New Delhi: B2B e-commerce platform Indiamart NSE 3.40 % Intermesh on Thursday posted a 19 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 88 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 74 crore in the same period a year ago.
“We have been able to navigate the disruptions caused by the second wave of COVID, much better than the last year and have sustained a profitable growth in this quarter.“
“Our focus had been to continue supporting customers as well as employees in the times that had been personally challenging to many,” Indiamart Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Agarwal said in a statement.
Revenue from operations rose 19 per cent to Rs 182 crore during the reported period, compared to Rs 153 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2020-21.
“As the overall demand environment improves, because of our strong network effect, financial position and investments in strengthening the value proposition, we will continue supporting businesses transforming themselves to online and capitalize on the new growth opportunities arising from the accelerated adoption of the internet,” Agarwal said
Indiamart also filed a “statement of deviation or variation in utilization of funds raised through QIP by the Company, for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, reviewed by the Audit Committee”.
The statement was with respect to the fund utilisation from proceeds of Rs 1,051.2 crore that the company had raised from qualified institutional placement (QIP) on February 22, 2021.
Indiamart’s filing said the expenses incurred in relation to QIP amounting to Rs 19 crore have been adjusted from the securities premium account.
“As per the placement document, QIP proceeds are to augment for future growth and expansion. Out of these proceeds, the company has utilized Rs 305 millions towards fresh investments made during the current quarter ended June 30, 2021. The balance amount of QIP’s net proceeds remains invested in liquid instruments,” the filing said.
Shares of Indiamart closed at Rs 7,010.7 apiece, down by 0.43 per cent, on BSE on Thursday
Noida, India, July 22, 2021: IndiaMART InterMESH Limited (referred to as “IndiaMART” or the
“Company”), today announced its financial results for the first quarter ending June 30, 2021.
IndiaMART reported consolidated Total Revenue from Operations of Rs. 182 Crore in Q1 FY22, a
growth of 19% y-o-y due to improvement in realization from existing customers and increase in number
of paying subscription suppliers. Consolidated Deferred Revenue increased from Rs. 628 Crore in Q1
FY21 to Rs. 715 Crore in Q1 FY22.
Consolidated EBITDA was Rs. 89 Crore as compared to Rs. 73 Crore in Q1 FY21. EBITDA margin for
Q1 FY22 stood at 49%. Consolidated EBIT for the period was Rs. 85 Crore. EBIT margin increased to
47% in Q1 FY22 from 45% in Q1 FY21.
Profit before Tax was at Rs.112 Crore and Net Profit was Rs.88 Crores, representing margins of 53% and
Consolidated Cash Flow from Operations for the quarter was at Rs. 61 Crore, Cash and Investments
balance stood at Rs. 2,421 Crore as on June 30, 2021, as compared to Rs. 954 Crore on June 30, 2020, an
increase of 154% YoY.
IndiaMART sustained buyer traffic of 268 million in Q1 FY22 and business enquiries of 162 million in
Q1 FY22 during the challenging second wave of Covid-19. Paying subscription suppliers grew to 146
thousand, a growth of 9%.
Commenting on the performance, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We have been able to navigate the disruptions caused by the second wave of covid, much better than the
last year and have sustained a profitable growth in this quarter. Our focus had been to continue supporting
customers as well as employees in the times that had been personally challenging to many. As the overall
demand environment improves, because of our strong network effect, financial position and investments
in strengthening the value proposition, we will continue supporting businesses transforming themselves to
online and capitalize on the new growth opportunities arising from the accelerated adoption of the
IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace for business products and services. IndiaMART
makes it easier to do business by connecting buyers and sellers across product categories and geographies
in India through business enablement solutions. IndiaMART provides ease and convenience to the buyers
by offering a wide assortment of products and a responsive seller base while offering lead generation,
lead management and payment solutions to its sellers.
IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.
Tower 2, Assotech Business Cresterra,
Floor No.6, Plot No.22, Sec 135,
1st Floor, 29-Daryaganj, Netaji Subash Marg, Delhi – 110002.
