Maharashtra’s industrial belt (and possibly everywhere else across the country), is that they’re gradually realizing the importance of using IT to remain competitive. One reason to embrace IT, as highlighted by most SMEs who visited the bus, is increasing global competitiveness. With greater pressure from competition (domestic and abroad), there’s a need to reduce costs, improve productivity, and communicate faster. IT therefore becomes essential to bring this level of agility. So whether its a trader who has to ship spices to Europe, or an auto-motive components manufacturer who supplies to a larger auto-giant, everyone needs to communicate faster and more effectively.
Another possible reason for increased interest to adopt IT is the generation shift. The newer generation has already been brought up on a diet of smartphones, data connectivity, and social media. They understand the importance of staying connected and digital technologies, and are therefore more open to embracing IT.
While the interest is very much there, awareness about how IT can help is fairly low amongst SMEs in smaller cities. There’s a strong need therefore to generate awareness about using IT in these regions, which is something that PCQuest did along with HP across all cities.
The six-city HP BusinessNow Express solutions tour, which kicked off in Pune and went onto Vashi, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, and finally Nagpur was designed keeping in mind the needs of SMEs, with next-business day delivery of IT products.
It was well-received at all locations, with the local industry associations presidents attending along with their members and checking out the IT products and solutions on display.
Here’s what some of them had to say about the tour:
Local Associations Kick-off the Tour in Their Cities
Presidents of key industry associations in Thane, Nashik, and Aurangabad, cut the ribbon in their respective cities to kick-off or conclude the HP BusinessNow Solutions Express tour.
“IT awareness has gone up because customers want just in time supplies, so everyone is trying to improve their IT solutions. This is a very good initiative because people who want to buy but don’t have the time to go to a computer store, would prefer to come to this, because instead of them going to the store, the store has come to them.”
–Nitin Khondalkar, Vice President, Pimpri-Chinchwad Plastic Assocciation
MIDC was once known as the biggest industrial area in Asia. It has businesses that have run for many generations. A key reason they’ve survived is that the third or fourth generations have changed with time. They’re tech savvy and therefore understand that they need technology for their business for productivity increase, sales, connectivity, etc. I’m therefore very glad that you’ve started the tour from the Pimpri-Chinchwad area.
–Sameer Joshi, Vice Chairman, IPI
“It’s a very impressive tour where you don’t just get IT products, but also IT advisers on how to select the right products for your establishment. Second, you get a van right at your doorstop.
–R.K. Jain, President, Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Vashi
“Pitstops like the one conducted by HP are a welcome move. We are very happy that HP decided to showcase its new technologies and products in Thane. The icing on the cake was the experts who provided the right guidance and patiently explained the pros and cons of each product. We believe that HP should conduct more such tours as it launches more products in the future.”
— Ashish Sirsat, CEO, Naik Oven Manufacturing Company and Vice President, Thane Small Scale Industries Association, Thane
“We are very happy to see that HP has taken such a good initiative of making entrepreneurs aware about new technologies, which will help them understand advanced solutions.”
— Santosh Mandlecha, VP, MACCIA, Nashik
“This is a brilliant move by HP and Cybermedia. They have not only brought new products and interesting technologies to our doorstep, but the experts also provided thoughtful insights into the usability of the products, and how best they can help an enterprise. We hope that many more vendors take a cue, and create awareness about new technologies; especially in class B, C and D cities.”
— Balaji V Shinde, President, MASSIA, Aurangabad
“HP Business Now Express is excellent initiative from HP to reach out to the doorstep of the enterprises. It helps to understand about the latest technologies and offering that can be beneficial for theirr business.”
— Ashish Garde, President, CMIA, Aurangabad
“Very innovative kind of a bus which helps us understand the latest in technology.”
–Prakash Mehadiya, President, Nag-Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce, Nagpur
“Such innovative tech demonstrations should be held regularly in industrial clusters to increase awareness.”
–Captain Chandramohan Randhir, President, MIDC Industries Association, Hingana, Nagpur
Fun, Excitement, and Learning
The BusinessNow Express tour gave more than one reason for SMEs to come and visit the bus. Purchase advice by PCQuest experts was of course one key reason, while on the spot contests, and contests over Radio Mirchi were other key highlights. Finally, the last big highlight was a tech makeover contest where one winner is to get Rs. 2 Lakhs worth of PCs and printers, and one lucky winner in each city is to get an HP Stream 8 tablet.