Local search engines and online market places such as IndiaMart, Grotal etc are helping small businesses operating from West Delhi in connecting directly with customers. The region mostly has a collection of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and local search engines are helping them to have a better online presence. This is also helping the upwardly mobile public which most of the times, Googles before it leaps.
Ramesh Chandra, the owner of Bharat Engineering in Mayapuri, which has been in the business for more than a decade said, “Companies located in this part of the national capital are generally small businesses which do not have enough capital at their disposal to spend on advertising or marketing campaigns. Hence connecting with our customers is a difficult task.”
Most SMBs said that such portals are the primary way to connect to new customers and increase the customer base. They help in increasing the number of enquiries that they get by up to 80 per cent and there by increases the revenue also.
Talking about his customers, Chandra added, “Our customer is not the end user. We are suppliers to other engineering companies, which are spread across the country. It is difficult to reach out to such a large geography with modest resources that we have. So, these portals act like a bridge between us and our customers.”
Talking about the advantages of such portals, Dinesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, IndiaMART.com, “An online B2B portal such as IndiaMART.com provides a powerful tool to SMBs to improve their customer interface. It helps them in overcoming the challenges of time and distance by offering a platform that provides exposure at low cost and extended reach to global and non-local/national markets, forging better connectivity with prospective clients through myriad networking opportunities.”
Agreeing with Chandra, Sumit Kumar of HK Industries, which has two operational manufacturing units in Kirti Nagar, said, “For companies like us, which are suppliers to other companies, online portals are more effective than advertising, most of the times. The number of enquiries which one gets after placing an advertisement in ,say, an industry specific magazine is far less than by registering on any local search engine.”
Online portals help in giving the small businesses, the advantage of online presence. While a website can also give the advantage of being there in the virtual world, which is the primary source of information for all kinds of suppliers, most SMBs prefer online listing.
Agarwal of IndiaMART.com added, “Also, lack of IT adoption and understanding among small and medium-sized enterprises about technology and online presence is a known concern. We make search of suppliers and buyers easy for them. It becomes extremely convenient for them as options are available at the click of a mouse.”
The cost advantage is a definite reason for the popularity of local search engines. IndiaMART.com provides a free listing option. Beyond this paid services start at Rs 25,000 per year and may be as much as several lakh a year. This amount also offers them other services on top of providing listing on the platform.
While these portals are highly beneficial for manufacturing companies, they provide no less benefit to other service providers either. Rashmi Kapoor, the owner of West Delhi Creche in Hari Nagar opposite of Deen Dayal Hospital
said, “Online presence is highly important. Most of the customers are Internet savvy these days, and look for service providers online. Therefore e it is important for us to be present in the virtual world.”