70 investors rejected an idea. It has become a unicorn and helped create another

It is no secret that in the last couple of years, it has become easier to do transactions and the supply chain ow has become smoother in the B2B marketplace. Dinesh Agarwal, the founder, and CEO of IndiaMART, says this is because of an increase in the internet footprint.

Agarwal started Indiamart, a B2B platform for SMEs, way back in 1996. “There was very low penetration of computers and the internet in India. Information ow was not that easy. If you’re sitting in the US or Australia and trying to nd something, some products or services from India or China, the most information you’d get was in the print directories or at the export promotion councils. Information exchange and trade would happen through embassies and trade fairs, which was expensive, and not many people used to do that,” he says.

Then in 2002, the BPO industry boomed in India. Slowly internet usage spread, computers became cheaper and information ow over email and other digital modes became common. Then came the widespread adoption of smartphones and cheaper internet services. “Once 3G and smartphones were launched, internet penetration grew tenfold. Smaller businesses from the hinterlands could nd out prices or suppliers in Delhi, Mumbai, and other places. The entire ecosystem changed dramatically,” he says.

This change got a further push with demonetization, GST adoption, and other things like the use of the Unified Payments Interface.

Economic Times