IndiaMART

IndiaMART is growing at 30% over the last 5 years: Sumit Bedi | Exchange4Media

Exchange4Media

IndiaMART has 93-mn buyers registered at the moment. 64% of their overall traffic comes from tier II or below markets, reveals Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing & CX, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.

While the recession has affected some businesses, Flipkart and Amazon claimed to have had the highest sales during the festive season 2019. Not just the B2C platforms but B2B eCommerce giant IndiaMART is also witnessing new growth opportunities, especially in Tier II and Tier III towns.

In a chat with exchange4media, Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing & CX, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited., speaks about how the company witnessed consistent growth despite the economic slowdown in the country. He also spoke about the marketing approaches and consumer behaviour in Tier I, Tier II and below towns.

While the B2C platforms have limited products offering (just gadgets and apparels), B2B giant IndiaMARToffers 6000+ products across 54 industries.

A lot of industries claim to have faced serious consequences of the economic slowdown but just like the online B2C market, B2B business continues to run at a steady pace. Bedi revealed that IndiaMART is growing at a rate of 30% over the last 5 years. With this consistent growth, Bedi feels that despite the recession in the country, online B2B is growing persistently.

With the fast-paced digital adoption being propelled by growth in rural and semi-urban India, the reach of eCommerce to Tier II or below towns has opened up a whole new space for people residing in these regions. According to Bedi, IndiaMART has 93 million buyers registered at the moment. Interestingly, 64% of their overall traffic comes from tier II or below markets.

Talking about the challenges that online B2B platforms are facing these days, Bedi said that there are multiple challenges that enhance opportunities too. The user profile is now shifting to smaller screens (mobile devices). Earlier when on desktop, we used to have a bigger space to showcase product offerings. Today, with the growth of smartphones, adjusting on smaller screens has become a significant challenge. 

Since the younger generation is shifting to smaller screens, we’re dealing with a whole new type of user profile. “The user profile has evolved significantly over the last four years. The metro brand that targets people between 35 to-44 years, to a brand that gets most of its traffic from smaller towns,” Bedi highlighted.

Now, the challenge is how we stay relevant to this new user profile, he said. To deal with such issues, IndiaMART is making every possible effort to speed up the site and make it user-friendly.

When it comes to online eCommerce, it has been seen that there is a lack of trust among buyers. Bedi feels, in the digital age companies and buyers don’t know each other personally. And people dealing with each other for the first time is the key reason behind this lack of trust.

On quizzing how IndiaMART deals with this lack of trust issue and takes care of consumer security, Bedi said, “We remain very transparent to our customers. Unlike other platforms, IndiaMART is very open to show its price. You can check the price in your region and all the other regions of India as well. We feel that this creates a sense of faith among our consumers.” 

On the other hand, IndiaMART is also investing heavily in making the content credible to allow for only GST verified and Geotagged assets.

Further, from a consumer perspective, Bedi added, IndiaMART felt the requirement of a secure transaction. So they took a step forward and launched a payment solution. To gain more reach and faith in smaller towns, IndiaMART has also launched the messaging feature on its platform. Now, buyers and sellers can interact with each other easily. For a buyer, such features are surely convenient as well as secure.

When it comes to the brand face, earlier IndiaMART had Irrfan Khan but right now they do not have an ambassador, instead, they’re focusing on storytelling. The most recent campaign of IndiaMART is Bada Aasaan Hai. The campaign is centred on a brand film, which shows the story of an aspiring candle maker and a wedding planner.

From being a functional platform with the tagline “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”, IndiaMART has come a long way. The brand has influenced the entire business ecosystem. Now the brand is set on a journey to bring in ease of doing business in India, and to show millions of offline businesses, how easily they can scale their business using an easy-to-use online platform.

Real estate ancillary industries counting on ‘stress fund’ for revival | The Economic Times

The Economic Times

The real estate sector and the construction industry together form the second-largest employer in India. Once construction of housing projects resumes, ancillary industries expect to get more business.

NEW DELHI: Real estate ancillary industriesNSE -1.85 % such as elevator, tile and pipe manufacturers are counting on the government’s Rs 25,000 crore stress fund for reviving stalled projects to improve their business prospects.

