We will continue to hunt for good M&A opportunities: IndiaMART CEO Dinesh Agarwal


New Delhi: B2B e-commerce company, IndiaMART InterMESH reported a rise of 60.68 per cent in its consolidated net profit to Rs 112.8 crore for the quarter that ended December 31, 2022. Its consolidated revenue from operations increased by 33.65 per cent to Rs 251.4 crore. ETRetail spoke to IndiaMart’s founder and CEO, Dinesh Agarwal to understand the company’s performance and strategy, and vision going forward.

Edited excerpts below:

How would you analyse your quarterly results?
It is a steady growth. On a standalone basis, we saw about 20-25 per cent of revenue collection with stable margins in the third quarter. Some one-off gains have also come.

You reported healthy margins. Where do you plan to invest?
As in the past, we will continue to return the money to the shareholders. As well as, we will continue to see if there are any good merger and acquisition opportunities, either from our own invested companies or outside that. We look for technology and SaaS-based business enablement software, which can add more value to us or IndiaMART can add more value to them. These are the synergies we look for. We will continue to add more layers of technology so that it becomes easier for buyers and sellers to transact.

How many registered sellers and buyers does IndiaMART have?
We have registered 165 million buyers so far and the number of sellers registered on our platform is 7.4 million SMEs. Out of this, we have 1,94,000 paid customer subscribers. We function across 95,000 plus categories.

What is your outlook to increase paid subscribers?
Our paid subscribers have gone up by 25 per cent on a Y-o-Y basis and 3 per cent on a Q-o-Q. We have added about 6,300 paid subscribers this quarter. We aim to add 8,000 paid subscribers every quarter.

Competition in B2B e-commerce space has increased significantly. What will be your strategy to stay ahead of the competition?
It is not easy to compare different B2B and SME platforms, as each has different characteristics. IndiaMART alone cannot solve all the problems and opportunities. We do not yet see any direct competition in the space we operate in.

Also, more buyers attract more suppliers and vice versa. As the number of buyers and suppliers keeps increasing, it becomes a more sticky platform. And it results in a high entry and high exit barrier for any platform. It also adds value to the new buyers and sellers, as they enjoy the benefits accumulated over the years.

IndiaMART holds approximately 60 per cent of the market share in B2B e-commerce. What is your vision 5 years from now?
We see ourselves as an integral part of the Indian economy and aim to make it easier for smaller players to compete with each other and create a level playing field.

Five years ago, all the categories of B2B products we see today, were hard to find. We democratized that information so that every small supplier has the ability to do promotion and lead generation through a platform like IndiaMART. 45 per cent of our traffic comes from beyond tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Hinterlands never had this supplier and pricing information, which is now democratised.

Over the next decade, we will continue to enrich this experience of finding buyers and suppliers, and products across categories. We want to create a trusted marketplace. Out of the 1,94,000 paid subscribers we have, almost 99 per cent are GST-registered and verified suppliers. It is a purely B2B business portal. We will continue to work in that direction and add business enablement layers.