The Economic Times,
After having carried the field for years on end and succeeding in invoking the interest of investors such as Intel Capital, IndiaMART is in a fix. Why would a global customer come to an ‘India’MART, they tell Debasish Roy
After being invested in by Intel Capital, IndiaMART.com is now looking pretty and more confident that they will make it big time. On being asked the reason for the timing of the investment Intel’s Vivek Kupram had commented: “It is the numbers. IndiaMART did not have the requisite numbers earlier. Now it does.”
In other words, the success of a brand depends on the acceptability of the business model by customers in general.
Websites such as IndiaMART thrive on the number of registrations they get instead of the number of page views or hits they experience. The hits and misses game is for the content
site such as Indiatimes.com or Yahoo.com or MSN.com.Not IndiaMART, which is a coming together of many offline active businesses.
The business model is entirely different and it goes to the credit of Dinesh Agarwal, managing director and CEO of IndiaMART to stick to his business model steadfastly.
However, after blazing a trail in India and for Indian buyers and sellers, IndiaMART has suddenly found itself eminently able to handle a global footprint.
Currently, quite a few of buyers and sellers on IndiaMART are in India.
However, there has been constant interest from foriegn buyers and sellers from abroad to be part of IndiaMART.com.
The only hitch has been that owing to a brand positioning clash many companies do not want to become part of a site which has India in its name.
Well, to book a domain with a name like Globemart would not help as the hits and the high response from buyers and sellers around the world and particularly from India is on IndiaMART and not on some new site which was unknown till now.
IndiaMART InterMESH Limited’s other domain ventures such as indiangiftsportal.com and abcpayments.com are relatively unknown attempts to hog the limelight on the Net in those particular verticals.
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IndiaMART’s success in enabling small and medium businesses in India to fructify and join the global bandwagon on its B2B net enabling platform as a page on the www.IndiaMART.com site, is a highly effective and simple strategy, which has worked like a charm.
However, now the promoters Dinesh Agarwals and his team find it increasingly difficult to get a large number of conversions to jump onto the India brand if they are from other parts of the globe.
The advertising agency and the A-team of the company is addressing the problem and is trying to arrive at a consensus as to how to leverage the brand and at the same time convert it into a global brand.
For one thing, IndiaMART will not be able to have its cake and eat it too. It will either have to shed the India image or carry on with it and sacrifice its ability to attract buyers and sellers from a worldwide footprint.
The other option available to this company is that it spends overseas to promote a site such as globaltrade.com and then redirects it to www.IndiaMART.com/global.
This would require huge marketing funds and also a policy decision to actively develop the brand for IndiaMART and not just tom tom its facilties available on the Net.
Till now, however, all advertising that has come from IndiaMART has been on listing of its wares.