IndiaMART, an online B2B marketplace connecting buyers and suppliers, said growth in queries had fallen 50% and the government’s intervention will help revive the ancillary industries.

Lift manufacturers and makers of tiles, sanitaryware, faucets and plastic pipes claimed that after housingNSE 0.56 % projects stalled, payment for orders worth several crores of rupees have been pending, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

“We hope that the introduction of the stress fund for stalled real estate and housing projects will be a much-needed relief, both for homebuyers and for millions of small businesses involved in the sector,” said Dinesh Agarwal, managing director of IndiaMART

Agarwal said growth has slowed for cement, tiles and sanitaryware, construction equipment, elevators and escalators, UPVC doors, windows and glass.

The real estate sector and the construction industry together form the second-largest employer in India. Once construction of housing projects resumes, ancillary industries expect to get more business.

“This (stress fund) will also then have a multiplier effect, having a positive impact on numerous ancillary industries. This gives a signal that RERA (Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act)-registered positive projects will need to be completed on time and some of these funds will help with these pending real estate projects, further helping in job creation in the sector,” said Amit Gossain, managing director of elevator maker KONE India.

Gossain said growth in the elevator industry has stagnated and although the commercial segment has started to pick up, it is the residential segment that matters.

“Impetus to the housing market to revive over 1,600 stalled housing projects covering 458,000 units also brings in a huge economic cycle in play, not just for real estate market, but also for the 27 ancillary industries connected, hence creating a huge employment opportunity canvas across the country,” said Amit Modi, director of ABA Corp., a real estate developer based in Noida.

IndiaMart inspires more businesses to come online in new campaign | Best Media Info

Best Media Info

Conceptualised by WATConsult and taken forward by Interactive Avenues, the ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ campaign focuses on new-age buyers and suppliers who demand a hassle-free and convenient platform that will help them scale their business easily

IndiaMart, the online marketplace, has rolled out its new brand promise with the core message as ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’.

From being a functional platform with the tagline “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”, now the brand is set on a journey to bring in ease in doing business and to show how easily offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy-to-use online platform.

Sumit Bedi, Vice-President, Marketing & CX at IndiaMart, said, “IndiaMart’s new brand promise ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ clearly resonates with the way the brand has functioned over the last two decades and is aligned with our long-term mission to make doing business easy for the millions of businesses by providing them tech-enabled, easy and cost-effective solutions. We have just scratched the surface; there is a huge scope for business inclusion which will only be possible by encouraging digital adoption within the SME sector.”

The refreshed brand identity runs across multiple layers. While the tagline clearly states that IndiaMart as a platform is “Bada Aasaan”, which makes doing business easy, it also plays on the right strings which state that with IndiaMart it is now easier for both the buyers and the suppliers to expand their business, ‘Bada banna bhi bada aasaan hai!’. IndiaMart, with this, wants to establish itself as a brand that is synonymous to the concept of ease of use.

Bedi added, “The heroes of this campaign are the small businesses that are the backbone of the Indian economy. The brand film seeks to reinforce IndiaMart as the ultimate destination that brings in ease in doing business and shows how easily offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy to use online platform.”

The brand has shifted from making a celebrity the face of the campaign, which they had done previously in “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai” launched in 2014 when their primary objective was to grow the brand awareness among the masses.

Conceptualised by WATConsult, and then taken forward by Interactive Avenues, the initiative is set to use digital portals and a mix of social media. It primarily focuses on the new-age buyers and suppliers, who demand a hassle-free, simple, and convenient platform that will help them scale their business easily.

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult, said, “We wanted to take the brand’s philosophy of providing a convenient and a faster online trading marketplace, ahead with a new yet convincing thought. Also, considering the fact that the brand targets a mixed set of audiences including traditionalists, new-age entrepreneurs, CEOs and CXOs and employees, ‘Bada Aasaan hai’ perfectly fits with the brand’s easy-to-use interface and the legacy of helping businesses reach the top. It was our pleasure to assist IndiaMart in their new proposition.”

