IndiaMART

IndiaMART to expand in 4 new cities in Tamil Nadu

UNI India

IndiaMART InterMESH Limited, India’s largest B2B online marketplace announced that it is all set to expand its footprint further in Tamil Nadu with new offices in Kanchipuram, Pondicherry, Tirunelveli and Vellore. Alongside, the company said it will hire local people on their payroll for operation of the new offices in the state. Besides, the company also announced their plan of establishing a customer service team in Chennai for assisting customers in the vernacular language. All these major announcements came at a conference which was held to address the difficulties faced by MSMEs which are based in Tamil Nadu, and the strategic approach taken by the company to mitigate those very challenges. The event was held at the Taj Club House in Chennai.

Speaking at the conference Mr. Dinesh Gulati, the COO of IndiaMART said, “IndiaMART has a strong presence in Tamil Nadu, it ranks 3rd in terms of total web-traffic on the platform. What we have seen is that, owing to the recent construction projects initiated by the government, most number of IndiaMART customers in Tamil Nadu are from the construction and real estate sectors. To cater to this growing market, we have already established 13 channel partners and 6 branch offices across the state including Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Erode, Tiruchirappalli and Tirupur and we plan to expand its footprint in the emerging markets.”

Recently IndiaMart Intermesh Ltd reported a 61% rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 112.8 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2022. The company reported a consolidated profit of Rs 70.2 crore in the October-December quarter a year ago. As per data, Its consolidated revenue from operations in the third quarter rose 33.65% to Rs 251.4 crore against Rs 188.1 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

About IndiaMART

IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers. With a 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, the channel focuses on providing a “360- degree solution” to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises as well as individuals. Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is ‘to make doing business easy’ and is trusted with 165 million buyers, 7.4 million sellers, and has 90 million products & services on its platform leading to ~40 million business enquiries every month.

Urgent need to revamp Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME sector: SBI report

ZeeBiz.com

Budget 2023: One of the major expectations of this sector includes increasing MSMEs’ access to finance and restructuring the existing credit schemes for the sector.

The State Bank of India (SBI) in its recent report on MSMEs stated that several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have grown to become mid-size corporate and there has been a credit growth of nearly 20 per cent between 2021 and 2022. However, there is an urgent need to restructure the credit guarantee scheme to push the next level of growth of the enterprises, it added.

The report identifies that a key challenge for MSMEs is complicated paperwork to raise credit, hence a lot of them remained out of the MSME ambit. Alongside, the information related to credit schemes is also not easily available which further makes the process confusing for many MSME owners.

“We wanted to apply for a loan.  But neither the bank employees had a clear idea about Udyam nor some concrete information was available easily online. So, we failed to apply for the loan,” said Najooka Javier, co-founder of Tohfa, a small-scale business that manufactures sustainably-made accessories and home décor.

Why revamp is needed?  

The study proposed to increase the maximum loan amount for coverage under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore for all activities under the manufacturing, services, and trade sector.

As per the regulations of the Ministry of MSME, a business set-up can only be considered an MSME if they meet the specific criteria of investment and turnover. A business comes under MSME if the investment amount ranges between Rs 1 crore to Rs 50 crore, and the turnover is between Rs 5 crore to Rs 250 crore.

Various MSME business owners said that there is immense scope for MSME business growth and penetration, but for that preliminary investment needs to be higher.

Vijaya Kumar TR, director of Rare Planet Handicrafts Pvt Ltd, a medium enterprise, said, “The coverage which is given to an MSME is only Rs 2 crore without collateral. However, the MSME of the country has grown so big that the credit requirement is high and the amount of Rs 2 crore is too low. The limit needs to be at least Rs 5 crore without collateral.”

MSME business owners said that arranging collateral is also difficult at the early stage of the business.   

The Rare Planet founder stated that their company is also struggling with this. “Our limit is at Rs 1.75 crore and if we have to go ahead with this, we need to provide collateral. When we reached out to a private bank, they told us that they can’t issue the loan of Rs 5 crore that we demanded only because of the CGTMSE limit,” he added.  

Headwinds for the sector

Various business owners said that there has been an immense push for the MSME sector after the pandemic. Be it in the section of travel or retail, the MSME sector witnessed huge growth, primarily driven by domestic consumption.  While employee layoffs and job cuts have become rampant in big corporate houses like Infosys, Wipro, and Google after the pandemic, the MSME sector has become a major hub for job creation too.

