The Times of India,
With the vision of connecting businesses with the fastest communication medium of the day, Dinesh Agarwal, a computer software engineer from Madhu Vihar, set up the first company in India to provide directory services for exporters and importers on the Internet.
Since its inception in April 1996, Intermesh Systems has been spearheading the Internet revolution in India through indiaMART. Says Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, “In the 90s the bad Balance of Payment situation in India forced the government to take drastic measures to boost productivity and exports from India. Thus, the stage was set for a major change in the export-import scenario.” In association with ASSOCHAM, Indiamart launched a full-fledged directory service. Subsequently, in October 1996, it got rights to publish directories of various chambers of commerce. Industry specific web-sites were introduced to provide Indian companies with maximum business attention across the globe. Indiamart has been rated as the “Most Interactive Trading Zone on The Net” by The Economic Times. Microsoft nominated Indiamart for the “Best of Asia Pacific Website” and the PC World has rated it as the topmost among the Most Wanted Indian Websites this year.
The website includes Apparel.indiamart.com for garments, textile and apparel industry; Indiantravelportal for travel and tourism industry’ Handicraft Indiamart for the handicraft industry and Finance.Indiamart.com for the latest stock quotes and investment schemes in the country. These sites provide an overview of the industry, business directories, lists of events, trade shows, magazines, associations, organisations, buyers and stores around the world and links to related information on the net.
The concept of Indiamart is new and innovative not just because it satisfies a latent demand but also because it offers free query forwarding. “I launched the company at the time when Indian businesses did not have any exposure to the internet. E-mail facilities were not very common. Indiamart provided a solution by receiving queries through e-mail on behalf of the traders and forwarded it to them free of cost. This helped faster communication between the business people,” informs Agarwal. Intermesh came up with the idea of free listing services to keep the database active and growing. The business groups got hooked on to the idea of getting global exposure free of cost with minimal efforts. Today Intermesh has a database of over 70,000 companies and is still growing.
Building on its strength, the company moved on to hosting and designing of web-sites towards the end of December 1996. It recently created MTNL’s portal site ‘Bharat On Line’ featuring World Cup’99 online. It has over 300 clients, including Nirula’s Jindal steel, National Panasonic, Apollo Hospitals, Eureka Forbes, Le Meridian and Ircon International. Intermesh Systems has, for the first time, created a site disseminating information regarding admissions in Delhi University on the Net.