DAN e4m Conference: MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy: Dinesh Agarwal | E4M


At the DAN e4m Digital Advertising Conference, Agarwal, Founder & CEO of IndiaMART, sheds light on the importance of tapping the MSME sector and the adoption of digital among them

In today’s business ecosystem, a majority of global entrepreneurs talk about adopting deep tech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Internet-of-Things, etc to become more efficient, gain more user trust, and stand apart from the competition. But Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), on the other hand, are generally viewed as slow to the adoption of technology, preferring to do business in the traditional and conventional method. But in fact, one of the biggest change drivers for the MSME lending ecosystem over time has to be digital adoption among the Indian MSMEs.

At the third edition of the Dentsu Aegis Network-exchange4media Digital Advertising Conference, Dinesh Agarwal- Founder and CEO of IndiaMART, deliberated on the adoption of digital among these small to medium businesses.

“When it comes to advertising or ROI, we always talk about corporates, large brands. But we never talk about so small businesses that are across India because they do not have the power or money to spend across media. And that’s where the Internet or digital changes everything because it allows a small business operator to experiment and target a particular audience without too much spillage,” Agarwal asserted.

According to him, MSME’s are the backbone of the Indian economy. If recent figures are anything to go by, they provide employment to 120 million people and there are about 6 crores of them. Currently, the MSME contribution to the Indian GDP is 29%.

Shedding light on how IndiaMART and the MSME sector have grown together, Agarwal shared, “In 2009-10, we decided to serve small, domestic businesses because domestic internet by then had grown good enough. And today, just 10 years later, we are 98 million buyers currently, we are close to becoming 100 million buyers soon.”

Despite being a B2B platform, 10% of Indian Internet population he revealed visits IndiaMART. He contended that the platform is digitally enabling small businesses as well as large enterprises.

“From Godrej to Dr Fixit, some of the largest brands are now advertising on IndiaMART,” he said. Emphasising on the role of digital on platforms and the role of aggregation, he remarked, “Earlier there were two different ecosystems: rural and urban. The Internet has created digital economies across borders and across different sections of society. So you have more availability.”

Agarwal expounded that the power of aggregation is that it brings you a variety of products and a variety of suppliers in just seconds. He also signalled the rise of businesses going online due to various tailwinds and government policies like GST, UPI and how even drivers are learning how to use the Internet. “Digital has opened up the possibility for small businesses, for large businesses, for generating buyers across India with the click of a button. Last year alone, IndiaMART witnessed 18.8 cr traffic, 4 crore enquiries, that translate into 15 enquiries per second with 6.6 cr products. According to our estimates, almost half a % of Indian GDP flows through the platform with buyers and sellers matchmaking that we do,” Agarwal stated.

Founded in 1996, IndiaMART has a presence in over 100 cities pan-India. With approximately 1000 employees, IndiaMART.com offers an extensive range of value-added products and services to over 500,000 members and over five million global buyers across industries and verticals