Nathan was commissioned by Google India to conduct a study to assess the impact of the internet on the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India. To undertake the impact assessment, Nathan used a mixed methods approach including quantitative analysis and case studies. The study was conducted using a pan-India survey (conducted by AC Nielsen) of 951 SMEs spread across 14 industrial clusters in 19 geographical clusters of India. Nathan designed the questionnaire to collect quantitative and qualitative information on how SMEs use the internet in their day to day operations along with information on various performance measures including turnover, profitability, labor productivity and employment.
The data collected through the survey was then used in an econometric model to estimate the relationship between internet use and the SME performance. The results were used to identify barriers that SMEs face in adopting the Internet and to provide policy recommendations on how to promote the penetration and use of the Internet to benefit SMEs. A report titled, “Unleashing the Potential – The Impact of the Internet on the Performance of SMES in India,” that detailed the findings of the analysis, and provided policy recommendations to foster the use of internet by SMEs was released by the Minister of State for MSME, at a function organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).