Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal


Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal


Article excerpt


MSMEs in India plays an indispensable role in the economic development of the nation through contribution to the manufacturing output, increasing foreign exchange earnings, provision of employment opportunities, exports, and promoting balanced economic development (Mohan & Ali, 2018). India has about 36 million MSMEs providing about 80 million employment opportunities, contributing to about 8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and about 33% of total manufacturing output (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, 2018).

Indian MSMEs are witnessing an extremely dynamic and multi-faceted business scenario (Jena & Thatte, 2018). The increasingly complex cost structures and an insistent quest of delivering high customer satisfaction are necessitating the adoption of ICT (Information Communication Technology) tools including the adoption of internet marketing and e-commerce to sustain in the present scenario where competition is increasingly becoming global, especially due to the influx of imports from neighboring China.

Though there have been studies on usage and challenges in adoption of ICTs amongst MSMEs in different economic contexts (Giotopoulos et al., 2017; Gono et al., 2008; Osorio-Gallego et al., 2016; Perez-Soltero et al., 2017; Suhartanto & Leo, 2018), challenges faced by Indian MSMEs on adoption of ICTs especially internet marketing and e-commerce has not received enough attention in the literature. This study tried to address this gap by conducting primary research among owners of Indian MSMEs, firstly by conducting semi-structured interviews amongst a dozen MSME owners and that was later followed up by a survey amongst over a hundred MSME owners. The study investigated the opportunities, challenges and barriers faced by MSMEs in India over the adoption of internet marketing and e-commerce channels.

The focus of this study is on the identification of the key determinants which affect the adoption of internet marketing channels for the MSMEs. The study also identifies the prominent marketing channels deployed by these businesses in the Indian scenario. The major issues with the transition to the internet marketing channels were thereafter investigated to generate an understanding about the digital challenges pertinent to the Indian MSMEs. The implications from the findings were drawn to understand the digital marketing practices of the MSMEs.

This study establishes a basis to inference the challenges faced by Indian MSMEs in the adoption of internet marketing and e-commerce, which can be developed further by future researchers. The findings can be used by MSME owners to develop a suitable marketing communication mix for MSMEs operating in different sectors. The study also bears suggestive implications for policy-makers on how and where to support MSMEs to integrate them to the mainstream internet and e-commerce sphere as it points out the various challenges faced by MSMEs, some of which can be addressed from an institutional level.


Though MSMEs are generally laggards in technological and management capabilities (Caldeira & Ward, 2002), the rapid growth of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in recent times has opened up a platform for MSMEs to reach out to customers on a global scale (Neirotti et al., 2018). ICT and e-commerce characterize the means to innovate in business processes and as a mode of communication amongst the stakeholders of the organization (Narayanasamy et al., 2008) and the adoption of it can significantly contribute to the growth of MSMEs (Hepworth & Ryan, 2000; Tan et al., 2009).

ICT involves the application of the internet and other digital technologies used for capturing, storage and processing of information (Duncombe & Heeks, 2002). Internet marketing is emerging as a promising tool for customer-focused marketing efforts to acquire, maintain and grow relationships with customers and other stakeholders (Shin, 2001). …

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