For any queries, please contact: email@example.com
Many have termed 2020 as the watershed moment for the Indian micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs) that will accelerate their business growth with the digital transformation. However, the segment still continues to struggle with the traditional system set in place to offer support to them.
On the second day of Business Insider’s two day event ‘MSME Exchange 2021’, several politicians, business leaders, bankers and investors joined in to discuss how to not only support, but enable the Indian MSME segment better. One thing that was repeatedly highlighted was the fact that India needs to change its strategies and bring in different solutions for the MSME sector.
Dinesh Agarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of ecommerce platform IndiaMart, highlighted that almost 80% of the Indian MSMEs have such low turnover that they are not even good and services tax (GST) registered and their needs are going to be really different from the fractional MSMEs with more than ₹50 lakh as revenue.
Notably, MSMEs need to have a turnover of at least ₹50 lakh to register for GST. Meanwhile, a company is considered MSME based on its investment and turnover.
He noted that there needs to be a different approach that needs to be taken in order to cater to the needs of each one of them.
Meanwhile, fintech firm BharatPe’s group president Suhail Sameer added that the system also needs to change to stop benefiting large businesses at every step of the way. “People who don’t need credit get all the credit. People who need credit, even though they are willing to pay a higher rate of interest, unfortunately can’t be underwritten,” he said.
He also notes that the banks have to solve for it, as the government has already done its bit by reducing the interest rates on the loans given the MSMEs. He noted that a lot of entrepreneurs start a small business bank because they can’t get a universal one.
“What are you eventually underwriting [a loan] on the back of? If you are underwriting on the back of CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau of India Limited) score, you’re underwriting on the back of five years financial numbers. You’re no different from a universal bank and I don’t necessarily see what you will lend, they can’t lend with a lower cost of capital,” he said, meaning that small finance banks need to set up different criterias to lend to MSMEs.
BharatPe.will soon be taking over Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank in a consortium with Centrum. Sameer added that given their history of lending to small merchants over the three years, they understand alternative forms of data to judge these borrowers on.
“Banks would look at the recollection behavior and sort of make a judgment three months out, versus I [BharatPe] can see how the economy is moving based on the transactions and then take some of these judgment calls sooner [compared to banks]. On one side, we’re talking about credit slowing down. On the other side, we [BharatPe] have seen the loans we have helped disburse grow from like ₹15-20 crore a month, just at the beginning of COVID’s first wave (March 2020), to disbursing ₹300 crore a month at the start of COVID wave two (April 2020),” Sameer said.
The second lockdown, following the more deadly second wave of the pandemic, has completely
disrupted the entire payments cycle that’s critical for small manufacturers like Chawla.
Sitting at his office in Ludhiana’s Jammu Colony, DS Chawla, a plastic parts supplier to cycle majors like
Avon, TI Cycles and Hero Ecotech, is combating lockdown-related issues daily. Stocks are piling up at his
godowns, a labour shortage looms, and suppliers are asking for payments to be cleared.
“From working 24×7, I first cut production to 6 days (8-hour shifts), then 5 days (8 hours shifts). Now
employees work on alternate days. All the big factories we supply to are shut currently, so we can’t ship
the finished goods, but we still have to continue manufacturing to fulfil pending orders and keep the
remaining labour busy,” said Chawla, proprietor, Chawla International.
The second lockdown, following the more deadly second wave of the pandemic, has completely
disrupted the entire payments cycle that’s critical for small manufacturers like Chawla.
“If we don’t supply, we don’t get paid. If we don’t get paid, how do we pay our suppliers. Small
businesses across the chain are cash strapped,” said Chawla, who is also president of United Cycle &
Parts Manufacturer Association.
The restrictions have taken a heavy toll on lakhs of small businesses across the nation as they fight for
survival on the face of crippling labour shortage, disrupted supply chains, logistic blocks, raw material
shortages, serious cash flow problems—plunging demand.
Even in states that have allowed industrial activity to continue in lockdowns, major SME clusters like
Ludhiana, Kanpur, Madurai, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Tiruchirapalli, Agra and Rajkot, have reported major
drop in economic activity as large factories have shut down, or are operating at partial capacity, and
local demand has plummeted.
