Congrats to the winners of IndiaMART Campus Selfie Contest

We recently organised a fun Selfie Contest for all our campus selects. The response has been overwhelming. Here are the details of the winners:

IndiaMart, Avana Logistek get Sebi’s go ahead for IPOs

Online marketplace IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd and logistics company Avana Logistek have received markets regulator Sebi’s go ahead to float initial share sale offers.

With this, the number of companies getting Sebi’s approval to float an initial public offer (IPO) has reached 50 this year so far.

These two companies, which had filed draft their respective draft offer documents with Sebi in June, obtained the regulator’s “observations” on September 14, according to the latest update with the markets watchdog.

Sebi’s observations are necessary for any company to launch IPO, follow-on public offer and rights issue.

Through IndiaMART’s public issue, a total of 42,88,801 equity shares will be divested by the promoters and private equity firms Intel Capital (Mauritius) Ltd, Amadeus Capital Partners and Accion Frontier Inclusion Mauritius.

The initial share-sale offer is expected to garner Rs 600 crore, merchant banking sources said.

The public issue is being managed by ICICI Securities, Edelweiss Financial Services and Jefferies India.

Avana Logistek’s initial share sale consists of fresh issue of shares worth up to Rs 300 crore, besides, an offer for sale of up to 43 lakh scrips by the existing shareholders.

The Mumbai-based company plans to utilise the net proceeds towards funding capital expenditure for setting up of new dry warehouses and cold storages and repayment of certain borrowings.

Besides, the IPO proceeds will be used for acquisition of containers for coastal and liner services, expenditure towards software development, implementation and maintenance and general corporate purposes.

ICICI Securities and Axis Capital are the lead managers to the issue.

Read More: Times of India | The Hindu Business Line

Four companies file IPO papers; look to raise at least Rs 3,250 crore

Business Today | Economic Times | Livemint

As many as four companies, including Bharat Hotels which runs ‘The LaLiT’ brand, have filed IPO papers with market regulator Sebi to raise an estimated Rs 3,250 crore. The other firms are K Raheja Corp’s hospitality company Chalet Hotel, online marketplace IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd and agro-processing equipment maker Milltec Machinery.

These four public issues are expected to fetch at least Rs 3,250 crore, according to merchant banking sources.

All these companies plan to list on the BSE and NSE.

Going by the draft papers, Chalet Hotel’s initial public offer (IPO) comprises fresh issue of shares worth up to Rs 950 crore, besides, an offer of sale of up to up to 24,685,000 equity shares by the existing shareholders.

JM Financial, Axis Capital and Morgan Stanley India Company will manage the company’s public issue.

Bharat Hotels’ IPO consists of sale of fresh equity shares to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore, as per the draft papers.

Proceeds of the issue will be utilised towards repayment of certain loans availed by the company for other general corporate purposes.

HDFC Bank Ltd, Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd and YES Securities (India) Ltd are the book running lead managers to the public issue.

As of March 2018, the company operated 12 luxury hotels, palaces and resorts under ‘The LaLiT’ brand and two mid-market segment hotels under ‘The LaLiT Traveller’ brand across the country’s key business and leisure travel destinations, offering 2,261 rooms.

Through IndiaMART’s IPO, a total of 42,88,801 equity shares will be divested by the promoters and private equity firms Intel Capital (Mauritius) Ltd, Amadeus Capital Partners and Accion Frontier Inclusion Mauritius.

The initial share-sale offer is expected to garner Rs 600 crore, merchant banking sources said.

The public issue is being managed by ICICI Securities, Edelweiss Financial Services and Jefferies India.

Milltec Machinery’s IPO will see sale of up to 37,51,499 equity shares, amounting to 37.5 per cent stake in the company, by Renuka Ramnath-led private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management (Multiples PE) and promoters, draft papers filed with Sebi showed.

Multiples PE will sell 22.5 per cent, while promoter will divest 15 per cent holding in the company.

