Indian women enterprises are best prepared to deal with COVID-19

Mumbai: Most female entrepreneurs in Indian cities have quickly changed their business model, predicting that their operations will survive after the coronavirus pandemic devastated revenue, according to a new study.

Bain & Co., Google and the AWE Foundation surveyed nearly 350 women entrepreneurs and small businesses and found that 54 percent had already made business shifts – including new products or services – and another 24 percent planned to change by December. About 90 percent said they believe they will survive the crisis.

COVID-19 has had an undue impact on women around the world. In India, which has a large gender gap in almost all social indicators, women are even more vulnerable. The South Asian country has up to 16 million women’s businesses, less than 20 percent of all businesses, most of which are largely sole proprietorships, making survival crucial.

Not easy

Businesses owned by women saw a sharp drop in revenue: according to the survey, 73 percent were negatively impacted by the pandemic, and nearly 20 percent were nearly wiped out.

The changes that have been made in business models include the release of new products or services, digital sales and delivery channels, as well as the reorientation of supply chains, sales and marketing. About 60 percent of businesses reported incorporating new products and services, while 46 percent of entrepreneurs focused on retraining and learning new skills.

“After the first few months, there was a quick response,” said Megha Chawla, a Bain partner. “Some characteristics of women-owned businesses in India, such as service-oriented, smaller and less capital-intensive, have enabled faster adaptation.”

Source: Gulf News

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