Footwear exporters in Agra were gearing up to raise production to meet the autumn and Christmas
demand from Europe and US when the state imposed Covid-19 restrictions impacting business activity.
“In 2020, after the first lockdown, our exports shrank by 30 per cent compared to 2019. In 2021, we expect a further 30 per cent dip in exports from 2020 levels. The whole leather ecosystem has been
impacted by the second wave at the time when we should be at peak production,” said Puran Dawar,
president, Agra Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Chamber.
While SMEs catering to corporates or local markets struggle, small businesses that supply to
government departments are facing a different kind of challenge; a raw material shortage and rising
prices has meant that they will end up taking losses while fulfilling contracts at old rates.
“Steel prices have gone up substantially, so how do you supply finished goods at old rates? We will have
to fulfil the orders even if we are running losses to avoid penalties or being blacklisted. The government
should extend existing contracts or renegotiate contracts or cancel penalties,” says Jatinder Agrawal of
Amar Promoters, a Himachal Pradesh-based manufacturer who supplies steel products to various
Since the restrictions started in the month of March, small businesses have also lost out on orders
companies and government departments dole out before closing their accounts for the year.
The second lockdown has pushed small businesses to the brink as they are unable to fulfil formal
banking requirements. For some, the choice is stark—shutter businesses or bear deeper losses.
“Even as we struggle with the second Covid wave, the banking sector is offering inadequate support to
the SMEs. After these many years, banks have not been able to pinpoint the main areas of concern for
SMEs. They just look at the balance sheets and some other requirements, but no one looks at the
potential of the business, employment generation capability, the challenges, the growth story,” said
Chandrakant Salunke, founder, SME Chamber of India.
The government had announced an Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) last year,
providing funding of up to Rs 3 lakh crore in the form of a fully guaranteed emergency credit line for
And the scheme was even expanded to cover 26 distressed sectors and extended to June 30, but still a
large number of 45 lakh plus SMEs haven’t been able to take advantage of the scheme, especially the
micro and small businesses.
“The small businesses are still not getting the benefits because they still mostly rely on private finance,”
The way some state governments rolled out restrictions also created hurdles for smaller businesses.
While the large and medium sized industries could run operations, smaller businesses like mechanics,
lathe machines, drilling shops etc, which are important for servicing the bigger businesses, were not
allowed to operate.
“I need a whole supporting ecosystem to run my factory. The state government needs to take
cognisance of this fact while framing regulations,” said Chawla.
The sudden lockdown in 2020 led to thousands of SMEs shutting shop or looking for exits, especially in
sectors like tourism, hospitality, real estate and retail and the industry representatives say the second
wave will end up taking a heavy toll as they are not in a financial condition to sustain operations.
“Since the pandemic started, 30 percent of small hotels and restaurants have shut shop and about 20
per cent are not operating at full capacity. The small hotels are on a negative list of financial institutions
and local governments are not helping them either. Only hotels that have taken loans are getting
financial help, but a lot of small hotels don’t have bank loans,” said Pradeep Shetty, secretary,
Federation of Hotel & Restaurants of India (FHRAI).
Industry veterans said the viability of SMEs is critical for post crisis economic recovery and failure to
protect them will put the economy at risk.
“The government has implemented a sizable number of programs aimed at addressing the needs of
SMEs. We foresee a faster recovery in months to come. The second wave of the pandemic is much
stronger, however, impact on the economy is moderate, primarily because the current lockdown not
being a nationwide one,” said Dinesh Agarwal- CEO, IndiaMART
Market watchers say the sudden, dramatic loss of demand severely affected the ability of SMEs to
function, and the resulting shutdown is now pushing many owners to explore sale of business.
“Amongst all the SMEs listed on our platform, 25% have quoted Covid onslaught as the primary reason
for sale and have reported a steep decline in revenues. This is more prevalent amongst restaurants,
playschools, training institutes, construction material businesses, food processing units, where almost
50% of them quote Covid as the reason for sale,” said Vishal Devanath, founder, Smergers, a private
marketplace for SME deals.
With revenue shrinking, small and medium businesses still have to bear expenses like employee salaries,
ESI and PF payments, electricity charges, interest payments and taxes but the government hasn’t
extended any direct help in dealing with such costs.