In an exclusive interaction with Zee Business, Minister of State, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad stated that in the recent past, the MSME sector has created six crore jobs. The government is also focusing on MSMEs for more job creation in the coming quarters.

Dinesh Agarwal, founder of Indiamart, an online B2B marketplace also agreed that after the economy started recovering post-pandemic, a large section of the salaried people shifted to small and medium-scale businesses.

Budget 2023: What does the industry expect? 

With Budget 2023 around the corner, several industry leaders have also suggested the same for the sector. One of the major expectations of this sector includes increasing MSMEs’ access to finance and restructuring the existing credit schemes for the sector.

“The government overlooked a crucial aspect of the OCEN process that prevents 60 million SMEs from using this programme for loan purposes. While account details are available to individuals, they are not available for small and medium companies,” added Arvind TCA, ex-senior banker of Deutsche Bank India, and co-Founder of Artfine, a supply chain finance company.

The government introduced the Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) two years ago. It is a retail credit programme that uses online marketplaces to connect borrowers and lenders and expand access to microcredit for the hitherto underserved MSME sector.

MSME players also expect a relaxation of an interest rate cap of 18 per cent on the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme.

“Certain measures, such as offering a GST subsidy on PoS (Point-of-Sale devices), refinancing options for MSMEs on the lines of the National Housing Board’s refinancing scheme and the relaxation of an interest rate cap of 18 per cent on the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme (CGS) will facilitate more accessible credit besides laying down the framework for the growth of MSME sector, which accounts for 30% GDP of the country,” said Shweta Gupta, Co-Founder, MUDS Management, a management consulting firm.  

With 34% Hike In Women Participation In Gig Economy, Budget Expectations Rise?

Business World

Companies like Paytm, Zomato, Rapido, and Swiggy among others, have been among the top partners posting maximum jobs for women

In a survey conducted by the jobs and professional networking platform, apna, it was said that participation of women from tier 2 cities in the gig economy increased by 34 per cent.

The report found that there was an overall 36 per cent YoY (year on year) hike in women users on the platform from tier 1, tier 2 and beyond cities, while 34 per cent women users on the platform took jobs as drivers, delivery partners, lab technicians, factory workers, etc. Companies like Paytm, Zomato, Rapido, and Swiggy among others, have been among the top partners posting maximum jobs for women to diversify their workplaces, it said.

Ajoy Thomas, VP and Business Head – Staffing, TeamLease Services said, “More women are entering the industry due to the continuous rising demand from e-commerce companies, which are setting up fulfilment centres, coupled with corporates looking to improve their gender diversity. Women hold a third of the sorting, packing, loading, and customer support jobs this year, up from about a tenth even three-four years ago.”

Rise in Gig Economy during Pandemic

The pandemic has prompted multiple companies to adopt flexible work cultures, with gig workers finding new opportunities in nearly every industry.

If statistics are to be believed, India has over 15 million freelancers working on technology projects. According to ASSOCHAM, India’s gig economy is projected to reach USD 455 billion by 2024, growing at his CAGR of 17 per cent. Nearly 60 per cent of tech industry organisations are now investing in gig workers, and 97 per cent of these companies want to keep gig workers at their current level or hire more gig workers .

Dinesh Gulati, COO, IndiaMART said, “For the young population of India, freelancing has become a lucrative alternative and helped them unleash their aspirations, banking on the recent fast-clipped emergence of freelance online platforms. The trend of gig workers which was initiated by start-ups has now become a new norm among organisations of all sizes and scales.”

Budget role towards Gig Workers

In the union budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced allocation of Rs 150 crore for the national database of unorganised workers. Also a proposal was made for launching a portal to collect relevant information about gig economy workers, including those working in construction, among others. Sitharaman had said that, for the first time globally, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers.

For the year 2023 too, it is expected that the union budget brings relief to the lower and middle-income classes in regard to income tax. Also, provisions and policies on social security, healthcare, etc are required for the gig workers.

Avadhesh Dixit, CHRO, Acuity Knowledge Partners said, “The annual budgetary exercise is one of the most awaited regulatory updates, especially for the salaried class. Given the high-inflation environment, the income tax exemption or modification would provide some relief to lower and middle-class income earners, along with long-term benefits like healthcare, superannuation, and retirement benefits from the government in the upcoming budget. There is also a need to simplify the capital gains structure for different asset classes and different durations. With the increasing deployment of gig workers by a number of sectors, it is time for the government to initiate discussions on extending provisions such as social security to gig workers. It is equally critical to build consensus among important stakeholders on this subject before a concrete announcement is made, to ensure their acceptance.”