According to merchant banking sources, the public issue is expected to fetch Rs 500 crore.

Motilal Oswal Investment Advisors and IIFL Holdings are merchant bankers of the issue.

Milltec is a leading agro-processing equipment manufacturer, with sales and distribution network in India and overseas. Its portfolio includes equipment to facilitate the processing of rice, pulses, wheat, seeds and maize.


IndiaMART files IPO draft, plans to offer up to 4.28 million shares

Economic Times

NEW DELHI: IndiaMART, a marketplace focused on small and medium enterprises, filed the draft papers for its public market debut with the regulator on Monday, making it the most recent instance of a venture capital-backed company opting to test the country’s capital markets.

The Noida-headquartered company will offer up to 4.28 million shares through its offer for sale, with its promoters and investors selling a portion of their stakes in the 23-year-old venture in the issue.

According to a statement issued by the company, Intel Capital will sell 2.07 million shares, while Amadeus IV DPF, an investment unit of Amadeus Capital, and Accion Frontier Inclusion Mauritius, will sell 1,70,502 and 4,75,000 equity shares, respectively.

Additionally, promoters Dinesh Chandra Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal will offer 8,52,453 and 5,77,656 shares in the IPO.

ICICI Securities, Edelweiss Financial Services and Jefferies India are the book running lead managers to the issue, the press release said.

The promoters cumulatively hold over 55% of the company, while Intel Capital is the largest institutional stakeholder with a 13.47% ownership, after the completion of conversion of CCPS, the company stated in its draft red herring prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

The Times Group, which publishes The Economic Times, is also an investor in the company.

IndiaMART’s upcoming IPO will be the latest by a venture capitalbacked company in India over the past 18 months. The year 2017 saw online marriage services provider BharatMatrimony, ecommerce company Infibeam and security software provider Quick Heal Technologies hitting the capital markets.

In 2018, homegrown product technology company Newgen Software’s IPO was subscribed eight times on the third and final day of its public market debut, in the process, providing its three risk capital backers with stellar exits.

IndiaMART: The stellar rise of a techie’s company who chose India over America to pursue his dream

Quartz | Scroll

Back in 1995, when working in the United States was seen as the ultimate achievement for an Indian techie, Dinesh Agarwal quit his job with HCL Technologies and moved back home.

India had officially opened up the internet to the masses that year, and Agarwal wanted to launch an online venture in the country.

Over the next few months, Agarwal dabbled with several online business ideas, including starting a website development company and an online directory of all Indian exporters. In 1996, he finally zeroed in on one idea and launched IndiaMART, a business-to-business e-commerce portal.

More than two decades later, IndiaMART is all set for a Rs 500 crore initial public offering, or IPO.

IPOs are a rarity in India’s $27 billion e-commerce industry, where companies have mostly stayed away from the bourses due to poor financial performance and the fear of heightened scrutiny that comes with going public. So far, the only e-commerce company to pull off an IPO in India is Infibeam, which listed in 2016.

Riding the internet boom

The idea of setting up a business-to-business e-commerce portal first came to Agarwal when he saw that exporters from India had to forgo a huge chunk of their profits just to appoint agents in other countries to promote and sell their products. It did not help that there was scarcely any information about Indian exporters available on the internet.

So, Agarwal, in his own words, decided “to democratise the Indian business information”.

“There was very little information available abroad about Indian manufacturers, Indian handicrafts,” Agarwal, currently the company’s managing director, said. “And any small and medium enterprises in India would have had a difficult time to market their products [in international markets through trade shows].”

In the beginning, IndiaMART allowed only exporters to list details about their businesses and products, and reach out to prospective overseas buyers.

But in 2008, as China began dominating international trade, exports from India stagnated. At the same time, there was a massive growth in internet access in India. So IndiaMART decided to pivot from operating an international business to focusing on the domestic market.

With $10 million in funding from Intel capital, IndiaMART relaunched its marketplace with a focus on the subcontinent.