“The state wants all charges to be paid even now. But don’t they realise that generating revenues is very
difficult nowadays?” asked a sports goods manufacturer from Jalandhar.
“As we understand that the pandemic is not going to be over soon, so changing the way of working in the organisations is the way forward,” says Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART InterMESH.
The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected the entire world in myriads of ways. With no respite in sight, it looks like a bleak time for societies as well as businesses. The global health crisis has put the governments in a catch-22 situation as they do not only need to impose restrictions on movement but also work out a feasible solution to further revive economic activities.
With the progressive easing of restrictions over the next few months, business activities will start operating again at full capacity, but at the same time, one of the major concerns will be protecting the employees from contracting the virus. Businesses, not only in India but across the world, will involve slight changes in workspace functionality as well as environment to keep employees secure while allaying fears and busting myths regarding the spread of the disease.
Some of the industries will start transition to a new normal, wherein over 90% of the workforce will be enabled to work from home, ensuring compliance with security and safety protocols. Organisations may also issue guidelines for the employees to work remotely. To increase the remote work, hiring managers should now prioritize digital dexterity and digital collaboration skills. HR must consider the context of remote work shifts performance management, particularly the setting up of goals and the evaluation of employees.
However, a large number of businesses would require office environment to work at optimal levels and that would require a large number of employees working from offices. Therefore, in order to be fully efficient, a large number of companies around the world are implementing a variety of measures that are reshaping the office functionally.
Companies may follow a surge in skills-based hiring for better outsource of routine tasks. Companies will be focusing on exclusive human skills of creativity & critical thinking and recruiting candidates with the capabilities they need rather than the degree pedigree.
Organisations may also replace full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure. Utilization of gig workers will provide the employers with larger workforce management flexibility. However, new trends will also need to include the performance management systems that have applied to contingent workers as well as questions about whether contingent workers would be eligible for the same benefits as their full-time peers.
This new trend of working will drive new ways of online learning. Research and Markets have also forecasted the e-learning market to increase three-fold by 2025 to reach $325 billion. The estimation will only be increased as companies would have no choice apart from launching a radical transformation of corporate learning.
The leaders may disrupt the old practices which are heavily dependent on face-to-face learning and pivot to developing proof of concepts for learning on-the-job through the latest consumer technologies.
Furthermore, while having the new trends, there will be impacts on various industries like segregation of critical skills and critical roles in which leaders will redefine the critical meaning. It would include employees in critical strategic roles, employees with critical skills and employees in critical workflow roles.
Separation of skills from roles diverts the focus to develop skills that potentially open many approaches, rather than focusing on the preparation for a particular next role. Organisations may also rearrange the succession plans and may enlarge the range of roles contemplated as a way of the development for a given role’s potential future successors.
The understanding of how the task workers can be engaged in the team culture and create a culture of inclusiveness will now become even more important. Delivering on the employee experience, in the new working trend, HR needs to associate across the organisation while working with managers to assist employees to navigate the different regulations and expectations associated with shifts.
As companies are in a persistent mode to reinvent every procedure, norm, policy and guideline practically to enhance work efficiency, organisations will discover new ways to become more productive with fewer resources in the current scenario work trend. Enhanced work with fewer resources will be the objective in the post-Coronavirus world.
Furthermore, employers are also becoming sensitive towards employee wellbeing and are taking responsibility of ensuring employees’ health and safety concerns at work, while making amendments to create a better and motivating working environment.
In a shared working ambience, there are more chances of transmission of diseases at a faster pace. It is, hence, important that companies bring out a new set of desk policies wherein nonessential items can be stored in cabinets and drawers rather than on the desk to ensure proper cleanliness and sanitation. There will also be a need of sanitization of the clothes and medicated spray while the employee enters and exit the office.
Disinfecting UV lights, which can clean not only equipment like keyboards but also an entire room overnight, will be ideal in the current scenario. To ensure cleanliness is not compromised, environmental sensors should be used in order to help filter and destroy bacteria and viruses from the indoor environment.