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

ETRetail.com

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.

IndiaMART Q3 net profit rises 60.6% to Rs 112.8 cr; revenue up 33.6%

IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd, a B2B e-commerce company, on Thursday reported a 60.68 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 112.8 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2022.

Financial Highlights (Q3 FY2023):
IndiaMART reported consolidated Revenue from Operations of Rs. 251 Crore in Q3 FY23, a growth of
34% YoY primarily driven by 24% increase in number of paying subscription suppliers and addition of Rs.
10 Crore revenue from accounting software services. Consolidated Deferred Revenue increased by 29%
YoY to Rs. 1,015 Crore as on December 31, 2022.
The Company continued making growth investments in manpower, product and technology, sales and
servicing resulting into growth in revenue and paying subscription suppliers. As a result, consolidated
EBITDA was Rs. 70 Crore for Q3 FY23 representing EBITDA margin of 28%.
The Other Income increased to Rs. 102 crores on primarily due to one-time realized and unrealized gain of
Rs. 67 crores on measurement and sale of investment in other entities. Net Profit for this quarter was Rs.
113 Crore representing margin of 32%.
Consolidated Cash Flow from Operations for the quarter was at Rs. 115 Crore. Cash and Investments
balance stood at Rs. 2,108 Crore as on December 31, 2022.

Operational Highlights (Q3 FY2023):
IndiaMART registered traffic of 250 million and Total business enquiries of 119 million during Q3 FY23.
Supplier Storefronts grew to 7.4 million, an increase of 6% YoY and paying subscription suppliers grew
by 24% YoY to 194,355 with a net addition of 6,263 paying subscription suppliers during the quarter.

About IndiaMART:
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.

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PRATEEK CHANDRA, CFO OF IndiaMART BAGS THE CA CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD BY ICAI

  • Prateek Chandra, CFO IndiaMART has been awarded as the CA CFO in the category of “emerging corporate and services”
  • The 16th edition of The ICAI Award by The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of India was held in Kolkata on January 10, 2023

Mr. Prateek Chandra, CFO, IndiaMART has been awarded as the CA CFO-For Emerging Corporates – Services by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) at the 16th ICAI Awards Ceremony, at the Taj Bengal hotel in Kolkata. The event was held in the presence of Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose (Hon Governor of West Bengal),  CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra (President, ICAI) ,CA. Aniket Sunil Talati (Vice President, ICAI) , CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal (Chairman CMI&B of ICAI) and CA.(Dr.) Raj Chawla (Vice Chairman CMI&B of ICAI).

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) instituted ICAI Awards way back in the year 2007 to recognize the members who have demonstrated excellence and portrayed an abiding commitment to achieve heights as CA professionals. According to ICAI, “This award seeks to honor the individuals who possess excellent skills, dedication, enthusiasm, leadership, and the ability to deliver the best that we all strive to emulate.” This was the 16th chapter of the very initiative, where Mr. Chandra has been felicitated on stage for his achievement by Hon Governor of West Bengal, Dr. C.V. Ananda Bose.

While receiving the award Mr. Prateek Chandra expressed,“I am grateful to all for contemplating me for this award and would like to thank my family, friends, colleagues and team as getting this recognition would not have been possible without their help and support. This is a proud moment and a recognition for all of us at IndiaMART and every small business at the farthest corner of the country for whom we work relentlessly.”

About IndiaMART IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers. With a 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, the channel focuses on providing a “360- degree solution” to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises as well as individuals. Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is ‘to make doing business easy’ and is trusted with 160 million buyers, 7.3 million sellers, and has 87 million products & services on its platform leading to ~40 million business enquiries every month. During FY-22, company had consolidated revenue of INR 866 Crores and profit after tax of INR 298 Crores. The company reported consolidated revenue of operations of Rs 241 Cr and consolidated EBITDA of Rs 67 Cr in Q2 FY23.

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IndiaMART acquires 7.96% stake in Mobisy Technologies Private Limited (‘Bizom’)

IndiaMART, the largest B2B marketplace of India has made an investment of approximately INR 15.1 Crores to acquire 7.96% stake in Mobisy Technologies Private Limited (‘Bizom’) via a secondary share purchase of existing investor securities. This investment will result in IndiaMART increasing its stake to 25.08%.

