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Is supply chain finance an antidote to SMEs in the economic crisis? - A qualitative inquiry

Jaspreet Kaur (Department of Management Studies, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, India)
Satish Kumar (Department of Management Studies, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, India) (Sunway Business School, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Rohit Joshi (Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Umsawli, India)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 5 January 2023

47

Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory study aims to explore the operational and financial constraints faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper highlights the role of supply chain finance (SCF) in the uncertain business environment caused by the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts an inductive approach and conducts convergent interviews with 32 SME owners and bank officials who are associated with SME-related financial transactions. The analysis of the interview data has been done through a grounded theory approach.

Findings

The findings portray four key themes representing the operational and financial constraints faced by SMEs during the pandemic. Further, the study identifies four drivers of SCF adoption among SMEs, including capital constraints, high inventory turnover cycle time, high order fulfilment cycle time and long debtors’ collection period.

Practical implications

The study provides various insights to the managers and owners of SMEs to deal with the economic crisis and eliminate the financial pressure created by the pandemic. The study enlightens the policymakers about the struggles of the SMEs during the economic turmoil created by the pandemic and guides them to introduce the relevant policies to resolve their problems.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to identify the factors driving the SMEs to adopt SCF due to the economic chaos created by the pandemic. Also, the study theoretically contributes to the literature by developing a theoretical framework for SCF adoption based on grounded theory.

Keywords

Citation

Kaur, J., Kumar, S. and Joshi, R. (2023), "Is supply chain finance an antidote to SMEs in the economic crisis? - A qualitative inquiry", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-10-2021-0496

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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