IndiaMART COO Dinesh Gulati shares mantra for unlocking B2B success

IndiaMART, a trailblazer in the realm of B2B commerce, has achieved remarkable success in attracting both buyers and sellers, with over 50% of India’s internet population visiting the platform in the past year alone. In this exclusive interview with Adgully, Dinesh Gulati, Chief Operating Officer, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited, shares insights into the factors driving this unprecedented growth and the strategies employed to foster trust among users for B2B transactions.

IndiaMART has seen significant success in attracting both buyers and sellers, with over 50% of India’s internet population visiting the platform in the past year alone. What do you attribute this remarkable growth to, and how does IndiaMART continue to cultivate trust among its users for B2B transactions?

Over time we have evolved into a platform that is beyond just a B2B marketplace and has become a holistic solution for any business needs, covering everything from procurement to sales and beyond. The success of the platform can be attributed to the efforts in line with our vision to make doing business easy for all, centred around innovation, trust building and customer-centricity.

Moreover, our freemium model prioritises accessibility and affordability for SMEs, allowing users to explore the platform before committing along with the balanced DIY and Do-it-for-me customer service approach leading to the strongest network effects of buyers and sellers registered on the platform. and

IndiaMART thrives on a powerful network effect, connecting 78 lakh suppliers and 18 crore registered buyers across 10 crore products and services, with no single category or industry overpowering others. Additionally, our nationwide presence spanning 1,000+ cities ensures geographical inclusivity, catering to businesses across diverse regions. We have a comprehensive set of solutions and services in place that empowers sellers and buyers across their business journey:

For sellers, we provide free online visibility through a web store, a 2-way platform where they can also connect with buyers/leads, cloud telephony, an integrated CRM platform called Lead Manager, and business enablement solutions for various business needs such as accounting, logistics, etc.

For buyers, other than a wide suite of products & services and a seller base, we also extend AI based Behavioural matchmaking, multi-lingual search options, price discovery, conversational commerce, and transparency through comprehensive supplier catalogue pages and trust-building measures like user ratings, reviews, and TrustSEAL Verification.

To keep this network expanding, consistent investment in technology, innovation and platform enhancement are playing a pivotal role in enhancing user experience. This further leads to strengthening our repeat traffic (53% of buyers repeat buyers), solidifying our position as a leading B2B marketplace.

With a presence in over 1500 cities, IndiaMART offers a seamless B2B journey from raw materials to final products on one platform. Can you elaborate on how IndiaMART facilitates this journey and the benefits it provides to businesses operating in various industries?

Our platform serves as a unified marketplace offering a wide array of products and services spanning 98,000 categories and 56 industries, sourced from more than 78 lakh verified sellers nationwide. IndiaMART ensures equitable representation across categories, fostering competitive pricing and a diverse product selection.

A significant portion of our buyers (71%) and sellers (58%) are located in non-metro and Tier 2 cities. We create a level playing field for businesses of all sizes and locations, empowering established companies and those in developing regions to connect and thrive.

Our sophisticated matchmaking algorithms connect buyers with the right partners, facilitating relevant and efficient transactions. Notably, approximately 38% of registered suppliers also engage as buyers on our platform, establishing IndiaMART as a comprehensive destination for all business needs, from procurement to sales.

Streamlining B2B operations on a singular platform is a key focus for IndiaMART. Could you provide examples of how the platform achieves this and the efficiencies it brings to businesses using its services?

We’ve significantly enhanced matchmaking accuracy and system efficiencies by leveraging cutting-edge technologies like AI, ML, and behavioural data-driven algorithms. Features like AI-enabled search, including Vernacular Voice Search, have broken down language barriers. Also, we ensure enriched user-friendly content (products with quality, images, videos, and PDF) for buyers and sellers across all the modes they access us (mobile website, desktop website, and mobile apps). This ensures that our buyers and suppliers have a simple and fulfilling journey across the platform.

We provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools, including RFQ buy lead, cloud telephony, CRM lead management, and accounting solutions, facilitating seamless B2B transactions. Our Lead Manager goes beyond mere connections, offering a robust lead management system that streamlines business operations.

With a central hub for enquiries and replies, accessible through a user-friendly interface, sellers can effortlessly track leads, send and receive quotations, and set reminders for follow-ups. Leveraging WhatsApp integration, they can seamlessly interact with potential customers, maximising sales opportunities. We enable more than 4 crore monthly Callbacks & replies – showcasing our platform’s effectiveness in connecting buyers and sellers.

IndiaMART remains at the forefront of meeting and evolving business needs, solidifying our position as a leading B2B marketplace.

The advanced dashboard provided by IndiaMART enables businesses to efficiently manage leads. How does this feature empower businesses, and what insights can they gain from it to optimise their B2B operations?

IndiaMART’s Lead Manager System empowers businesses by offering efficient lead management capabilities. It is a central hub for sellers to efficiently connect, communicate, negotiate and close deals with their potential leads. A comprehensive dashboard integrated with the Lead Manager, helps sellers to track their progress and plan for business optimization.

With features like search and filter options, businesses can easily locate specific leads based on criteria such as urgency or status. Labelling and notes enable categorization and tracking of each lead’s progress for personalised interaction. Built-in reminders ensure timely responses to chats, while direct WhatsApp integration facilitates seamless communication with potential customers. Additionally, the seller is also capable of accessing the detailed history & behaviour of the buyers (including their products of interest, membership timeline, verification details, behaviour on the platform, etc.) on the platform, enabling them to customise their proposals or quotations accordingly.

The platform further allows filtering based on lead source (Direct/ Buy Leads/ Both), lead status (All/ Received/ Posted), location (India/ Foreign), product, and date. Moreover, businesses can send payment links, quotations with individual product images, product catalogues, invoices, etc., to buyers directly through the Lead Manager, all in just one click.

In the dynamic B2B landscape, informed decision-making is crucial for success. How does IndiaMART provide valuable insights to businesses, and how do these insights help them navigate and thrive in the ever-changing market conditions?

At IndiaMART, we receive over 2.5 crore unique business enquiries each quarter. Our matchmaking algorithms connect these buyer requirements with the right sellers. Since we operate on a Request for Quotation (RFQ) model, we provide leads that include detailed buyer requirements and category-specific information, offering significant insights into buyer demand. These enquiries also provide valuable information on geo-specific buyer requirements and product categories, allowing businesses to identify current trends and discover new product opportunities.

Furthermore, businesses have access to a range of reports tailored to the buyer requirements they have received. Our performance reports that provide analysis on enquiries based on location and categories deliver comprehensive insights into product demand across various geographies and sub-segments. These reports also reveal region-specific trends, enabling businesses to understand market nuances better. With over one crore products and services listed across over 97,000 categories, IndiaMART offers insights on price trends and regional pricing for any product category. This wealth of information empowers our customers to make informed pricing decisions and accurately gauge current market demands.

As a behaviour-based platform, IndiaMART also provides businesses with reports on their activity within the platform. This includes metrics such as the average talk time of calls received through the platform, the daily trend of leads, and more. The multitude of insights and data equip businesses to navigate and thrive in the ever-changing B2B landscape, making informed decisions that drive success.

Online Coverage: adgully