Now, the portal caters to small and medium enterprises and traders across sectors, including manufacturing and industrial tools, electronics, automobiles, and fashion accessories. The company has a subscription-based model, where small and medium enterprises pay an annual fee for creating, operating, and marketing their products on IndiaMART currently has around 4.7 million suppliers and 60 million buyers transacting on the website and competes with the likes of Alibaba, TradeIndia, and ExportersIndia.

Going forward, IndiaMART is looking to expand its business to larger companies and not just focus on small and medium enterprises. The company is also increasing its tech offerings in keeping with the latest trends. “We have recently launched a payments facilitation and an escrow programme,” Agarwal said. “The adoption of digital technologies and digital payments has improved considerably post-demonetisation.”

In the year ended March 2018, the company posted revenues of Rs 410 crore, and turned profitable at a cash-flow level, earning Rs 182 crore from operating activities. So far, IndiaMART has raised nearly Rs 200 crore from venture capital investors, including Intel Capital, Amadeus Capital, and Accion Frontier Inclusion Mauritius.

“The company is going steady in the last two-three years,” Agarwal said. “We have been growing at 30% revenues and we have become cash-flow positive.”

Taking the company public

IndiaMART is going public mainly to provide an exit route for its investors. “We had raised money from Intel Capital almost 10 years ago, so we wanted to give liquidity to all the investors, including the founders,” said Agarwal. None of the IPO proceeds will be used to fund the company’s business.

IndiaMART’s existing investors and promoters, Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal, will be selling around 4.2 million shares through the listing, according to the company’s draft red herring prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India on June 29.

Analysts expect IndiaMART to have a good run on the stock market. “It is a pretty solid company; they have sort of created this space of B2B e-commerce,” said Pranjal Srivastava, senior vice president and head of equity capital markets at ICICI Securities. “This is a sort of differentiated story, very different from a typical e-commerce company. So there will be demand for this kind of a story. They have shown growth, so we are expecting there to be a demand.”

Life of a Product Manager at IndiaMART

12 months, 50,000 kilometers, 15 cities, 8 treks, 3 products, 2 awards, 1 man– Mohit Gupta, Assistant Product Manager, IndiaMART!

For most of his batch-mates and seniors, life got curbed between the 9-6 hectic corporate job routine. But, he had different plans. Here’s a story on Mohit Gupta, a product manager who wanders but is not lost.

“After getting placed at IndiaMART in Sept. 2016, I decided to put on my wandering shoes (which is also my Instagram handle) along with my formals 😉 And before joining the company in June 2017, I had already completed 24 trips in 10 months. So, not only did I wear my wandering shoes but they were also fitting me well and I didn’t want to put them off. Thankfully, I didn’t have to! In fact, I had never imagined that I would actually share some of my fondest travel memories with my managers and my team or share the tales from my workplace with the locals of some distant mountains. In the past 12 months that I have been with IndiaMART, I think I have done it all. From hitch-hiking on a truck to Spiti to managing millions of buyers on IndiaMART, from backpacking across Kerala and Rajasthan to creating marketing strategies, from leading a team through the most difficult of treks to creating reports, from conquering over multiple peaks like Kauri Pass and Hampta pass to being awarded the Emerging Star and Best Performer at work. What else do I do? My organisation was open to the idea of me working with a travel startup called JustWravel as a trek lead. I have led 8 trips including a 9 day trip to Spiti and have led people across age groups from 5 years to a woman of 53 years. Well, Chitkul, India’s last village is my second home and if you want we can catch up on this Friday for a cup of tea enjoying the most beautiful sunset. Thankfully, I don’t have to bear the scars of a corporate life or my name just be limited to a plastic debit card. I have left my footprints on the highest of mountains and deepest of oceans while balancing my work. Guess, those who said there is nothing like work life balance, didn’t work at IndiaMART.”

We talk about going places and Mohit you have literally gone! Keep on those wandering shoes and we are sure you will have the world under your feet.

