Ever since digitization has picked up pace due to the pandemic induced disruptions; technology has emerged at the forefront and has been foraying into businesses across sectors. While the urban areas were prompt enough to tread on the path of digital transformation, rural dwellers are taking their time to cope with this sudden change.
Tech deployment brings with itself a plethora of benefits ranging from improved efficiency, reduction in human errors, reduced reliance on human labour, and greater conversions. Rural business owners can leverage the power of technology to expand their business and aim for significant growth levels.
Financial inclusion offering financial assistance
Financial inclusion has played a major role in ensuring the overall development of the rural areas as well as pushing the growth of businesses areas. These goals can be achieved by providing financial assistance in the form of products and services.
Availability of loans
E-invoicing in particular is a blessing in disguise for rural business owners in the truest sense! With the solution of e-invoicing gaining prominence, the processes of monitoring payable transactions and managing invoices have been simplified to a larger extent. The visibility is enhanced and the invoicing process has hence become efficient and accurate with the scope of zero errors or duplicated information. Electronic invoicing also comes with the power of reducing the compliance procedure as the businesses from tier 2 and 3 cities will be able to pre-input the returns based on the data of the e-invoices that have been generated. This will further contribute in the rural business owners having easy and instant access to loans. Adding to it, the concept of e-invoicing also enables faster payments and predictable cash flows. This leads to improved financial planning management of the rural businesses thereby helping the business owners in these areas to manage their operations seamlessly.
The rising prominence of payment gateways
The rising prominence of payment gateways and their growth is another tool that would help rural businesses grow and develop. Their integration is an essential element for organizational success. According to Motor Intelligence’s recent report, the Indian gateway market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% from 2021 to 2026. The increase in the trend of digital payment in India is contributing in the growth of the gateway market. As per the National Payments Corporation of India, UPI transactions will surge in the times to come due to the Covid outbreak. In such a scenario, these payment gateways will help remote retail businesses improve their operations as well as enhance their customer experiences all the more in the times ahead.
GST and e-invoicing
Ever since GST has become a mandate, it is helping in bringing rural business owners to the forefront of the national market. Prior to GST, business owners had to pay various taxes such as CST, CAT, Octroi, Service Tax, etc. However, with the Goods and Services Tax being a policy, all taxes are now collected under one single category. This makes it easy for the owners to understand the intricacies well and abide by the rules.
GST has been responsible for ensuring transparency, improved credit flow, and reduced trade barriers. With all the data about tax payments being collected, stored and managed in one place, rural areas can be connected with the overall industry by leveraging this data.
The growing popularity as well as the availability of the internet has paved the way for building online portals. These platforms are benefitting rural business owners significantly. They help connect them with the national market. A prominent instance of these platforms is accounting software. Rural businesses are able to generate e-invoices digitally from their workspaces whilst leveraging the power of accounting software.
With such platforms in place, managing payable transactions as well as approving invoices have become easy and seamless. The invoicing process has thus become efficient and error-proof. This new-age concept decreases the compliance procedure as the businesses from tier 2 and 3 cities will have the opportunity to pre-input the returns based on the details of the e-invoices generated. They will also enable remote rural businesses to have access to loans easily and instantly with electronic invoices.
Rise of the social media fraternity
Amidst the digital disruption, social media which was once a buzzword has now emerged to be a necessity for rural business owners! The scope of creativity and innovation that the platforms offer along with new-age channels of instant customer communication provide rural business owners with the golden opportunity to promote their business effectively. The growing popularity of social media influencers has further paved the way for enhanced interaction and engagement of the customers with the businesses of rural areas. They now have a chance to tap the masses and even reach diverse sets of target audiences efficiently and smoothly surpassing all geographical barriers!
Government portals and initiatives
Even the Government schemes are supporting the growth of the digital payment domain. They are specifically emphasizing on the relevance of a cashless economy and how is the dire need of the hour. A prominent instance of the same is the Digital India program. It is a flagship initiative of the Government that envisions transforming our country into a digitally empowered society. It propagates improving the tech infrastructure of India, especially of the rural areas.
The bottom line
Enabling digitization of remote areas is a long and complicated process. Rural businesses owners need to be keen towards tech deployment so as to ensure optimal functioning as well as grow exponentially. The pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation in the country and played a major role in integrating remote rural businesses with new-age technologies. They are now harnessing the power of technology to improve their operations and expand their footprints. It is expected that it is due to this digital revolution that rural business owners will be able to grow at a significant pace in the times ahead!
(Rajesh Gupta is CTO & Co-Founder of BUSY Accounting Software)