The campaign is centred around a brand film created by Interactive Avenues, that tells the story of an aspiring candle maker and a wedding planner, a story many businesses will be able to resonate with. The scene opens with a couple making candles in their house with the hope of getting in touch with the right buyers and setting up a well-established business one day.

The film then goes on to show a wedding planner receiving a gift request from one of his clients. Upon receiving the request, he uses the IndiaMart platform to look for a supplier and stumbles upon the candle-making couple, who accepts the order and delivers it on time. The film ends with a scene that shows that both the wedding planner and the candle supplier in a well-established settlement.

The underlying current of the film tried to show that not only was it easy for the buyer who is the wedding planner to look for a relevant supplier quickly, it was also easy for the supplier to expand his newly established business using IndiaMart.

The film seeks to reinforce IndiaMart as the ultimate destination for the buyers and the suppliers to easily expand their business by using an easy platform.

The TVC:

Credits:
Client: IndiaMart
Agency: Interactive Avenues
Production House: Faraway Collective
Executive Director: Rishab Malhotra
DOP: Arnold Fernandes
Director: Shakti Raj Singh Jadeja

IndiaMART is encouraging more businesses to come online with ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ Campaign

New Delhi; November 27th, 2019: IndiaMART, India’s largest online marketplace, rolled out its new brand promise with the core message as ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’. 

From being a functional platform with the tagline “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”, IndiaMART has come a long way. The brand has influenced the entire business ecosystem and has proved to be the one-point destination to get all the work done. Now the brand is set on a journey to bring in ease in doing business and to show how easily the offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy to use online platform. 

Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing & CX at IndiaMART stated, “IndiaMART’s new brand promise ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ clearly resonates with the way the brand has functioned over the last two decades and is aligned with our long term mission to make doing business easy for the millions of businesses by providing them tech-enabled, easy and cost-effective solutions. We have just scratched the surface, there is a huge scope for business inclusion which will only be possible by encouraging digital adoption within the SME sector.”

The refreshed brand identity runs across multiple layers. While the tagline clearly states that IndiaMART as a platform is “Bada Aasaan”, which makes doing business easy, it also plays on the right strings which state that with IndiaMART it is now easier for both the buyers and the suppliers to expand their business, ‘Bada banna bhi bada aasaan hai!’. IndiaMART, with this, wants to establish itself as a brand that is synonymous to the concept of ease of use. 

Talking about the brand film Sumit mentioned, “The heroes of this campaign are the small businesses who are the backbone of the Indian economy. The brand film seeks to reinforce IndiaMART as the ultimate destination that brings in ease in doing business and shows how easily offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy to use online platform.”

Hence the brand has shifted from making a celebrity the face of the campaign which they had done previously in “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai” launched in 2014 when their primary objective was to grow the brand awareness amongst the masses.

Conceptualized by WATConsult, and then taken forward by Interactive Avenues, the initiative is set to use digital portals and a mix of social media. It primarily focuses on the new age buyers and suppliers, who demand a hassle-free, simple, and convenient platform that will help them scale their business easily.

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult said, “We wanted to take the brand’s philosophy of providing a convenient & a faster online trading marketplace, ahead with a new yet convincing thought. Also, considering the fact that the brand targets a mixed set of audiences including traditionalists, new-age entrepreneurs, CEOs & CXOs and employees, ‘Bada Aasaan hai’ perfectly fits with the brand’s easy-to-use interface and the legacy of helping businesses reach the top. It was our pleasure to assist IndiaMart in their new proposition.”  

About the brand film:

The campaign is centred around a brand film created by Interactive Avenues, that tells the story of an aspiring candle maker and a wedding planner, a story many businesses will be able to resonate with. The scene opens with a couple making candles in their house with the hope of getting in touch with the right buyers and setting up a well-established business one day.

The film then goes on to show a wedding planner receiving a gift request from one of his clients. Upon receiving the request he uses the IndiaMART platform to look for a supplier and stumbles upon the candlemaking couple, who accepts the order and delivers it on time. The film ends with a scene that shows that both the wedding planner and the candle supplier in a well-established settlement.

The underlying current of the film tried to show, that not only was it easy for the buyer who is the wedding planner, to look for a relevant supplier quickly, it was also easy for the supplier to expand his newly established business using IndiaMART. 