Report from UNCTAD eCommerce Week 2018

Here is a report from the eCommerce Week at UNCTAD, Geneva, Swtizerland.

Read Here

7 inside tips from IndiaMART’s social media strategy

Social Samosa

Sumit Bedi, VP-Marketing IndiaMART shares 7 social media marketing tips that helped the brand break through the clutter.

It should not be surprising since 40% of the 200 minutes that an average Indian user spends online goes to social media. This increased time spent on social networks has resulted in many opportunities and a few challenges as well for marketers looking to engage with their target audience. Many brands have used it to build awareness and reach while a few have succeeded in building brand loyalty through such platforms.

It has also become a great enabler for modern customers to voice their concerns, opinions, dissatisfaction and liking for the brands that are part of their lives. Here are some of the key lessons that my team and I have realized over that last couple of years while building our social media strategy:

  1. Video reigns over the digital world: According to Cisco, 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020. And the way we are consuming video content these days, we might get there sooner!

If we look at the China market right now, out of the top 15 media apps that have over 50 Mn DAUs, 7 are Video based.

Video has always been the most versatile marketing medium of them all and with such volumes, as marketers we must keep videos in the center of our social media strategy.

With more than 241 Mn users in India alone, Facebook has become a predominant medium of video consumption for different segments of audiences.  Similarly, viewership on YouTube is growing every year.1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube every single month.Younger audiences are watching YouTube as a replacement for television entertainment; others are searching for how-to videos. On Facebook, videos appear in user’s news feed and have better chances to go viral. Brands need to ensure their content caters to both the platforms. E.g.- Facebook is where we launch all our brand campaigns for instant reach while for our self-help videos YouTube playlists are the best option as it grows over a period of time.

  1. Create content that reflects your brand’s personality: As marketers, sometimes a creative idea takes over the brand’s personality. But as a brand we should always stand for a few things that describe the organisation’s personality. For instance, we recently created a video campaign, #DreamOn on the lives of 4 women entrepreneurs on the occasion of Women’s Day featuring their struggles and growth stories. The video reached 5Million people at a comparatively lower cost because our audience could connect with the subject and put us in the right brand space. While social media pages like Facebook or Twitter are casual spaces for marketing a brand through memes or videos, it still requires careful attention to be paid in terms of the brand’s personality and finding a way to evoke the right emotions through visuals.
  2. Tell stories that connect with the audience – A brand should not just focus on emphasizing or promoting itself through a ‘Me-first’ attitude. On Social Media, it is important to create content that connects with your audience and at the same time puts your brand in the right space. IndiaMART is a young at heart brand that comes with a legacy and wisdom. So, as a brand we maintain a tonality which connects with the youth but also maintains the essence of the topic or the theme. For instance, our #HatsOffLadiescampaign went viral because people could very well connect with it. The video received more than 3.7Mn views and reached around 9.5Mn people 80% of whom were organic.
  3. Ride the topical wave but don’t forget your brand’s positioning – Women’s day, Father’s day, Mother’s day, Teacher’s day, New year’s, Diwali and Holi – today, every brand is trying to leverage these occasions for their brand. The key here is to keep the brand’s personality and tonality in mind, understand the audience and their preferences and then create a campaign. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the clutter. For our brand, Father’s Day is not about fathers but the fathers who run small businesses.The trick is to create content that is relatable and sounds logical when one associates it with the brand.
  4. Keep experimenting: There is no guarantee of a successful campaign every time it kicks off but that should not stop companies from ideating and executing one. For instance, we recently created and posted some memes on our Facebook page which were around the life of a businessman during the last days of a Financial Year end. The memes were topical as well as highly engaging and worked well for us. So, while some of the campaigns might click with the viewers and some won’t, brands or companies must not stop creating them as they can be produced at a very low cost. Moreover, their life on social media is also short, which leaves more opportunities for experimentation.
  5. Employees as brand ambassadors: We constantly focus on building trust in our employees and consider them as a very vital part of our content strategy. The lesson that needs to be learned here is that by featuring one’s employees on Social Media, they not only feel motivated but also become a part of the story, resulting in greater engagement. For example, in many of our social media campaigns we have featured our employees only. Whether it is our Women’s Day (3.7 Mn views), Mother’s Day (300K views) or Teacher’s Day (217K views) campaigns, some of our best performing content has been the one that featured our employees.

