Import, Export, Trade for MSMEs: The ‘Make in India’ initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed to revive an ailing manufacturing sector and to make India an integral part of the global supply chain seems to have found resonance with the country’s entrepreneurs. The report launched by export e-commerce platform eBay titled “India Small Online Business Trade Report 2021” stated sellers on its platform export ‘Made in India’ products to an average of 42 different foreign markets each year. In fact, of these 92 percent export to 10 or more markets, 93 percent export to four or more continents and as a collective they reached 210 markets.The top export destinations for India are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Germany.
The top export products from India include fine jewellery, loose diamonds & gemstones, home decor, bedding-related goods, ayurveda natural remedies, autoparts, and accessories, etc. Vidmay Naini, Country Manager – India & South East Asia, eBay, announced the key findings of the report at a virtual report launch event.
So what really enables these small businesses to access an average of 42 international markets? Naini told Financial Express Online on the sidelines of the event, “It all depends on the knowledge, on how well versed they are in dealing with online platforms, the USP of their product, the way they are describing that USP, among other things. The kind of product listing, pricing, post transaction experience, money back and refunds and other such policies also decide their success on the platform.” While eBay offers assistance and support to its sellers, the right strategies from these SMEs also have a role to play in reaching maximum markets.
States with maximum sellers adopting cross-border trade on eBay are from Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, amongst others. From Rajasthan, 39 percent of small businesses on eBay exported fashion jewellery and 35 percent exported loose diamonds and gemstones to customers in the US and the UK. Around 67 percent of SMBs from Madhya Pradesh traded in the bedding category.
The year 2020 and 2021 saw a number of SMBs entering the digital space, with most offline markets being shut due to the ongoing pandemic. eBay registered the maximum number of new sellers from tier-X (32%) and tier-Y (30%) and tier-Z (37%) cities instead of metros. These are smaller cities across tier-II, -III and beyond, with lesser business amenities and reach.
Furthermore, the top states and union territories with the highest share of new sellers on eBay were Bihar (67%), Himachal Pradesh (67%), Goa (50%) Jammu & Kashmir (50%), Jharkhand (50%), Karnataka (44%), Odisha (43%), Uttarakhand (40%), West Bengal (38%) and Gujarat (37%).
Indian SMBs are the growth drivers of the national economy and contribute to over 45% of the overall exports. Ajay Sahai, Director-General of trade promotion organisation Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said, “While we are endeavouring to become a US $3 trillion economy, it is extremely important that exports play a pivotal role in that. Currently, we are looking at US $400 million exports this year and are moving towards a medium term goal of a trillion dollar exports in the merchandise sector by 2027-28.” He added that a lot needs to be done (which may come as amendments in the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), etc.) in order to promote the exports industry in the country. Also, lowering the entry barrier for small businesses to enable them to export and developing specialised logistics capabilities for exports related processes would go a long way in promoting export from e-commerce, he said.