In the era of internet and accelerated online consumerism, digitalization is no longer an option but has become a necessity for businesses to thrive. Once considered a way for businesses to gain competitive advantage, post-pandemic, digitalization has now become a matter of survival. For many small-scale businesses, digitalization is about building resiliency, collaboration, and reaching a broad spectrum of consumers. Small scale businesses in Dharavi make a significant contribution to manufacturing output, creating employment, exports and providing inclusive growth. But the COVID-19 pandemic and increased online competition has exacerbated the digital divide, making it difficult for many businesses and karigars (artisans) to survive.
Digitalization can transform how SMEs operate in Dharavi. Made in Dharavi is a digital application that will support small-scale businesses in Dharavi to make them locally productive and globally connected. Through the platform, small-scale businesses and employers can grow their online presence, share resources, collaborate with other businesses and gain knowledge and tools to be more competitive, resilient, and successful. It will also empower Dharavi’s employees or karigars to professionally network, engage with employers and share the skill and training required for the vocation.
Strengthening social capital with technological support can de-centralize production networks and bring more social cohesion. It will foster a collaborative economy and help in the long-term sustenance. We propose a digital application that comprises several business and training components, opening a plethora of opportunities for SMEs and their employees.