The film seeks to reinforce IndiaMART as the ultimate destination for the buyers and the suppliers to easily expand their business by using an easy platform.

Credits:
Client:
IndiaMART
Agency:
Interactive Avenues
Production House: Faraway Collective
Executive Director: Rishab Malhotra
DOP: Arnold Fernandes
Director: Shakti Raj Singh Jadeja

This Week India | NAT24 | Equity Bulls

IndiaMart introduces new brand promise ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ | ET Brand Equity

ET Brand Equity

The firm has launched a new digital video communicating the same…

E-commerce company IndiaMART, that caters to B2B, and B2C needs of businesses and customers through its platform, has introduced its brand promise ‘Bada AasaanHai’. The tag-line will accompany various visual assets of the brand in the coming days.

The firm zeroed in on the tag-line after a research which it conducted with digital agency WatConsult. ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ signifies the ease of working that IndiaMART provides by connecting relevant professional with each other.

But why a brand promise, and why now? Well for one, the platform has become much bigger than it ever was. From servicing around 10 million users a month, a few years back, IndiaMART now services 60 million users. Additionally, there is a shift in the device usage and demographics of the users. The mobile internet penetration has led to 75% of the users on IndiaMart accessing the platform through their phones. Also, nearly two-thirds of the traffic now comes from non-metros.

“IndiaMART’s new brand promise ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ clearly resonates with the way the brand has functioned over the last two decades and is aligned with our long term mission to make doing business easy for the millions of businesses, by providing them tech-enabled, easy and cost-effective solutions. We have just scratched the surface, there is a huge scope for business inclusion, which will only be possible by encouraging digital adoption within the SME sector,” says Sumit Bedi, Vice President- marketing and CX, IndiaMART InterMESH.

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult adds, “We wanted to take the brand’s philosophy of providing a convenient & a faster online trading marketplace, ahead with a new yet convincing thought. Also, considering the fact that the brand targets a mixed set of audiences including traditionalists, new-age entrepreneurs, CEOs and CXOs and employees, ‘Bada Aasaan hai’ perfectly fits with the brand’s easy-to-use interface and the legacy of helping businesses reach the top. It was our pleasure to assist IndiaMART in their new proposition.”

The e-commerce platform has launched a digital video to communicate this new brand promise. The video opens a couple who owns a small hand-made candle making business. The following frames show a wedding planner, seemingly from an urban area, get a last minute request to arrange for 500 tokens for guests attending the wedding of his client. He gets on to IndiaMART, is matched by the platform’s AI led backend with the candlemaker couple. The video shows how the platform serves the business community through its extensive network.

“The heroes of this campaign are the small businesses who are the backbone of the Indian economy. The brand film seeks to reinforce IndiaMART as the ultimate destination that brings in ease in doing business and shows how easily offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy to use online platform,” Bedi says.

Bedi adds that IndiaMART has identified three areas to ensure an evolved product – efficiency in matching businesses using artificial intelligence and machine learning, ensuring the credibility of its members, and providing a secure payment platform.

IndiaMART launches brand re-positioning campaign ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ | Exchange4media

Exchange4Media

With this campaign, IndiaMART aims to establish itself as a brand that is synonymous with the concept of ease of use

India’s largest online B2B marketplace, IndiaMART, has launched its brand re-positioning campaign with the tagline ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’. The campaign will be launched across all the IndiaMART platforms.

From being a functional platform with the tagline “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”, IndiaMART has come a long way. The brand has influenced the entire business ecosystem and has proved to be the one-point destination to get all the work done. Now the brand is set on a journey to bring in ease in doing business and to show the millions of offline businesses how easily they can scale their business using an easy to use online platform.

The campaign is centred around a brand film, that shows the story of an aspiring candle maker and a wedding planner. The film starts with a couple making candles in their house marking the start of their business. Parallelly, a wedding planner on receiving a gift request from a client uses the IndiaMART platform to look for a supplier stumbles upon the candle maker, who accepts the order and delivers it on time. The film ends with a scene that shows that both the wedding planner and the candle supplier in a well-established settlement. This goes on to show, that not only was it easy for the buyer who is the wedding planner, to look for a relevant supplier quickly, it was also easy for the supplier to expand his newly established business using IndiaMART.