Overall, better sanitation norms and policies will have to be implemented, and automated hand sanitizers will need to be made available widely at relevant places or spots within the office premises.
To let the employees know how much their organisation is doing in terms of maintaining hygiene and taking care of them in such a difficult time, it is necessary to immediately implement the measure of indoor air quality or environmental cleanliness at multiple points in their buildings with environmental control sensors. Displays can also be installed in every work floor, lobbies or at other interface points, such as in the elevators to make people aware of air quality index. The information could also be pushed out through an app that employees download to their phones. Perhaps, indoor environments should be planned to have a better and healthier atmosphere in the future.
Utilization of sensors may also become a solution to identify the surface that needs frequent cleaning and sanitation. For frequently used common places like washrooms, the cleaning staff can be regularly updated via app notifications to clean the area after a certain number of people have used the facilities.
Office space will need to be redesigned to ensure least face-to-face personal connection and collaborations take place. Organisations are coming up with the new distant office design concept. The new concept or trend is known as the Six Feet Office, a way of transforming existing offices into places with the six feet distance rule.
The design of the office workspace would have to create elements of separation to maintain social distancing. Use of partitioned workspaces and cubicle would come back into vogue. Office desks could expand in lengths in order to maintain safe distance. It is also possible that companies come up with an idea to diminish the desk system and allot small cabins to every employee ensuring no personal contact. The office furniture may also be radically reshaped due to the pandemic.
In place of face-to-face meetings, video-based interaction will take precedence. Apps and messaging tools for internal communication with colleagues are set to become the norm. There would also be less movement of people in galleys and hallways, leading to better utilization of these additional spaces.
Organisations should also create more specialized spaces in the office for plethora of functions that may be used for large gatherings like cafeterias, meeting rooms, training rooms etc and ensure that social distancing norms are maintained as much as possible.
To make the office environment healthier, bringing plant life indoors becomes extremely important. This can be part of a wider effort towards adding neutrality to the workplace, known as biophilia. Proponents of this approach maintain that biophilia designs can reduce stress, promote creativity and also boost recovery from any kind of sickness. It can also result in better productivity and financial benefits, such as a reduction in use of sick days by keeping the air quality healthy.
As we understand that the pandemic is not going to be over soon, so changing the way of working in the organisations is the way forward. Not only the HR policies, but also other functionalities will be reshaped due to the immediate and long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, it is vital to adapt to the new ways of working, improvise the approach and implement right ways to ensure the survival of the organisation, at the same time maintain a healthy and efficient workforce in this situation.
The author, Dinesh Agarwal, is Founder and CEO of IndiaMART InterMESH.
New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) B2B e-commerce firm Indiamart Intermesh on Thursday posted a 26 per cent increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 56 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2021.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 44 crore in the same period a year ago.
Total income of the company increased by about 1 per cent to Rs 190 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 187 crore in the corresponding period of 2019-20.
“Strong response from global and domestic investors leading to successful closure of QIP offering in this volatile market environment further demonstrated their confidence in the business model.
“During these trying times, we remain committed to employee safety and customer centric approach helping businesses grow through on-line transformation,” Indiamart Intermesh CEO Dinesh Agarwal said in a statement.
During the reported quarter, Indiamart completed its qualified institutional placement (QIP) of equity shares by raising Rs 1,070 crore. The company plans to use the proceeds for future growth and expansion.
“With a stronger balance sheet we will continue to invest in strengthening our value proposition further, positioning us well to leverage the emerging long term market opportunities,” Agarwal said.
For the year ended March 31, 2021, Indiamart Intermesh posted a 90 per cent increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 280 crore compared to Rs 147 crore in 2019-20.
Total income of the company increased by 7 per cent to Rs 756 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 707 crore in the preceding fiscal.
The board of directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 15 per share for the fiscal year 2021, subject to shareholder approval. PTI PRS ABM ABM
Noida, India, April 29, 2021: IndiaMART InterMESH Limited (referred to as “IndiaMART” or the “Company”), today announced its financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ending March 31, 2021.
