The future of B2B Commerce in India Prospects and Markets

Express Cmputer,

Speaker: Brijesh Kumar Agarwal, COO, IndiaMART

In spite of the current slump in the dot-com business, Brijesh Kumar Agarwal, the Chief Operating Officer of IndiaMART is sure of the growth of the market, even though the growth rate has come down. Agarwal mainly spoke on ‘Defining B2B commerce’ (which has taken a beating due to the current blip in the market), the need for redefining as to which sectors are available and the size of the marketplace. Later on, he focused on the different impending issues concerning the dot-com industry, the different emerging areas in the public marketplaces, and lastly on redefining the success roadmap for Indian businesses (covering both large enterprises and small and medium enterprises), “There is a lot of scope in the SME segment, and that’s the niche area, which we are trying to target. 90 percent of our business comes from the SME segment, and as we plan to provide a more focused approach, this area will prove to be a potential goldmine,” he said. According to Agarwal, the stress on the corporate segment was still not there due to the basic issues of security and business partnership plaguing the Indian industry.

Agarwal was of the opinion that there was a lot of basic differences between B2B and B2C marketplaces, which many people are unable to realise and see as more of an e-commerce activity. “With the current market situation, I believe that companies need to look at more services and solutions, which can be intergrated within the B2B marketplaces. Also, with the emerging future scope of private market places, I believe that companies can start exploring these untapped potential, “he added.

According to him, the impending issues in the B2B marketplace are the multi-entity set up, the cost benefits, technical limitation, resistance from both the organisation and acceptability from people. “There is also the impending problem of internet connectivity, which is a major roadblock to the growth of the market. And lastly come government participation, without which the B2B processes become difficult to move, “he added.

Talking about the importance of the public B2B marketplaces, Agarwal said that presently we have been following the approach of understanding the business, providing information (through the brochures), match-making (providing a perfect combination for both entities) and sales lead generation (which is mainly done for the SME segment at both domestic and international clients). According to him, another emerging area is branding, which has become a necesity and has undergone a change from just banner advertising to a more focused branding approach.

In case of the SME businesses, he suggested more public marketplace alignment, service and solution alignment, content and process alignment and lastly branding and sales promotion alignment.