Since digitalization accelerated due to pandemic-induced disruptions; technology has emerged to the fore and made inroads into businesses across all industries. While urban areas have been quite quick to embark on the path of digital transformation, rural people are taking their time to deal with this sudden change.
Deploying technology brings a plethora of benefits ranging from improved efficiency, reduced human error, reduced reliance on human labor, and higher conversions. Rural business owners can leverage the power of technology to scale their business and aim for significant levels of growth.
Financial inclusion offering financial assistance
Financial inclusion has played a major role in ensuring the overall development of rural areas as well as stimulating the growth of business 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 of the word! With the rise of the electronic invoicing solution, the processes for monitoring payable transactions and managing invoices have been greatly simplified. Visibility is improved and the invoicing process has thus become efficient and accurate with a scope of zero errors or duplicate information. E-invoicing also has the power to reduce the compliance process since businesses in Tier 2 and 3 cities will be able to pre-enter returns based on the e-invoice data that has been generated. This will further help rural business owners have easy and instant access to loans. Additionally, the electronic invoicing concept also enables faster payments and predictable cash flow. This leads to better management of rural business financial planning, helping business owners in these regions manage their operations seamlessly.
The growing importance of payment gateways
The growing importance of payment gateways and their growth is another tool that would help rural businesses grow and expand. Their integration is an essential element of organizational success. According to the recent report by Motor Intelligence, the Indian gateway market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% from 2021 to 2026. The increase in digital payment trend in India is contributing to the growth of the gateway market. According to the National Payments Corporation of India, UPI transactions will increase in the coming times due to the Covid outbreak. In such a scenario, these payment gateways will help remote retailers improve their operations and improve their customer experience all the more in times to come.
GST and electronic invoicing
Since the GST became a mandate, it has helped bring rural business owners to the forefront of the national marketplace. Before the GST, business owners had to pay various taxes such as CST, CAT, Octroi, service tax, etc. However, since the Goods and Services Tax is a policy, all taxes are now collected in one category. This allows owners to fully understand the intricacies and adhere to the rules.
GST was tasked with ensuring transparency, improving credit flows and reducing trade barriers. With all tax payment data collected, stored and managed in one place, rural areas can be connected to the entire industry by leveraging this data.
The growing popularity as well as the availability of the internet has paved the way for the creation of online portals. These platforms greatly benefit rural business owners. They help to connect them to the national market. An important example of these platforms is accounting software. Rural businesses can generate e-invoices digitally from their workspaces while leveraging the power of accounting software.
With such platforms in place, managing payable transactions as well as approving invoices has become easy and transparent. The invoicing process has thus become efficient and error-free. This new concept reduces the compliance procedure as businesses in Tier 2 and 3 cities will have the ability to pre-enter declarations based on the details of the electronic invoices generated. They will also enable remote rural businesses to access loans easily and instantly with electronic invoices.
Rise of the Social Media Brotherhood
Amid digital disruption, social media that was once a buzzword has now become a necessity for rural business owners! The breadth of creativity and innovation offered by platforms as well as new channels of instant communication with customers offer rural business owners a golden opportunity to effectively promote their business. The growing popularity of social media influencers has further paved the way for increased customer interaction and engagement with businesses in rural areas. They now have a chance to tap into the masses and even reach various sets of target audiences efficiently and smoothly by breaking through all geographical barriers!
Government portals and initiatives
Even government programs support the growth of the digital payment field. They particularly emphasize the relevance of a cashless economy and the urgent need of the hour. An important example of the same is the Digital India program. This is a flagship government initiative that envisions transforming our country into a digital society. It spreads the improvement of technological infrastructure of India, especially rural areas.
The bottom line
Enabling digitization of remote areas is a long and complicated process. Rural business owners need to be mindful of technology deployment to ensure optimal operation and exponential growth. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation in the country and played a major role in integrating remote rural businesses with new era technologies. They are now harnessing the power of technology to improve their operations and expand their footprint. It is expected that it is through this digital revolution that rural business owners will be able to grow at a significant rate in times to come!
(Rajesh Gupta is CTO and co-founder of BUSY accounting software)
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Published on: Saturday, April 2, 2022, 5:04 PM IST