IndiaMART reported consolidated Total Revenue from Operations of Rs. 180 Crore in Q4 FY21, a growth of 6% y-o-y due to improvement in realization from existing customers and increase in number of paying subscription suppliers. Consolidated Deferred Revenue increased from Rs. 685 Crore in Q4 FY20 to Rs. 726 Crore in Q4 FY21.
Consolidated EBITDA was Rs. 85 Crore as compared to Rs. 52 Crore in Q4 FY20. Increase in EBITDA margin to 48% in Q4 FY21 from 31% in Q4 FY20 was primarily driven by sustained as well as temporary benefits arising from various cost optimization initiatives. Consolidated EBIT was Rs. 82 Crore as compared to Rs. 46 Crores in Q4 FY20, representing a growth of 76% y-o-y. EBIT margin increased to 46% in Q4 FY21 from 27% in Q4 FY20.
Profit before Tax was at Rs. 89 Crore and Net Profit was Rs. 56 Crores, representing margins of 47% and 29% respectively. The Board of Directors have recommended a final dividend of Rs. 15 per share for FY21, subject to shareholder approval.
Consolidated Cash Flow from Operations for the quarter was at Rs. 165 Crore. During Q4 FY21, IndiaMART has successfully completed QIP issue of equity shares by raising Rs. 1,070 Crores, the proceeds of which will be utilized for future growth and expansion. Cash and Investments balance stood at Rs. 2,365 Crore as on March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs. 931 Crore on March 31, 2020, an increase of 154% YoY.
IndiaMART registered a traffic growth of 42% YoY with 257 million in Q4 FY21 as compared to 180 million in Q4 FY20. Total business enquiries delivered increased to 150 million from 116 million, a growth of 29%. Supplier Storefronts grew to 6.5 million in Q4 FY21, an increase of 9% YoY and paying subscription suppliers grew to 152 thousand, a growth of 3%.
Further, we have recently acquired 11% equity stake in Legistify Services Private Limited, 25% equity stake in TruckHall Private Limited and 26% equity stake in Shipway Technologies Private limited, which are in the business of running SAAS solutions namely ‘Legistify’, ‘SuperProcure’ and ‘Shipway’ respectively. All these investments were completed through our 100% subsidiary, Trade zeal Online Private Limited.
“We are happy to close the financial year with a modest growth in revenue and deferred revenue with healthy margins and cash flows. Strong response from global and domestic investors leading to successful closure of QIP offering in this volatile market environment further demonstrated their confidence in the business model. During these trying times, we remain committed to employee safety and customer centric approach helping businesses grow through on-line transformation. With a stronger balance sheet we will continue to invest in strengthening our value proposition further, positioning us well to leverage the emerging long term market opportunities.”
IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace for business products and services since. IndiaMART makes it easier to do business by connecting buyers and sellers across product categories and geographies in India through business enablement solutions. IndiaMART provides ease and convenience to the buyers by offering a wide assortment of products and a responsive seller base while offering lead generation, lead management and payment solutions to its sellers.
|IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.|
CIN : L74899DL1999PLC101534
Tower 2, Assotech Business Cresterra,
Floor No.6, Plot No.22, Sec 135,
Noida-201305, U.P. Registered Office
1st Floor, 29-Daryaganj, Netaji Subash Marg, Delhi – 110002.
For any queries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indiamart Intermesh has indirectly, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Tradezeal Online, agreed to acquire 22% of the Share Capital (on fully diluted basis) of Truckhall.
The target entity is engaged in the business of creating online marketplace and software development for the logistics industry including running and managing a digital platform ‘SuperProcure’.
SuperProcure, is a SaaS based platform that digitizes the entire freight sourcing, by finding the best possible rates through a transparent bidding and auction structure, and dispatch monitoring system of the logistics department of any business, offering complete and real time visibility of all the events in the entire dispatch cycle, from indenting to delivery, via alerts, dashboards and reports, which improves collaboration amongst all stakeholders leading to better efficiency in the entire process.
IndiaMART is India’s largest and the world’s second largest online B2B marketplace. It is a platform that connects buyers and sellers across time-zones and borders through business solutions. However, their journey of reaching this pinnacle is no less of a roller coaster ride with copious ups and downs.