The refreshed brand identity runs across multiple layers. While the tagline clearly states that IndiaMART as a platform is “Bada Aasaan”, which makes doing business easy, it also plays on the right strings that state, that with IndiaMART it is now easier for both the buyers and the suppliers to expand their business, ‘Bada banana bhi bada aasaan hai!’. IndiaMART, with this, aims to establish itself as a brand that is synonymous with the concept of ease of use. ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ clearly resonates with the way the brand has functioned over the last two decades aiming at providing a tech-enabled easy and cost-effective solutions to the millions of buyers and suppliers in the country.

Speaking on the campaign, Sumit Bedi , VP – Marketing & CX, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd said, “IndiaMART’s new brand promise ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ clearly resonates with the way the brand has functioned over the last two decades and is aligned with our long term mission to make doing business easy for the millions of businesses, by providing them tech-enabled, easy and cost-effective solutions. We have just scratched the surface, there is a huge scope for business inclusion, which will only be possible by encouraging digital adoption within the SME sector.”

He added, “The heroes of this campaign are the small businesses who are the backbone of the Indian economy. The brand film seeks to reinforce IndiaMART as the ultimate destination that brings in ease in doing business and shows how easily offline businesses can scale themselves using an easy to use online platform.”

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult said, “We wanted to take the brand’s philosophy of providing a convenient & a faster online trading marketplace, ahead with a new yet convincing thought. Also, considering the fact that the brand targets a mixed set of audiences including traditionalists, new-age entrepreneurs, CEOs & CXOs and employees, ‘Bada Aasaan hai’ perfectly fits with the brand’s easy-to-use interface and the legacy of helping businesses reach the top. It was our pleasure to assist IndiaMART in their new proposition.”

The film seeks to reinforce IndiaMART as the ultimate destination for the buyers and the suppliers to easily expand their business by using an easy platform.

BSE IPO index up 41% in 2019, outperforms Sensex, Nifty

CNBC TV18

The BSE IPO gained 41 percent so far this year, outperforming the key benchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE’s Nifty50 by a huge margin. The Sensex gave a return of just 12 percent this year, while the Nifty advanced just 9 percent so far in 2019.

Nine of the ten stocks listed under the BSE IPO index offered returns of over 30 percent. The gains were primarily driven by four internet stocks, which gave stellar returns—MSTC, Affle India, IndiaMart and Spandana. Although the amount raised by them was not so big, they definitely offer unique business models that are actually pulling investors’ interest.

What they do?

The top gainer in the list is MSTC Ltd, a Mini Ratna Category-I public sector company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel. The government owns a 64.75 percent stake in the company. MSTC, a large e-commerce company, is well known for its e-auction portal, e-procurement portal in the B2B & B2C sector. It has the distinction of being such a company in the public sector.

Affle India is a media technology company that serves e-commerce, fin-tech, telecom, media, retail and FMCG companies via advertising agencies. The company primarily earn revenue from its consumer platform on a cost per converted user basis. Additionally, revenues also come from cost per thousand impressions, cost per view and cost per click models. The platform has over 2.1 billion connected devices profiled globally.

IndiaMart is India’s largest online B2B marketplace for business parts and services. It has a 60 percent market share of the online B2B classifieds space in India. The company has 19 years of experience in online trade and commerce. The platform works mostly for business buyers to discover products and services and contact suppliers. The company earns revenue primarily through the sale of subscription packages, and also smaller contributors to revenue are advertising, facilitation of payment etc. It has 92 million registered buyers as on September 2019.

IRCTC is the only entity authorized by Indian Railways to provide Catering services for Railways, Online Railway tickets, Packaged drinking water at railway stations and trains in India. Operates www.irctc.co.in one of the most transacted websites, in the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 1.4 million passengers travelled on the Indian Railways daily. Also diversified into other biz including non-railway catering and services such as e-catering, executive lounges and budget hotels.

Inc42 UpNext: How Looking Inward Changed Everything For IndiaMART | Inc42

Inc42

  • IndiaMART holds a 60% share of the country’s wholesale market according to KPMG
  • The B2B marketplace went public in June, one of the few tech companies in the world to have a successful IPO this year
  • What does the future hold for one of India’s most successful startups?