Bizom is a SaaS based end to end retail intelligence platform for brands and B2B retailers. It allows businesses to digitize the end-to-end sales and distribution platform from Sales Force Automation (SFA), Distributor Management System (DMS), and retail execution and management. It uses a proprietary analytics engine with AI and ML to deliver custom reports, alerts and actionable insights to brands.

The technology also uses features like image recognition, and offers an auto replenishment system, business intelligence, smart merchandising, trade financing, trade promotion management, and more.

Speaking about the investment, Mr Dinesh Agarwal, founder and MD of IndiaMART said “Bizom continues to be one of the market leaders in the SFA and DMS space in India. They have grown significantly in a capital efficient manner since our initial investment. We are excited to further our commitment and partnership with Lalit, Shree and team as they scale further ”.

Commenting on the deal, Lalit Bhise, CEO and Co-founder of Bizom said “We are extremely glad to see the continued faith of Indiamart in Bizom’s business and growth. We are grateful to Dinesh and the Indiamart team for helping us scale in the last two years.”

About IndiaMART

IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers. With a 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, the channel focuses on providing a “360- degree solution” to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises as well as individuals. Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is ‘to make doing business easy’ and is trusted with 160 million buyers, 7.3 million sellers, and has 87 million products & services on its platform leading to ~40 million business enquiries every month. During FY-22, company had consolidated revenue of INR 866 Crores and profit after tax of INR 298 Crores. The company reported consolidated revenue of operations of Rs 241 Cr and consolidated EBITDA of Rs 67 Cr in Q2 FY23.

IndiaMART is known for transforming the dynamics of Indian businesses by providing them a one-stop solution to transform their business digitally and grow themselves by reaching their customers online. More details on IndiaMART can be accessed at https://corporate.indiamart.com

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IndiaMART Shines Bright with Gold at the Global platform of LACP 2022

  • IndiaMART bags a gold award at the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP)
  • IndiaMART stood at the 35th rank worldwide for its Annual Integrated Report

New Delhi. 1st December 2022. IndiaMART, India’s largest online B2B marketplace has been awarded Gold recognition at the global platform LACP 2022 Spotlight Awards for its Annual Integrated Report. The 2022 Spotlight Awards Annual Report Competition is organized by the League of American Communications Professionals LLC (LACP), USA to facilitate discussion on the best communication practices and to recognize those who demonstrate exemplary work. This Indian online marketplace received the gold award with Annual Report as its main category and Integrated Report as a sub-category with 98 points out of 100.

This year IndiaMART has bagged the spotlight by attaining the 35th rank worldwide and 5th rank in India. The Company’s Annual Integrated Report achieved a 100 percent score in 4 out of the total 6 parameters, which included First Impression, Overall Narrative, Overall Visual Design and Perceived Relevance.

The competition receives applications from more than 500 global companies spread across 4 continents. Moreover, the participants include 9 out of the top 10 Fortune 500 firms making it a huge success every year.

Speaking on the achievement, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART said, “It is an honor to be recognized by the global platform of LACP. We believe that unambiguous communication and disclosure with the stakeholders is the key to delivering value and gaining business growth. We focused on delivering a prudent report that explains everything from our robust business model, our approach to financial management, the macro and micro factors affecting the business growth to the good governance being followed at the organization. The award is a testament to the clear thought and effort that we have put behind this report. It is an occasion for all of us to be in a revelry mood.”

About IndiaMART:

IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers. With a 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, the channel focuses on providing a “360- degree solution” to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises as well as individuals. Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is ‘to make doing business easy’ and is trusted with 160 million buyers, 7.3 million sellers, and has 87 million products & services on its platform leading to ~40 million business enquiries every month. During FY-22, Company had consolidated revenue of INR 866 Crores and profit after tax of INR 298 Crores. The Company reported consolidated revenue of operations of Rs 241 Cr and consolidated EBITDA of Rs 67 Cr in Q2 FY23.

IndiaMART is known for transforming the dynamics of Indian businesses by providing them a one-stop solution to transform their business digitally and grow themselves by reaching their customers online. More details on IndiaMART can be accessed at https://corporate.indiamart.com.