In today’s blog we look at how IndiaMART InterMESH reinvented their business model from time to time, by persistently adapting to the changing environment and understanding the needs of Indian SME businesses.
Let’s begin with the tale of Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, the Founder & CEO of IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.
Mr. Dinesh Agarwal was born in a traditional business family in Uttar Pradesh’s Napara District, in close proximity to the Nepal border. He attended a Hindi medium government school and went on to graduate from HBTI, Kanpur with a B.Tech. in Computer Science. After working with several prominent companies, in 1992 he landed a job with HCL and relocated to United States.
This was when Mr. Dinesh Agarwal had his eureka moment. He says in an interview –
“I had been using basic internet like email since long but a major turning point in my career was when I saw a webpage opened on a colleague’s computer while I was working in US. That was the first time that I felt that internet is going to be a driving force. I felt as if the whole world is converging on that webpage. It was such a euphoric moment for me to witness that one can access any information with just a click. I call this moment as a turning point in my career because it was then that I realised that I wanted to work in the field of internet.”
To quote Paulo Coelho – “Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.”
Dinesh’s right moment to act came on 15th August, 1995 when Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao announced that BSNL would provide internet connectivity in India. Having witnessed the birth and evolution of internet in America, Dinesh’s entrepreneurship bug revived. He left HCL and came back to India to start an internet company – indiamart.com.
Dinesh believed that Indian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would benefit the most from the forthcoming internet boom. However, in 1996, India had a dearth of computers and lacked imperative internet infrastructure. Thus, instead of creating websites for individual businesses, IndiaMART developed one website for connecting Indian suppliers with the international buyers in a simple, cost-effective manner.
Inorder to establish a sustainable business model, IndiaMART created an online version of Yellow Pages for India – an online directory of Indian exporters. Their first tagline was: ‘The Global Gateway To Indian Marketplace’.
As Mr. Dinesh Agarwal states in an interview with Forbes India –
“Understanding that exports were very important for the Indian economy, we realised that there for a price opacity and limited information about Indian products for the American importer. We started with that opportunity. Back then, we got online enquiries from the US and every night, we printed them, faxed them overnight and then sent them by post the next day. This went on for five years. The internet really only took off when the dot com boom happened in 1999-2000. The focus shifted to computers, e-mail, content-building, more suppliers, and more exporters online.”
The dotcom bubble burst and 9/11 attacks put a damper on IndiaMART’s aggressive growth spurt. Their revenues almost halved in a short stretch of time, employee salaries were delayed and things took a turn for the worse. Nevertheless, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal was tenacious and refused to throw in the towel. He navigated the company through these choppy waters and soon enough business was back on track.
In 2007-09, the Global Financial Crisis led to a recession in the US, and Indian exports flattened out. IndiaMART once again found itself behind the eight balls. Here is when Dinesh Agarwal made up his mind to pivot towards the India-focused B2B market and raised $10 million in Series-A funding round from Intel Capital. With the passage of time, they introduced various value-added features to their marketplace platform like – catalog creation and premium number service.
With a new model and fresh capital, IndiaMART was firing on all cylinders. They spread their wings and opened 52 offices in 52 weeks. As a result, their sales grew 10 times in a year.
In 2012, IndiaMART experienced yet another setback as our economy slowed down. They reported a loss for the first time since inception. They truly hit rock bottom. They lost their stakeholder’s trust and Dinesh Agarwal admits he was scared to even leave home.
This adversity became their stepping stone to success. Dinesh Agarwal and his team went back to the drawing board and revamped their entire business model. They made some big changes, scaled back and stopped hiring. They switched from their earlier lead generation model to a Buy-Lead model, thereby finding a new product-market fit.
IndiaMART launched their mobile application and streamlined their website, thereby leveraging technology for better product and price discovery. They also started providing digital and telephonic assistance to convert buyer enquiries into sales.
Promptly, IndiaMART metamorphosed from a traditional classified platform to a completely buyer-centric transaction completion platform. In the process, their core principles and values have stood steady as a rock. Even today, IndiaMART do not charge a penny in any commission or transaction fee from their buyers. They operate a subscription-based model for suppliers.