To celebrate India’s rising startups, Inc42 is profiling a new soonicorn every Friday in the Inc42 UpNext: Unicorns Of Tomorrow series. For the next few months, we will be speaking to founders and cofounders at these potential unicorns and shining light on their journeys and growth stories. We begin the series with a look at B2B marketplace, IndiaMART.

At the time of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US, IndiaMART, one of India’s first B2B marketplaces, served as a gateway for global customers to buy Indian products. The uncertainty which ripped through international markets posts the terror attack saw IndiaMART’s business slump by more than half. But this gave Dinesh Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of the company, the idea which would make it the nation’s largest wholesale online marketplace.

Agrawal, along with co-founder and cousin Brijesh Agrawal, turned his eyes to a bigger opportunity. A majority of India’s small-time manufacturers and wholesalers had no online presence. Small and medium enterprises and cottage industries badly needed a place to order machinery, raw materials and storefronts to sell their products. The Agrawals saw the gap and armed with a princely $10 Mn investment from Intel’s venture capital fund and pivoted to the domestic market in 2009. 

A decade onwards, IndiaMART holds 60% share of the country’s wholesale market according to KPMG, and it went public in June, one of the few tech companies in the world to have a successful IPO this year

Incorporated in 1999 by Dinesh Chandra Agarwal and Brijesh Agrawal, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited has 5.5 Mn supplier storefronts with listed 60 Mn products and 59.81 Mn registered buyers as of March 2018. The company earns 99% of its revenue by selling subscription packages to sellers. In addition, the company also generates revenue by advertising, sale of RFQ credits and payment facilitation service. It competes with the likes of Tradeindia.com and Alibaba India. Other players include JustDial, Google, Industry Buying, Power2SME, Moglix and Bizongo. 

The company had posted revenue of $74.7 Mn (INR 540 Cr) and operating profit of $6.6Mn (INR 46 Cr) IN FY18.

Over the last three financial years, the company has shown stability in its finances, a rare trait among internet companies which usually eschew profitability for quick growth. According to Dinesh keeping away from the new-age internet businesses’ way of doing things worked in their favour. 

“If the company does not make money, I don’t make money” Dinesh Agrawal, CEO IndiaMART

Humble Beginnings 

Dinesh, a computer science graduate from Harcourt Butler Technological University in Kanpur, started IndiaMART in 1996 after quitting his job in the US. Being a computer analyst he had a rough idea of starting something in software services and settled on building a platform for businesses to display their products via dedicated web pages. 

True to the style of many Silicon Valley giants like Intel and Hewlett Packard, IndiaMART’s story started at Dinesh’s house with the initial investment coming from his personal savings.

“I had purchased a flat in Delhi while I was working and set up my office in the flat in 1996. I had a saving of INR 40K and it was invested in the business,” he said.

At the time India had about 15K internet users and the excruciatingly slow internet speeds meant uploading and downloading small files would take several hours. Talking about his first client Dinesh said “We managed to get fast-food chain Nirulas as our first client. The deal was to develop and manage their website for an annual fee of INR 32K.”

In the early days, IndiaMART would provide website building services to its clients at a time when having a website for your company was still a novelty and not a necessity like today. However, the hallmark of a successful business is the one which shows you how it can be beneficial to you and then try and sell its wares. In a similar vein, IndiaMART started giving out free listings on its platform. Once a company profile was online, it would start generating business queries from potential customers from across the globe. Then Dinesh and his team would monitor the response and their sales personnel would apprise the company about the interest being created online.

“Having proved the value of web presence to the companies, we would then offer them a customised, full service to enable them to draw even bigger numbers for their businesses. This strategy helped us bag several clients. By the end of the first year (1996-97), we had a staff of nine and the firm recorded a turnover of around INR 6 Lakh,” Dinesh told Inc42.

On Scaling Up 

IndiaMART quickly grew and by 1998 had a second office in Mumbai with a staff of nearly 100 people. After the US terror attack on 11 September 2001, revenue fell by nearly 40% and it got tough to pay salaries none of the employees quit. This is a matter of great pride for Dinesh who told us that more than 100 of his employees have been with him for more than a decade. At the time of IPO, employees held 14% stake in the company.

