MAN7057 Research Proposal Sample on Covid-19

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Research title

The title of the present study is “Impact of Covid-19 on SME in India”.

Research background

Covid-19 is the severe pandemic from which the world is suffering. It is adversely impacting the health and emotions of the people and impacting the economies of the world. Many Indian SME businesses are suffering from a challenging time due to outbreak of novel Corona virus. Covid-19 has affected almost every SME sector. SME is contributing around 40% of export in India. Nearly 42.50 million numbers of SME’s are running in the nation. Approximately 45% of the Indian productions are generated from the SME sector. Covid-19 has remarkably changed the SME output level, and it has abrupt the efficiencies of Small and medium enterprises in India.

Research rationale and problem statement

The contribution of SME is immensely impactful. Thus declining the level of output from SME in India is a most worrying issue. It is necessary to understand how Covid-19 is impacting Indian SME. The rationale of the research is to determine the impacts of Covid-19 on SME and how India is coping with such a crisis. Very few investigations have been done on specifically identifying the effect of covid-19 on SME’s in India. The research will contribute to the SME businesses to understand what areas of SME’s are mostly affected by the covid-19 and also provide direction to improve the operations.

Research aims, objectives and questions

Research aim

The research aims to determine the impact of Covid-19 on operations, profitability and economic impacts of small, medium enterprises in India.

Research objectives

  • RO1: To understand how Covid-19 has been affecting businesses
  • RO2: To identify the complexities faced by Indian SME’s
  • RO3: To investigate the positive and negative impact of Covid-19 on different types of SME’s in India
  • RO4: To determine and suggests ways of addressing Covid-19 crisis to boosts SME operations in India

Research questions

  • RQ1: What are the effects of Covid-19 on India and its businesses?
  • RQ2: What are the challenges and issues faced by the SME sector of India in Covid-19 crisis?
  • RQ3: How Covid-19 has influenced different SME’s in India? How is it affecting positively and negatively?
  • RQ4: In what ways India is coping up with covid-19 crisis to regain SME’s operations?
  • RQ5: How India can further act to reduce the negative impact on SME in Covid-19 crisis?

A review of the literature

India is having a large number of micro-businesses, small and medium enterprises and large organisations. These businesses are engaged in offering consumers with varieties of products and service to contribute people to sustain a useful life. These businesses aim to make profits and make mutual profits by generating employment. According to Jakhotiya, (2020) Covid-19 has developed financial and operational challenges for Indian businesses. In the lockdown period, nearly 71% of the overall businesses suffer from decreased cash flows. The manufacturing sector, which is mostly covered by SME’s, is worst hit by the crisis. Lack of manufacturing and reduced demand has reduced the level of outputs and amount of exports. It has ultimately slowed down the economic progress of the country.

According to Cepel (2020) SME’s are the backbone of the Indian market. The SME’s of India is mainly engaged in manufacturing textiles, designing accessories, handicrafts making, hotel businesses, fabrication of metal products, sales and maintenance of motor vehicles, production of furniture, manufacturing beverages and food items, retail trading etc.  India has imposed lockdown, which has stopped many business activities. It is easy for the large business organisations to cope with the lockdown challenges, but for SMEs, Covid-19 has posed insuperable adverse effects.

As per Mahajan, (2020) small and medium enterprises generally operate with fewer resources and lesser business setups. These businesses do not have large capital and extra resource availability. Thus, it becomes difficult for SME to procure raw materials from different regions. Due to imposed lockdown, the supply chain operations got reduced. For maintaining the physical distances and human contacts, the workforce is also reduced, and most of the labours have gone to their native places to safeguard themselves and their families.

As per Roy (2020) in Covid-19 crisis, the demand has also slowed down as the people were mostly buying the necessary items. The demand for the grocery and food items have elevated during the lockdown. The retail traders operating under SME are only benefitted who have stored extra food products in their stores. The people usually preferred to look at the nearest shops for purchasing the necessary items. The SME involved in local distribution services is also benefitted as they have increased supply of required items to the consumers at their places.

SME’s are facing a lot of difficulties in raising demands, fulfilling demands because of lack of labours, raw materials and supply chain facilities. For coping up with such challenges, the Indian government has been contributing to SME a lot. It is investing 2% of the economic output in helping small businesses. The technological improvement is also incorporating to boost the effectiveness of the SME’s. According to Kumar (2020) leveraging temporary labour force, extending supply chain, introducing digital platforms etc., are the various ways the Indian SME can reduce the negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Research methodology

Research scope

The research scope entails the extent of the study area, which will be explored. The present study will focus on the SMEs in India and emphasise the Indian government’s contribution to SME in covid-19 to understand the impact and ways of addressing the challenges arising from covid-19 on Indian SMEs.