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Global Headwinds: India Inc Cautious, Plans Long-Term

Latest reports emanating from China paint a rather curious picture. Beijing streets are bustling with people, relieved after a draconian zero-Covid system. While the BF.7 Covid strain plays havoc in the country, with its hospitals swamped with elderly and sick, an opaque Chinese system does little to make things easy for the world outside. Unofficial estimates say the number of those dying there may be in thousands, but officially, China plays super censor. On Christmas Day, it said, there were no Corona fatalities.

The world is not taking chances, though. India, in addition to others like US, Italy, Japan, France, has made Covid screening mandatory for arrivals from China. With 90 per cent double vaccination (booster does coverage does remain a point of concern), India’s preparedness for any new variant of Coronavirus is robust.

2023: A Year of Uncertainties

For a world already struggling to cope with the Ukraine war, a global slowdown, particularly in Europe and China, rising inflation, and multiple other challenges like Climate Change, the latest China crisis has only added to the anxiety. Indeed, the only certainty that economies now must live with is “future uncertainties”.

Consider this: Global projections, including those from IMF, a year ago, had said that India would grow at a rate close to 10 per cent in the calendar year 2023. And, then Russia invaded Ukraine. The recent Supplementary Demand for Grants, to the tune of Rs 3.25 lakh crore, was largely on account of fertiliser and food subsidies, necessitated by the Ukraine War.

“…What we have brought in now is as a result of what could not have been anticipated in January when we were preparing the Budget,” said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha on Dec 21.

Global uncertainties and geo-political upheavals ravage economies, lives and livelihoods. They call for urgent action. In the fastest growing large economy, too, they create huge challenges for India Inc.

India Inc, Concerned, Not Alarmed:

In a conversation with BW Businessworld, FICCI President Subhrakant Panda says: “There will be some turbulence in the short term… (but) we should keep our focus razor-sharp on our medium-term and long-term potential”.

Says R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India: “No country can be insulated against serious international headwinds. A strong domestic market, and the ability to provide its needs in a competitive manner does help to lessen the impact of these headwinds. Good policies also help to mitigate adverse effects. Fortunately, India is better placed than most others in these respects”.

Founder and CEO, IndiaMART, Dinesh Agarwal, tells BW Businessworld: “The rise in COVID-19 cases in China and the recent war crisis in different parts of the world does threaten the world’s financial recovery. But, in the past two years, Indian economy has shown great resilience as the Indian Government focussed on re-igniting the recovery of the economy through their growth-fueling policies. I believe that the next few years are promising for India’s economic growth”.

Adds Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia Industries Limited: “Despite global headwinds, I believe that India will continue to be among the fastest-growing economies in 2023. We have a strong domestic market. Consumer demand has been robust and exceeded pre-covid levels. We are also seeing easing of inflationary pressures which should further spur consumption”.

India, Doing Fine

If the last two quarters of the 2022 financial year are a harbinger of trends in 2023, it will be a “year of recovery, growth and recalibration”. The World Bank expects India’s real GDP to grow at 6.9 per cent in the 2022-2023 financial year, revising upwards its previous projection of 6.5 per cent. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) too sees India doing relatively well amidst a despondent global scenario, in which growth is expected to slow down to 2.7 per cent. In a recent visit to India, the Deputy Managing Director of IMF, Gita Gopinath said, “India is doing relatively well and it has had a few quarters of 4-6 per cent growth. That helps in terms of closing the gap from the sharp contraction that happened in 2020,” she said.

The World Bank, in a report, “Navigating the Storm” early December, said that the “Indian economy is relatively well positioned to weather global spillovers compared to most other emerging markets”.

Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics Vice Chancellor and former Aditya Birla Group Chief Economist, Ajit Ranade, tells BW Businessworld: “The global downturn, including China slowdown, will undoubtedly affect India, but we can still achieve 6 to 6.5 percent growth with a proper focus on domestic consumption and investment, as well as export competitiveness. India Inc would do well to focus on the medium to long term structural features of India’s economic strength, and plan their investments and strategy accordingly. India has a large domestic market, where consumer spending, new investment from the public and private sector can sustain growth.”

Adds Berry: “Reduction in input costs, higher capacity utilisation and deleveraged balance sheets augur well for a better corporate sector performance in 2023.”

The corporate sector deleveraging its balance sheet is reflected in the declining core debt of private non-financial sector which has decreased to 87.7 per cent of the GDP in June 2022, from around 97.4 per cent in March, 2016.

“The Government’s increased spending in infrastructure coupled with strong economic fundamentals and prudent macro management will facilitate higher GDP growth, while mitigating global economic uncertainties,” adds Berry.

