Why PC-enabled SMEs will win in the Age of GST
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) may just be one of the most challenging reforms that the Indian government has undertaken. This is not the first time a country has attempted to overhaul its tax structure; in fact, several countries in Asia have been down this path before. In Malaysia, the government planned a similar new tax model in 2011, but because local businesses were not GST-ready, the entire process took five years, and was finally implemented in April 2015. India can take heed here and encourage businesses to get their IT infrastructure and operations in place, to accelerate the implementation process.
While GST aims to overhaul the complex system of indirect taxes that had plagued India since independence, its implementation has witnessed mixed reactions, as expected of any radical economic transformation. There remains a sense of panic, especially among small and medium business owners. For them, GST appears to be unnecessarily burdensome, in addition to normal business hassles. On the other hand, large organizations may become collateral damage because their suppliers are not GST-ready.
However, most businesses across the country have responded positively to the new interface, with a significant number having already migrated to the new portal.In less than three months, more than 22 crore invoices have been filed online, supported by the backbone of GST Network (GSTN) ,which is paving the way for digital office to replace paperwork. The end-to- end platform is designed for all stakeholders to undertake tax-related activities from vendor registration to calculating input credit. To bring more small and micro businesses onto the bandwagon, GST- compliant technologies are essential to help businesses manage the transition and future-proof themselves in an era of GST.
Take the example of personal computers, which are transforming India’s cottage industries into small businesses. Modernizing the dying craft of Chanderi saree making, women textile designers in Chanderi, Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh, have utilized design software and internet connectivity on PCs to conquer the online marketplace and reach new customers irrespective of geography.
Technologies that can, by the virtue of their form factor, handhold first-time business users to take their first successful steps into the digital economy by enabling productivity, mobility, and security , are extremely relevant at the incubation stage.As PC processing capability is integral to a GST- enabled economy, especially for the volumes of work done online, devices with pre-installed GST software can help SMEs experience a hassle-free migration. As PC usage grows, businesses will grow – computers and connectivity will also open the gateway for digitization and automation of businesses, increasing returns, scale, and output.
SME scan stay ahead of the curve by deploying PCs that can perform complex tasks to scale their businesses, such as analyzing big data into meaningful insights that power sound decisions. At a macro level, a PC in the GST era also makes it easier to start and expand a business, with a standardized, centralized, digital vendor registration process across states. It also reduces chances of fraud and corruption, with a secure, authentication based protection of digital records and processes.
Ultimately, the PC is a tool where the workflows are built and business strategies, models and deliverables are created. In the era of GST, the processing power of a PC is the only workhorse capable of handling heavy- duty tasks and multi-tasking for businesses. This is why PC- enabled SMEs will be the victors in the era of GST, and it will not be long before technology deployment will drive the Indian SME ecosystem to new heights.