“Several of the staffers who had joined us at the launch of the company are still with us,” – Dinesh Agrawal

After pivoting to the domestic market in 2007, the company re-evolved into its present form as a buyer-dedicated forum in 2011. 

“A buyer can post his requirement on the platform and our search technology can help him find the right supplier. We see a huge potential in this venture,” the founders had said at the time. The slow-but-steady approach clicked and by 2013-14, the company generated a turnover of around INR 200 Cr. The company also gained 130K active and paying subscribers.

“We would go to every trade fair, trade organisation, export promotion council we heard of across India. Our field sales force was spread across 77 different offices who would sign up suppliers and help make their catalogues.” Dinesh said.

A slow and tedious process, considering many small-time businesses in the country’s hinterlands would not have pictures or basic knowledge of what a web presence meant, IndiaMART executives added 60K products over a decade. 

What has been a palpable constant is Dinesh’s enthusiasm to champion the cause of small and medium businesses. Coming from a small town near the Nepal border, Dinesh knew how hard it was to run a business without actionable insights and visibility into macro trends in the market.

“One of the biggest challenges was that some of these SME owners have been family businesses for 40 or 50 years and they know how to handle a walk-in customer or a customer over the telephone. They do now know how to handle a lead coming over SMS or email or do a follow-up or converting an impression into a sale. So basically all the ways that new-age business is done. Converting them to a lead management mindset was a slow process,” he said.

Once the platform came into its own, the next big game-changer was putting up clearly visible pricing quotes. “It is very hard to was when you are in a remote village of UP to know what the current prices are in the wholesale markets of Delhi or Mumbai or Chennai. Now whether you are in Indore or Raipur or in Arunachal Pradesh you can see the ongoing prices,” he added. 

The Road Ahead

Explaining the rationale behind IndiaMART’s eagerness to go public, Dinesh said that firstly this increases the company’s credibility with customers and sellers as there will be proper scrutiny and audits every quarter. Secondly, its first investor Intel Capital and many employees have gotten a good exit.

Talking about the trend of internet companies shying away from IPOs, Dinesh opined that only five Indian companies have managed to scale operations without losses mounting to alarming levels in the last 25 years. (Naukri.com, Bharat Matrimony, MakeMyTrip, JustDial and IndiaMART)

“While banks would not touch some of today’s unicorns, they were all very welcoming of our IPO. There is a high demand for good tech companies. But for tech companies which are incentivising buyers to inflate sales it is harder as there will always be a big investor who is ready to throw a few billion dollars into your competition,” Dinesh said when asked about what are the reasons for the low participation of Indian startups in public markets. 

“For IPO a company needs a good revenue of about $100 Mn (not just Gross Merchandise Value) and close to profitability. It feels like being thrown into a completely different orbit,” Dinesh said.

MSME account books go digital; over 50% transactions recorded using apps by small businesses

Financial Express

Technology for MSMEs: While poor access to finance and credit along with technology talent are the major challenges for small businesses, they often tend to burn out due to reasons including lack of proper financial planning and internal accounting.

Technology for MSMEs: Small and medium enterprises (SME) are gradually switching to digital book-keeping apps to record their business transactions. Over 50 per cent of all transactions are recorded using book-keeping apps by a significant number of SMEs, according to an SME survey by management consulting firm RedSeer conducted in August this year. SMEs used two undisclosed book-keeping apps to record 43 per cent and 48 per cent transactions respectively. The survey, however, didn’t mention the number of SMEs surveyed. While poor access to finance and credit along with technology talent are the major challenges for small businesses, they often tend to burn out due to various reasons including lack of proper financial planning and internal accounting.

The survey also revealed 67 per cent and 48 per cent small businesses using the two book-keeping apps respectively. “New age bookkeeping apps are seeing daily usage amongst large chunk of their user base- indicating increasing comfort,” RedSeer said in the survey published in October. While for the rest, the usage ranged from a few times a week (23 per cent and 31 per cent) to not even once a month (3 per cent for each app).