Aarin Capital Chairman Mohandas Pai tells BW Businessworld: “India is in a good shape as our banking system is strong and clean, investment in infra has made us more productive. Yes, exports will be hurt but we need to handle this.”

Points of Concern:

Declining exports have been a point of concern. In Quarter Two of 2022-23, exports were the highest among second quarters of all years since 2015-16. After a steady year or so, exports faced a slowdown with many countries witnessing a recession. There was a 17 per cent dip in goods exports in October. The month of November saw some minor uptick at 0.6 per cent.

The state of the Indian economy, however, is in a much better place compared to previous two years. Quarter after quarter, the government’s earnings have increased consistently. Tax collections are up. Earnings from Railways, trade and commerce are in the positive. So are the figures from the direct tax collections. India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed $550 billion recently.

While domestic consumption has seen recovery in 2022, and tax revenues are buoyant, public debt to GDP ratio is too high. But private capital expenditure has not really taken off.

In her last budget, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had raised capital expenditure by 35 per cent to Rs 7.5 lakh crore. In a recent interaction with industry representatives, the finance minister hinted that the trend would continue in her fifth budget, expected to be announced in a month’s time.

Taming Inflation:

It’s been argued that inflation has been managed well here in India but globally, it’s one of the major problems. JP Morgan’s Chief India Economist and part-time member in the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Sajjid Chinoy, recently said: “…Just think of what happened int the last 12 months: we have had the strongest inflation in 50 years around the world, we have had the most aggressive and synchronised monetary tightening cycle in 40 years, we have had the strongest US dollar for much of the year… we have had the weakest China growth in 46 years…” Even two of these factors could push the global economy into recession, said Chinoy.

To control inflation in India, RBI, too, hiked rates. Many argue, like Panda does, that the “timing of post-Covid stimulus packages helped”.

In her Rajya Sabha intervention, the Union Finance Minister said: “The targeted way in which the Prime Minister decided to give relief during Covid and address the concerns, as were given as inputs from various stakeholders, has kept us on safe course of helping revival, and not getting into recession”.

Jobs, Manufacturing and China:

In the Rajya Sabha debate on the Supplementary Demand for Grants, the Union Finance Minister also answered questions on job creation. She said: “…Jobs are being created, In September, 2022, the net pay roll addition, looking at the EPFO records, is 46 per cent higher…”

Other government spokespersons have also argued, for instance, that in months of April, May, June, July and August, “on an average 15-16 lakh jobs have been created in country”.

Raghuram Rajan and others, on the other hand, have argued that “while industry and services employment grew only by 98 lakh in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 period, agriculture employment increased by 3.4 crore in the same period”.

Many, then, agree that there is a case for India making up for the missed opportunities of the past and make it big in Manufacturing, especially when China faces particularly challenging conditions domestically, and global corporations look for alternatives.

Says FICCI’s Panda: “China Plus One is back on the table. India should be the preferred choice for China Plus One. Investments coming out of China are also going to Vietnam, Mexico. India can be an attractive option if it further pushes ease of doing business.”

Among measures suggested are maybe a concessional tax regime for global corporations looking to move their supply chains. Including sectors with high potential in exports under PLI is among such measures.

Making India a manufacturing hub has been a priority for the Narendra Modi government. Manufacturing’s share of GDP is around 16 per cent. According to Morgan Stanley, it could rise up to 21 per cent by 2031. Manufacturing’s share in GDP is over 30 per cent in many East Asian countries.

Displacing China, a $ 17 billion economy, as the workshop of the world is easier said than done, but India can surely become a viable alternate centre.

In a recent paper, Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman argue that “in its quest to become ‘the next big China’, India faces three major obstacles: investment risks are too big, policy inwardness is too strong, and macroeconomic imbalances are too large. These obstacles need to be removed before global firms will invest. They can bring their operations back to ASEAN, which served as the world’s factory floor before the role shifted to China…”

China’s decline, however, provides a huge opportunity. India’s border tensions with China only add to the uncertainty. So, India must explore every trick in the bag to checkmate its northern neighbour.

So, when the was a media speculation that “Indian government may review its stance on Chinese investments to help global firms looking to relocate to India,” Niti Aayog member Arvind Virmani tweeted: “It’s in India’s interest to allow Chinese companies in the supply chains of Samsung, Apple and other anchor companies to shift production from China to India to accelerate development to the electronics ecosystem in India, subject to (periodic) security review”.