Research philosophy

The research philosophies are broadly classified in positivism, interpretivism, pragmatism and realism. Positivism philosophy is followed in the present study. The interpretivism approach is followed in secondary research. Pragmatism is a combination of positivism and interpretivism (Ørngreen and Levinsen, 2017). Realism works upon using the experience and applying the knowledge to get research purposes. As the researcher mainly works upon the primary data collection in the present study; thus, the positive approach will be followed and expects that the data collected will be highly effective in drawing the research results.

Research choice and strategy

Research choices mainly entail information about the source of collecting data and performing research to maintain the research’s integrity (Beins, 2017). The present study involves conducting the primary research comprises of primary data collection methods. The research will be performed on Indian SMEs. The causal research will be performed to determine the relationship between the two variables for identifying the impact of covid-19 on Indian SMEs. The strategy of the research is to design the research methodology by incorporating the primary research sequentially. The quantitative survey strategy is followed in the present study.

Research approach and method

The present research will follow the deductive approach. The research approaches are deductive or inductive. Inductive is followed to develop theories. The present study is following a deductive approach as it will collect the primary information from the selected samples to test the impact of covid-19 on SME in India.  The primary research is performed, which enable the researcher to collect new data from the chosen samples to obtain information on the selected topic (Leary and Walker, 2020). The quantitative research will be performed to get numerical data from the strategic surveys.

Sampling technique and sample size

Sample selection should be performed by the researcher based on the attribute of the targeted population. The simple random sampling method will be performed in which every member is having an equal chance of participating in the research process. The research population is the employees working in SME to provide realistic information on the covid-19 impacts. The sample size will be the 30 employees who are working in SME. The samples are asked for voluntary participation mentioned on the questionnaire survey form.

Data collection and data analysis

Data collection is the most critical in performing research. The secondary data will be collected from the print media sources such as journals, published articles and newspapers. The present study involves a questionnaire survey method to collect primary data from the respondents. The questions are designed having optional choices for the respondents in which they have to select the best alternative. The questionnaire will be provided to the respondents using the online medium as it is best in saving costs and time to reach the samples.

Once the information is collected, the researcher needs to analyse the data (Guetterman, 2019). The gathered data will be analysed using several statistical tools such as pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs and scatter diagrams etc., to draw the research inferences.

Ethical consideration

It is the responsibility of the researcher to maintain ethics at every stage of the study. The researcher will not reveal the identity of the samples participating in the research process. The information will not be manipulated to get the desired outcomes. The actual data will be shared to make the research robust and reliable, contributing to making improvements in SME operations.

Project plan

The present research involves using a Gantt chart to schedule the project activities, ensuring timely and effective completion of the research steps:

Weeks/Research activities Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7
Developing a research background
Designing aims and objectives
Reviewing literature
Deciding the sample size and selecting a sampling method
Developing a questionnaire
Data collection process
Analysing data provided by respondents
Research findings


Books and Journals

Beins, B.C., 2017. Research method: A tool for life. Cambridge University Press.

Cepel, M., Gavurova, B., Dvorský, J. and Belas, J., 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the perception of business risk in the SME segment. Journal of International Studies.

Guetterman, T.C., 2019. Basics of statistics for primary care research. Family medicine and community health7(2).

Jakhotiya, G., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on Indian economy and the road ahead.

Kumar, A., Syed, A.A. and Pandey, A., 2020. How Adoption of Online Resources Can Help Indian SMEs in Improving Performance during COVID-19 Pandemic. Test Engineering and Management Journal.

Leary, H. and Walker, A., 2020. 4 Treating Research Studies as Our Primary Subject. Research Methods in Learning Design and Technology, p.43.

Mahajan, Y., 2020. Study of Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in India. GIS SCIENCE JOURNAL7(9).

Ørngreen, R. and Levinsen, K., 2017. Workshops as a Research Methodology. Electronic Journal of E-learning15(1), pp.70-81.

Roy, A., Patnaik, B.C.M. and Satpathy, I., 2020. Impact of Covid-19 crisis on Indian MSME sector: A study on remedial measures. Eurasian Chemical Communications2(9), pp.991-1000.

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