Recognizing the evolving digital ecosystem in India and its potential to transform micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), USAID initiated the South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI) India MSME Tech Policy Fellowship program. The program aimed to conduct policy research at the intersection of digitalization and MSMEs to catalyze sustainable changes in the policy ecosystem. Anchored by LEAD at Krea University (IFMR), the fellowship program sought to provide actionable policy recommendations to enhance digital adoption among India’s MSMEs.

There is a paucity of studies assessing digital adoption across various MSME sectors and segments and its impact on business performance, forward and backward linkages, employment, and entrepreneurial mindset. Moreover, depending on various socio-contextual factors and business growth trajectories, the level of digital readiness and requirements among MSMEs can vary significantly across sectors. With this context in mind, LEAD selected three fellowships focusing on distinct underserved segments of India’s MSME ecosystem.