We have also begun to use Social Media for hiring. So, when we rolled out a hiring campaign for our Sales & Services department on the social media pages, we posted case studies and success stories of our existing employees. Basis these posts, we have received more than 500 applications and great employee engagementat literally no cost.

  1. Create Social Media Advocates: Most brands today have a dedicated team that oversees and handles the complaints made on social media. Now, this is what almost everyone is doing, but if you want to give your users some great experience then you will have to go that extra mile. We believe that the people who take to social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to put in their complaints are the ones who like the product or have used it but are struggling somewhere if the results do not turn up as per their expectations. A case in point – rather than considering these regular customers as detractors, we turned turn them into promoters of the product by implementing some serious complaint supervision. We have also brought down the response time considerably and try to resolve a Social Media issues on priority.

We also ask our existing promoters to rate us on Google or answer some relevant questions about us on Quora, this way we aren’t only interacting with the complainants but are also engaging with the users who have already given us a positive feedback through other mediums and hence eventually turning them into Social Media advocates for our brand.

Thus, the future of social media marketing would be guided by creative content formats and decreasing attention spans. Data driven distribution of native content would drive social media marketing in the next few years.

Happy mcgarrybowen adds IndiaMART to its cart

ET Brand Equity

Happy mcgarrybowen’s specialist B2B arm has bagged the integrated communication mandate for IndiaMART, an online marketplace that assists Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises and individuals to trade with each other at a common, reliable and transparent platform. The agency, from the house of Dentsu Aegis Network, won the account following a multi-agency pitch.

As part of the mandate, Happy mcgarrybowen will fuel the brand’s aggressive growth plans through multi-dimensional communication campaigns across outdoor, digital and social media platforms.

Commenting on the appointment, Sumit Bedi, vice president, marketing, IndiaMART said, “We were looking for a digital-first agency to drive our integrated marketing communication plan. Apart from our SME clients, this year we are also focussing on ‘Brand Solutions’ and our new online payment gateway, ‘Pay with IndiaMART’. Happy mcgarrybowen clearly fits the bill as it understands the digital space very well. We hope that our association with the exciting team at the agency will help us create some highly engaging communication for our target audience.” For the record, while ‘Brand Solutions’ by IndiaMART offers enterprise companies to grow their distribution and sales network via the IndiaMART platform, ‘Pay with IndiaMART’ enables easy low-cost instant payments through IndiaMART.

Praveen Das, MD – Happy mcgarrybowen, added, “For Happy mcgarrybowen’s new arm specialising in B2B, IndiaMART is a typical business that we want to take to the next level using a mix of digital and other communication formats that is calibrated to create a more favourable response. We are very happy to partner with IndiaMART to help accelerate their growth and leapfrog ahead with unconventional ideas using technology.”

Read more at Exchange4Media | Afaqs | Adage India | Indian Television

How E-commerce is Helping Local Manufacturers Accelerate Growth


Today, for many manufacturers finding the right sales channels is a problem. While their expertise lay in production, their access to consumers was through a layered and often opaque distribution channel. In the physical world, the manufacturers had to run from pillar to post to convince retailers to sell in their store.

Of late, many manufacturers are able to launch and build their own brands and boost their sales from online orders. Not just an additional sales channel, but online is the only channel for many manufacturers who want to build their own brand and not sell through other retail stores.

In fact, when tapping online channels, they often used intermediaries as well, since many parts of the ecommerce were not well-understood. However, as online channels have made the use of their platform easier, many manufacturers have dispensed with intermediaries for online sale and now sell directly on ecommerce platforms. The result – manufacturers sell faster/have greater margins and a better understanding of consumer needs which helps them get direct feedback/ability to respond much faster.

