The ongoing pandemic has changed everything. In the last few months, the world has evolved into living with the ‘new normal’. This has impacted businesses, irrespective of their size or sector. But in the case of small and medium businesses (SMBs), the impact has been particularly severe. For a country like India, where SMBs generate nearly a third of its GDP, their swift rebound is paramount.

Not only do SMBs provide employment to millions, they are also important suppliers and customers to larger enterprises. In recent decades, SMBs’ entrepreneurial spirit has driven much of India’s growth — which is why they are so critical to economic recovery as the nation grapples with the impact of the pandemic.

With restrictions easing, businesses are opening again. But things don’t look to be very pleasant. Recent media reports suggest that 30-40 per cent of restaurants may never open again. And it seems to

Read More

Investment Thesis

Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, UMB Financial Corporation (UMBF) is the $29.7 billion asset holding company for UMB Bank. Formally known as United Missouri Bank, UMBF is a commercial-oriented Midwestern bank. While its runs a fairly branch-lite model, UMBF has 95 branches located throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas.

UMB Financial, along with its sibling bank, Commerce Bancshares (OTC:CBSH), both have a storied century-long history of being run by the Kemper family. With that being said, I have a lot of faith in Mariner Kemper, the current CEO, and his ability to lead the franchise. He has led the bank for more than 15 years and helped grow assets from $8.2 billion to where they are today.

Today, my bullish stance is predicated on a couple of factors. I think the valuation is too low for such a well-run franchise; however, valuation alone does

Read More

Survey identifies what’s keeping SMB owners up at night during the pandemic and how they’re adapting their businesses for the future

Comcast Business today unveiled new research that uncovers key stressors for almost 600 small- to mid-size business (SMB) owners, how they have managed the pandemic thus far, and how optimistic they are in continuing to do so. Despite 86% of respondents experiencing a decline in business revenue, the majority (78%) feel prepared for another COVID-19 spike after rethinking how they do business (46%), serve customers (50%) and collaborate and communicate (45%).

“In a COVID-19 world, resilient small and medium businesses are embracing technology like never before, rapidly implementing key solutions to digitize the customer journey in an effort to improve sales in a difficult customer acquisition environment,” said Shari Lavin, Research Director, Small and Medium Business, IDC. “While the solutions they need vary by business, reliable connectivity and the

Read More


2020 Small and Medium Business Trend Report – Salesforce Research 

The Small and Medium Business Trend Report by Salesforce Research analyzed the responses of more than 2,300 small and medium business (SMB) owners and leaders around the world to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, role of digital transformation in terms of enhancing business resiliency, and how SMB leaders are planning for recovery and growth post pandemic. 

McKinsey research shows unprecedented rate of adoption of digital technologies, like 10 years of e-commerce adoption in the past three years. In addition, there is a shock to brand loyalty, as 75% of Americans have switched brands in the pandemic. Small and medium businesses are fighting the most challenging conditions in the past hundred years — a combination of health, economic, racial injustice, climate change and large scale spread of misinformation and absentee leadership. There is a clear deficit of trust

Read More

I​ think we can all agree that Covid-19 has been a defining moment of this year as it has shifted everything from how we live our lives to how we do business. The transformation has been far-reaching, but it’s mostly impacted the way small and medium-sized businesses operate online. When regulations shifted, and measures had to be put in place to contain the spread and protect public health, the environment changed, accelerating a digital transformation and pushing businesses to go online even if it was something they hadn’t previously considered.

a laptop computer sitting on top of a table

© Christina Reichl Photography | Getty Images

Related: 5 Simple Steps to Digitally Transform Your Business


Load Error

By pushing the boundaries of how and where we can do business, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced entrepreneurs to look at digital media in a new light. It proved that digital media isn’t only for social media brands and influencers. It is

Read More

On a year-to-date basis, PVH (PVH) has underperformed on concerns around North America and wholesale. Going forward, however, I think the current below-par valuations present investors with an opportunity to buy into a self-help story, as management downsizes its wholesale presence and drives growth in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) and International. As the latter two segments carry higher margins than the domestic wholesale business, PVH looks set to benefit from margin expansion over the longer term. With PVH’s recovery continuing to gain traction, I see the potential for a re-rating back to historical and peer average multiples.

Q2 Clears a Low Bar

Admittedly, Q2 was far from a great quarter, but relative to expectations, it did surprise to the upside. The top line was a particularly strong point, with revenue improving across all markets and channels. E-commerce sales were the major bright spot, accelerating to > 50%, with DTC digital rising at

Read More

A majority of small and medium businesses in India are confident about a post-pandemic recovery, according to the HP Asia SMB Report 2020 report.

More than 73 per cent of SMBs in India are confident that their businesses will bounce back over post-Covid-19, the report said.

“This number is significantly higher than the regional average, which stood at 60 per cent,” it said.

The report is based on the responses from 1,600 SMBs in India surveyed between May and June.

As businesses recover, SMBs are recalibrating their strategy with a focus on going digital. According to the report, 64 per cent of the respondents believed that this time period poses a good opportunity for them to reformulate their business strategy, while 75 per cent believed digital adoption to be the key to success.

The study also outlined the challenges faced by these businesses which can prove to be a hurdle

Read More

Indian private banks, which have stronger loss-absorption buffers than public sector banks, are likely to gain market share from their state-owned peers in the medium term, says Fitch Ratings.

However, the global credit rating agency warned that larger risk appetites of private banks in certain segments render their intrinsic credit profiles more vulnerable to deterioration in the operating environment, such as what it sees now.

The agency assessed that private banks’ loss-absorption buffers, in particular, enhanced capital bases, strengthen their ability to recognise losses upfront with less disruption in their efforts to accelerate market-share gains.

However, the agency does not expect immediate gains as the sector’s credit growth is likely to remain subdued, and will only resume meaningfully once a sustained recovery from the pandemic gets underway.

Private banks see strong growth

Fitch Ratings, in a report, said Indian private banks have had a decade of strong growth, reflected in

Read More

Kaspersky researchers have published a detailed overview of DeathStalker, a ‘mercenary’ advanced persistent threat (APT) group that has been leveraging efficient espionage attacks on small and medium-sized firms in the financial sector since at least 2012. The most recent discoveries demonstrate that the group has been targeting companies all over the world, from Europe to Latin America, highlight why cybersecurity protection is a necessity for small and medium-size organizations.

While state-sponsored threat actors and sophisticated attacks are often in the spotlight, businesses today are faced with a whole array of more immediate threats. These range from ransomware and data leaks to commercial espionage, and result in no less damage to the organizations’ operations or reputation. These attacks are carried out by mid-level malware orchestrators and sometimes, by hacker-for-hire groups, such as DeathStalker, which Kaspersky has been tracking since 2018.

Recent research enabled Kaspersky to link DeathStalker’s activity to three malware

Read More