Clearly, Manufacturing will remain a focus for India Inc not just for creating jobs but also to help India realise its $ 5 trillion economy vision and developed nation status by 2047.

Learnings from the Pandemic:

However, even best-laid plans go haywire in the face of uncertainties. The Covid pandemic, followed by the Ukraine war, and the global downturn, has proved that 2023 will be a year full of uncertainties.

Surely, the lessons learnt by India Inc during the Covid pandemic will help it navigate through crises of future. Says Pai: “We need to build institutions which will build capacity across all sectors to tackle matters like this (uncertainties). We need more research, stockpiling of inputs, better trained people, localised capacity etc. All critical areas need more investment. Our disaster recovery institutions have worked to tackle natural disasters. They need to be enhanced”.

Says Bhargava: “MSIL was able to better navigate the Covid crisis because we had built financial reserves for bad times and had concentrated on building a strong and competitive company. Our employees and business associates all work as a team and that gives us great strength to withstand crisis situations”.

Adds Agarwal: “From the 9/11 attack to the dot com burst, from the global recession and the Russian-Ukraine war to the pandemic, one thing that has remained constant in my journey is ‘change’. While I am optimistic about the future, I firmly believe this is achievable via improved and smooth public systems to enable ease of doing business for all. Even the smallest businesses along with large corporations must work together to fuel economic recovery. MSMEs should be helped with a separate banking policy targeted at easy credit access and disbursement. Also, more focus on the democratization of technology and information is required so that businesses are well-prepared to tackle future uncertainties”.

According to Berry: “The pandemic prompted brands and businesses to reprioritise and advance sustainability efforts while building value for all stakeholders. We, at Britannia, were able to successfully weather the impact of the pandemic because we stayed true to our strategy. We continued our focus on our five strategic planks – distribution & marketing, innovation, cost focus, growing adjacent businesses, and embedding sustainability”.

Clearly then 2023 may be a bumpy ride, but the long road to 2047 is well-defined. With strong fundamentals, India hopes to retain its fastest growing large economy tag in 2023 even as India Inc plans long-term, while making plans for short-term exigencies.

BW Businessworld

IndiaMART reports YOY Q2 growth of  32%

  • The growth is driven by 25% increase in the number of paying subscriptions and additional revenue from accounting software services
  • Consolidated Deferred Revenue increased by 30%  YoY to Rs. 984 Crore as on September 30, 2022. 
  • The Company continues its investment in manpower, product and technology, sales, and servicing

Noida, India, October 20, 2022: IndiaMART InterMESH Limited (referred to as “IndiaMART” or the  “Company”), today announced its financial results for the second quarter ending September 30, 2022. 

Q2 FY2023 vs. Q2 FY2022 

Financial Highlights (Q2 FY2023):

IndiaMART reported consolidated Revenue from Operations of Rs. 241 Crore in Q2 FY23, a growth of  32% YoY primarily driven by 25% increase in number of paying subscription suppliers and addition of Rs. 10.8 Crore revenue from accounting software services. Consolidated Deferred Revenue increased by 30%  YoY to Rs. 984 Crore as on September 30, 2022. 

The Company continued making growth investments in manpower, product and technology, sales and  servicing resulting into growth in revenue and paying subscription suppliers. As a result, consolidated  EBITDA was Rs. 67 Crore for Q2 FY23 representing EBITDA margin of 28%. Net Profit for this quarter  was Rs. 68 Crore representing margin of 24%.  

Consolidated Cash Flow from Operations for the quarter was at Rs. 78 Crore. Cash and Investments balance  stood at Rs. 1,975 Crore as on September 30, 2022. 

Operational Highlights (Q2 FY2023):

IndiaMART registered traffic of 261 million and Total business enquiries of 122 million during Q2 FY23.  Supplier Storefronts grew to 7.3 million, an increase of 10% YoY and paying subscription suppliers grew by 25% YoY to 188,092 with a net addition of 8,832 paying subscription suppliers during the quarter. 

Commenting on the performance, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, said:  

“We are pleased to report growth in revenue, customers and deferred revenue along with healthy  margins and cash flows in a stable demand environment. Sustainable cash flows and a robust  balance sheet enables us to continue investing in strategic areas as well as building the organization to meet the evolving customer needs and accelerate digital transformation of  businesses. “

About IndiaMART: 

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. 

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