SMEs positive on business outlook, job growth in India: Facebook

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India maintain a positive outlook on the future in terms of business confidence and employment growth, a Facebook survey revealed on Wednesday.

Among the businesses surveyed in the country, 48 per cent of SMEs are positive about the current state and 62 per cent are positive about the future, revealed the “Future of Business Survey” done in the collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

“With the positive confidence and outlook shown in India, small businesses are clearly capitalising on today’s digital opportunities. The more we can understand those connections and how they can fuel economic growth, the more we can help,” said Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy for Facebook India and South Asia, in a statement.

Job growth data also showed a positive trend in the country. Of the SMEs surveyed, 28 per cent showed an increase in number of employees in the last month and 56 per cent expect number of employees to increase in the next six months.

Small businesses employ close to 40 per cent of India’s workforce, contribute 45 per cent to India’s manufacturing output and nearly eight percent of the country’s GDP.

Among the SMEs, “the most common uses of online tools were to show products/services (61 per cent); advertise to potential new customers (60 per cent) and communicate with customers and suppliers (55 per cent),” the findings showed.

The percentage of women in leadership and top management roles remains at 11 per cent in the country, it added.

“Small businesses in India are looking abroad to grow their business online. Almost 18 per cent of SMBs in India engaged in international trade (data surveyed between October-December 2016) compared to 16 per cent for February-July 2016 period,” the survey said.

“This is a time to connect more. And the more connected small businesses in India are to their own economy and to the international economy, the more success and growth they can enjoy,” Das added.