7 Trends Startups & SMEs Need to Know About in 2023


As we know, in 2023, with the post-pandemic recovery, there’s a subtle need for a sustainability agenda in business plans. Many startups and SMEs are now focusing on sustainability-driven strategies to stay in the game for the long run.

These strategies can’t forecast without looking over the new possible trends startups, and SMEs can face. In 2021, small and medium enterprises across India contributed close to 27% of India’s GDP. The growing culture of startups in India makes it even harder to grow with vast saturation.

It’s imperative to have a hawk eye on these trends and work on them right away so you won’t miss a chance to amplify opportunities. Read on to further understand the seven upcoming small businesses, startups, and SME trends!

1. Digital inclusion

When we talk about digital inclusion, we have to admit the way we used to do business vs. now—digitalization integration can’t be separable from a successful business vision. The rise of e-commerce is a feasible example itself.

Whether IoT (Internet of Things), leveraging innovative AI tools, ML, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud computing, blockchain, or the recent 5G super fast network protocol has paved internet penetration in the nation. Everyone has phone access now, and customers demand hyper-convenience and want every service at their fingertips.

In 2023, businesses must make technology handy for their growth instead of considering it a coercing challenge.

2. Rise of cyber security

With technology, customers’ worries about data integrity have also shown an increase in many matters!

In 2023 and for the next ten years, cyber security in business trends will gain more momentum. Every business, small and big size has to build a security fortress around their systems so they can later assure their customer!

From the investor’s point of view, cybersecurity matters will gain the heat as it aids in reducing operational costs and helps higher trust in the market.

3. Content and storytelling

With more GenZ influence and customer behavioral changes, early businesses have to scan how much they can be creative with their business idea and its conveying.

Brand storytelling sets you apart from competitors with unique messaging and inserts your ideal customer at the core of your marketing strategy. It becomes more vital when everyone works on a startup as a side hustle.

So it’s better to position yourself uniquely from the beginning and provide customers with an impeccable and unforgettable brand experience.

The digital awareness tools include – videos, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, webinars, social media content, and many others.

4. Customer centricity in user experience

In 2023, customers will still be the king!

From using hyper-personalization tactics to niche market solutions, businesses must look upon every aspect to stay on top of the consumer list.

Early fintech and new immersive NBFCs in India — have taken customer experience to the next level via their immersive customer touchpoint and mobile-first applications.

Modern buyers expect customer and after-sale service as top-notch as any other service — This is the new bare minimum — and startups and SMEs need to embrace it as a fact and proactively operate on it.

5. Life-changing Cloud technology

Businesses that will ignore technology in 2023 will be forgotten by their customers!

Quote from an expert, John Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco Systems, said that — “At least 40% of businesses will die in the next ten years if they don’t figure out how to accommodate technology to their company.

To amplify your operation and redeem cost reduction advantages, businesses must rehabilitate and nurture cloud-powered ways of doing business.

With automation and robust IT infrastructure, you can streamline your workflows, sales, and customer relations to the next level — and make your business versatile in the true sense in 2023.

6. More Flexible Work Environments

Hiring and retaining new talent is among the biggest challenges for even big firms.

This generation asks more than paychecks and wants their company to be equally considered for them. The growing expectation has two effects on business- positive and negative.

With the comparatively lesser requirement for personnel at early stage business – you can easily make your employee happy with various soft and hard incentives — like work-life balance, health, and wellness support, mentorship, and a flexible, hybrid workplace environment — which keep your overhead cost minimum and employees motivated to stay with you.

This dilutes the major turnover rate and ongoing training costs as well!

7. Recession, COVID, and Sustainability

To help with sustainability and stability in business, especially startups and SMEs, the Indian government, after looking at disrupted supply chain security — came up with various solutions and schemes to safeguard the GDP share contributed by these firms.

As a part of it, the government is considering launching funds to offer low-interest loans and tax incentives to Agritech startups in the coming budget of 2023.

With China’s zero-COVID policy, the government sees this as a major opportunity to be the next big “Factory Hub” and requires small businesses to make this happen.

There’s a range of concessions, including reduced GST and revised TDS rates — which the government is also looking forward to.


1. Who is eligible for startup recognition?

Any business formed after spitting an existing organization can’t be addressed as a startup. To start, you must have a new product or service.

2. What are the requirements for a startup in India?

To begin a startup in India, you must follow these steps:

  • Register in the Startup India portal.
  • Apply for DPIIT (Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion) authentication.
  • Cross-check with Section 80 IAC for exemptions.
  • Collect your documents.
  • Get your recognition number.

3. Can a foreign company register under a Startup India hub?

Yes. If you have one registered office presence in India, you can register on the startup India hub.

4. What is the limit of SMEs in India?

The current limit for SMEs in the investment of plant and machinery is Rs. 50 crore and their turnover should not exceed Rs. 250

Employee limit for SMEs:

  • Micro enterprises (fewer than 10 employees)
  • Small enterprises (10 to 49 employees)
  • Medium-sized enterprises (50 to 249 employees)

5. What is the future of startups in India?

In the past 6 years, the Indian economy saw a whopping growth of 15,400% in startups, almost from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 in 2022. These numbers will keep on increasing with GenZ aspirants and founders.

Final words!

To embrace profitability, you first need to sustain your business — which is impossible while ignoring emerging market trends. Make sure these trends are on your radar while formulating strategies.

Every time the new year comes with new expectations, the listed startups and SME trends will help you meet those expectations.

Let us know what you think of such raving trends by commenting below. We will get back to you soon!

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