For Indiamart founders, B2B e-commerce needs ‘identity’


India is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in recent years. According to an eMarketer report, the projection for 2018 is a 23.5% increase in online sales. Much of this comes from the B2B sector, with its 1.6 million businesses, responsible for $ 800 million per year.

Despite the good numbers, according to Brijesh and Dinesh Agarwal – founders of Indiamart, India’s largest B2B marketplace – the service segment still has a lot to grow in a market that has similarities with Brazil. Both were presented on Wednesday (18) in panel at the E-commerce Week, organized by the UN.

Among the main challenges, according to them, is the standardization of services. “Unlike the purchase of products, it is very different for consumers to compare services in B2B,” said Brijesh Agarwal. “Each provider has a different specification,” he explained.

According to the businessman, the lack of an “identity of his own” makes the services offered in an unorganized way – one of the other problems that the sector needs to fight in India. “Customer expectations need to beat the quality of service offered.”

Other points cited by the founders, and who need special attention, are the lack of skilled labor, improvements in the quality of service delivery and better understanding of consumer behavior. “It’s a sector still under development, with much to discover,” concluded Brijesh.

For them, who founded an international marketplace, cross-border has become a reality. Today, services seem to gain more and more relevance in the digital world.

“[We’re talking about] downloading music, videos on demand and software,” said Dinesh Agarwal. “The software industry is the second most important in this segment. This is a great opportunity, “he said, citing Freshdesk, a support company, as a successful example.

According to Giles Derrington, head of Politics at techUK, who also participated in the panel, this recent change is a reflection of the advancement of technology.

“In the past, you bought a computer program in the box and installed it. It is not the type of product that creates connections. Today, there are those same services in the cloud, “he concluded.