A large majority of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the building and construction sector are upbeat about the future and are lookingThe basics of commerce have always remained the same but in past 15 years the most visible change that happened was the emergence of internet as a crucial ingredient of business. It has changed the way interactions take place and opened the doors for various exiting opportunities.
Having more than a million suppliers and 50000 product categories, IndiaMART has always been a front runner to use and upgrade the technology to make commerce happen. With a focus to deliver value and reduce inefficiencies, IndiaMART has become the preferred platform for B2B transactions in India.
Keeping the story of IndiaMART at the center, here are some points which I believe are key to achieve a fast and sustainable growth-
Profitable from day on – For a start up, managing cost and generating revenue should be the priority. Focus on revenue generating models and remain on the ground in terms of investment. Though we had a strong, belief in the idea of online B2B services, we never speculated and always remained practical. That was the reason we were able to generate revenue from day one.
India and Internet Story – Try to mould your services/products to reach out to a maximum number of users. India offers tremendous opportunities and is growing at a very fast rate. On the other hand Internet is a cost effective tool to reach out to every corner of the world. From the beginning we had a strong belief in India’s growth story and the potential the Internet holds. There are millions of MSMEs in India which are the true engines of growth. They don’t spend the money on TV, print or outdoor advertising. So we combined the need of these MSMEs with the power of internet which is very affordable and effective.
Offer solutions to reduce inefficiency –
Different people need different things and approaches. Understanding the needs and offering different solutions is one of the keys to win and retain customers. Get involved and go to the core of the problem to offer the most suitable solution to your customer. At IndiaMART we work on two dimensions; what a supplier wants and what a buyer wants. We have come up with numerous solutions to address the needs of both suppliers and buyers. As a new service now we are giving suppliers the chance to pick and choose their buyers. Conventionally only the buyer had the power to choose a supplier but we have come up with this alternate solutions where, based on the need of the buyer, a supplier can also choose his buyer. This method is very effective as it brings serious buyers and suppliers together and save time and money. We also list CRISIL verified suppliers to ensure authenticity via our Trust Seal program.
Knowledge sharing – In today’s world sharing of knowledge is one of the most important factors to build a relationship with customers. A customer will only be satisfied when he has all the information about the product/service and sees value that fits his needs. Sharing also generate trust which is vital for long term relationship. At IndiaMART we are constantly in touch with our customers and offer various services and E-stats to keep customers updated. Again the goal here is to meet the requirements of the customer which ultimately translates in to business.
Believe in domestic consumption while looking for global expansion – Coming back to India story; India is mainly a domestic consumption economy where most of products and services cater to domestic demands. With the future growth, this consumption will only go upwards. It world be wise to focus on and develop the business keeping in mind the domestic demand. Having said so, one should always keep looking for off shore opportunities as they can provide more exposure, learning and business, Participating in various trade fairs and consistently pitching your products to a wide number of customers always helps. Balancing domestic and international business is the key and can very between different sectors. Have a thorough study done for your business and decide accordingly.
Use of technology – Always keep an eye on technology advancements and keep updating. Technology is going mobile. Now everything is available on mobile phones. It improves the efficiency and reduces the cost and time as most of the tasks can be performed anytime and from anywhere. Though internet will always remain strong, mobile penetration offers new opportunities to promote your business. Now applications are available for almost every service and transactions are possible through SMS. For many players language is a big barrier to communicate with potential customers. While English remains the main language for internet and business transactions, most of the day to day business still happens in local language. Technology can help cross this barrier. Be among the firsts to harness the benefits of technology.
Continuous expansion – Growth is the lifeline of any business. Businesses which are not growing cannot survive in long term. Be ambitious, set new targets and always look for opportunities to expend and add new features in your portfolio as it helps find new customers and retain old ones. At IndiaMART, we have grown at the rate of 50% (CAGR) for last to years. In last one and half years we have increased our workforce from 1500 to 4000. We are now ready to support 5 million MSMEs across the board and become a $100 million company in next 3 years.
All the above mentioned factors have helped IndiaMART reach where it is now. We believe MSMEs don’t need cost cutting as much as they need more business. By constantly focusing on value and upgrading the service to boost business, one can surely achieve desired results.