Digitizing transactions and recording payments of small businesses have emerged as a key opportunity for Indian startups as well. A slew of startups such as Tencent-backed Khatabook, OkCredit funded by Tiger Global, and IndiaMART-backed Vyapar etc. Digital payments are witnessing a growth of 12.7 per cent in India, according to a KPMG report even as the number of merchants accepting digital payments has gone up to over 10 million in the last two-three years. The global accounting software market is expected to cross $26,600 million by 2024 growing at CAGR of 8.92 per cent, according to Market Research Future report. Indian MSME sector contributes 29 per cent to the country’s GDP and nearly 50 per cent in total exports. The sector has so far created 11 crore jobs to which the government is expecting to add 5 crore jobs in five years.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top GainersTop Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Starting Up When India Only Had 500 Internet Users: IndiaMART’s Brijesh Agarwal On Building In India And The Journey | Inc42

Inc42

  • The tenth edition of Founders Meetup in Delhi was held at the Inc42 HQ on November 7
  • Close to 30 early-stage founders and entrepreneurs came together to network with each other and learn from the journey of IndiaMART’s Agrawal
  • The event was supported by our annual partners ⁠— NetApp, AWS, Paytm, Times Internet and HSBC

At the tenth edition of Founders Meetup at Inc42 HQ, Brijesh Agrawal from IndiaMART took the gathering of close to 30 early-stage founders through the 25+ years of journey of IndiaMART. At a time when founders are starting businesses in their teens, a 25-year-old tech company in India can be just the inspiration they need.

“When you start your business there are only two things that matter. You need to ask yourself two questions. One, will your business benefit someone? Two, Is that what you think or that person also believes it will benefit him?”

Every month, Inc42 hosts a group of early-stage founders, with the aim of helping them network, ideate and learn, not only from their peers but also from a successful and well-established entrepreneur. And Agrawal epitomised this objective, as he took the gathering through how he and cofounder Dinesh Agrawal got introduced to the world of the internet and how IndiaMART was born.

While the first publicly available internet service in India was launched on August 15, 1995, IndiaMART was launched just a year later in 1996. “We took the biggest risk without actually realising that we were. We started on April 1 back in 96, at that time there were a total of 500 internet connections all over India.”

The inception of the website happened when the Agrawal cousins realised what attracted the world to India’s products and services. They decided to build an online platform that would help not only the buyers get easy and quick access to the products from India, but one which also gives sellers another way of showcasing their products, rather than just relying on export and trade fairs.

The major hurdle for IndiaMART in the early days was the extremely low penetration of the internet, which made it extremely challenging for the startup to onboard and convince customers. “For every 10K emails, we would send out to businesses asking for their data and trying to get them onboard we would receive merely 2 or 3 replies,” added Agarwal.

Agarwal further talked about how terrible the first six months of the journey were and how the duo almost decided to give up and go back home and get into the family business of selling oil. He added that a conversation with his grandfather convinced him otherwise — it brought up two questions that IndiaMART still swears by and Agarwal urged the gathered founders to follow the lead as well. “If your business is benefitting someone and you have convinced the person of the same then all you need to do is figure out the complexities and not give up,” added Agarwal.

On the topic of overcoming hurdles, Agarwal went on to talk about the importance of a team and how it took the company very long to break through the traditional owner-driven environment they had created. “Focus more on team, operations and processes as they define and help your business,” he pointed out.

The evening was full of insights as Agarwal’s session inspired the crowd to come forward and ask questions regarding their own business troubles and queries. He also told them to go for “Venture capitalists only once they know that the money is for growth and scaling of ideas and you are confident of the model that you are following. Money has a way of making people lose sight of their goals and dreams.”

With the understanding of the importance of networking as well as insights from established entrepreneurs for early-stage founders, Inc42 hosts Founders Meetup every month. This is in line with our aim of bringing the Indian startup ecosystem closer together to nurture and boost its growth.

Through nine editions, Inc42 has contributed to the growth of the early-stage startups, helping them grow and scale. Here is all you need to know of the past editions.

The tenth edition of the Founders Meetup was supported by our annual partners — Paytm, NetApp, Times Internet, AWS and HSBC.