With the burgeoning B2B e-commerce in the country, IndiaMART launched Tolexo.com in 2014 – the online shopping store for business and industrial goods.
Over the course of time, scaling up Tolexo was proving to be an uphill task and profitability was elusive. Maybe they bit on more than they could chew. Hence, Dinesh Agarwal called the shots and merged the IndiaMART platform with Tolexo. Surprisingly, it worked like a charm and they’ve stuck to it since then. This is the reason why IndiaMART doesn’t look like a boring classifieds website; it’s like Amazon for B2B products.
An advocate for simplifying the internet experience, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal expresses in an interview –
“While we are a technology company, users should see us as a functional company—not a technology company. My mantra is—let the user get his job done without being exposed to the jargons of technology or the technology hurdles.”
In their pursuit of making product-matchmaking easier for businesses, they’ve successfully on boarded umpteen SMEs from rural India. As a matter of, around 33% of the traffic on their platform stems from tier 3 and 4 cities, smaller tehsils, and villages of India.
As of December 2020, IndiaMART has more than 119 million buyers, 6.4 million suppliers, and a whopping 71 million+ products & services. With 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, their channel focuses on providing a platform to SMEs, Large Enterprises as well as individuals.
The management team at IndiaMART has thoroughly embraced the methodology of Learn-Unlearn-Relearn. They’ve had the courage to bite the bullet, by reinventing their business model from time to time and persistently adapting to the fickle environment.
While perusing through several interviews of Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, we came across something that candidly struck a chord with us. We are sure it will inspire you as well –
“One of the things that I have learned is to ‘never give up and I keep telling my team that it’s better to try and fail than to sit and regret. I believe that everyone has a 100% chance of succeeding in life. Everyone I think is born with at least 20% of luck. But you will have multiple failures in life. So, if you try only once, the chance of success becomes zero. But if you try it five times, your luck at succeeding at it becomes 100%.”
Being in the business for 25 years takes a hell lot of hard work & determination. Little did the businesses get a clue of their own existence and journey. Therefore; its rightly said that business are meant for an infinite life period where you cannot predict what’s next.
Facing the business fluctuations; it’s tough to touch such a great position even though you are the leader in the segment.
The recent buzz is about the same. We have a 25 year celebration of the leading company; Indiamart that has established its name in a quite fulfilling manner.
The company is a major e-commerce company that gives B2C, B2B & sales service through its web sites & portals. It was incepted by Dinesh Agarwal & Brijesh Agarwal in the year 1996. The website is called indiamart.com that caters to the requirements of manufacturers & buyers.
The headquartered is in Noida. They had a total of Rs. 72.3 crore in the domain of 2019 fiscals which are currently 76% of the total traffic. The app has more than Rs. 1 crore downloads with a 4.7 app rating.
The company went public in the year 2019 and technically was the first business to business to enter the market. The issue was oversubscribed by 36 times. The revenue till December 2020 at Rs. 565 crore with an 11% year on year growth. The user base has also been doubled since the year 2018 and has reached the 100 million mark in the last year.
The funding details of the company up till now are:
|2009||Series A Rs. 50 crore|
|2018||$ 88.24 million|
The story started quite a lot years back; where the company managed to get its first 45 customers. A revenue of 6 lakh was achieved in the initial year.
But by the time 2000’s came into picture; the internet penetration started; the company took a boom. Expansion was the major focus and sky rocketing was the major motive.
Last year they had a revenue of Rs. 1crore 10 Lakh. From the 2008 financial crisis to 2020 covid ; it had witnessed all.
First Business To Business Marketplace to reach 100 million
66 million products
6 million sellers listed
The founder showed his gratitude by a tweet stating that “Thank you our valued customers , team members and all stakeholders for making this journey a fulfilling one..”
Challenges definitely make life tough; but you cannot manage to excel unless you are ready to face the. Business has a simple mantra that comprises two basic objectives; one to survive & other to be profitable.
Profits are the strategic advantage that you get while survival is a matter of concern because you cannot close the doors of competition.
Therefore; this 25 is very important as the 25 years of struggle that Indiamart chose to do was quite commendable. The journey ahead is going to be more fruitful & hopefully the next 25 would be more fascinating.