The upside is also that online channels take care of most support functions for manufacturers, who decide to sell online. These include marketing, customer support, logistics and packaging. Lastly, ecommerce players have been able to provide access to larger markets way beyond erstwhile geographical limitations.

Getting Feedback and keeping Track Of Sales

Mammon, Delhi-based handbag seller, with turnover 5.4 Crore, clocked mostly after and and a half year of online business, is a joint partnership between Manish Kumarand Lalan Ram.

The duo feels that online orders provided an easy to handle method for the sale and since they started selling through e-commerce they hardly faced any difficulty,” shared Kumar.

Initially, it took a little time to understand the process but gradually it became quite convenient for Kumar and Ram to run the business online, as products get online in no time and is easy to track the record of sales.

“Unlike offline channels, we are having direct hold on sales. There is no mediator which in turn helps us sale more efficiently and at reasonable price,” informed Ram

The best part of selling online, maintained the duo, is that one gets feedback from customers. “It helps a lot to understand the need of the consumer and also it helps to keep track of the performance of the product in the market. We kept improving according to the consumers need, removing least selling products and improving on other products as per customer’s feedback,” divulged the duo.

Insights about Updating Inventory

Dinesh Khatri, founder, Royal SON, a sunglass manufacturer, with turnover 4 Crore after five year of online business, realised that setting an offline store is a huge challenge especially in metro cities where real estate costs are too high. In order to give a great customer experience and provide a large variety of selection, he opted to sell through online marketplaces.

According to Khatir online channels not just provide a wider market but also help in understanding the products that sell well. “These patterns also help us with insights when we update our inventory,” he shared.

Online is the only channel for Khatri, and he doesn’t plan to sell offline in the immediate future as online sale has helped his brand sell nationally without having huge overheads. “It’s better to sell online because we simply need to update the inventory, manage the order process, and ship products on time. It gives us the opportunity to focus on the core – manufacturing right products,” explained the Jaipur based manufacturer.

Adding Impetus in Sales

“A lot of brands, though well-known in their particular region, may not be that popular beyond their cities. This is where reputed e-commerce brands come in. So whether these sellers are forging their own e-identity or showcasing their products on an online platform, they are gathering a whole new customer base with little to no efforts or expenses to speak of. In addition to business from retail and distributorship, they are now adding to their overall sales on a rapidly expanding platform as well,” added Singh.

Initiating New Online Business and Enabling Growth

According to the spokesperson from Snapdeal, Entrepreneur India got in touch with, as an e-commerce platform, they strive to connect high-quality sellers with buyers looking to discover and consume products.

“In terms of network effect, good sellers attract genuine, willing buyers, who in turn lead to more sellers wanting to list on such marketplaces. The presence of active buyers and sellers adds depth and span leading to more transactions, satisfied users and higher revenue for the platforms from repeat use and higher traffic,” he shared.

Snapdeal will continue to provide easy access to small enterprises to sell across the country and help them grow by discovering new markets and products. “Our goal is to help millions take their first step in starting their online business and enable the smaller ones to grow bigger. We will continue to expand the market by connecting more buyers, increase efficiencies, which benefit all stakeholders and provide analytics, which help sellers make better production / pricing decisions,” he concluded.

Accessing Global Market

Sumit Bedi, VP, Marketing,, maintained that Indian manufacturers are using e-commerce as a tool to promote themselves in the global market.

“Until a few years back, these manufacturers were competing only at a local level in a largely traditional setup. With e-commerce, the opportunities have got democratized and every business, irrespective of its scale and size, can now operate on a level playing field. For instance, the manufacturers listed on IndiaMART can now directly access the global market. They use the analytics offered by the platform to create new market, manage buyers’ requirements better and use state of the art business tools like a payment gateway or a lead management system. E-commerce is changing the way business is being done,” he emphasized.