IndiaMART

IndiaMart: This B2B platform is likely to gain in the long term | MoneyControl

MoneyControl

In this edition of Ideas For Profit, Moneycontrol’s Sakshi Batra discusses if the ongoing weakness is an ideal opportunity to gradually build-up position for the long run.

IndiaMart had a stellar debut on the bourses in 2019. The shares got listed at Rs 1180, a 21 percent premium to the issue price. The stock had a strong rally since then only to correct along with the broader markets owing to COVID-19.  The stock is down 20 percent from its 52-week high and we feel the ongoing weakness is an ideal opportunity to gradually build a position for the long run.

IndiaMart (CMP: Rs. 2271, Market capitalization: Rs. 6567crore) offers a B2B (business to business) platform. It was incorporated in 1999 and promoters currently own 52.34 percent. IndiaMart has  6 million supplier storefronts, 102 million registered buyers and 67 million product listings with more than 1 lakh product categories.

IndiaMart offers three tiers of subscriptions to suppliers:
1) Mini dynamic catalog or Silver: package includes a supplier storefront and 7 RFQ (request for quotation) credits each week.
2) Gold –Gold based subscribers are provided with 14-21 RFQ per week and their average annual price range is between Rs25,000 and Rs50,000; and
3)Platinum: Platinum based subscribers get the highest priority in search results as well higher RFQ per week. India Mart offer multi-tiered variations of their Platinum package, which is their top subscription package.

All the subscriptions are offered with monthly, annual and multi-year payment options.

Investment rationale 

Higher market share to drive growth: IndiaMart has over 60 percent market share (source: KPMG report and RHP) in online B2B marketplaces that helps potential buyers of various products and services connect with suppliers through supplier-specific webs storefronts and telephonic/online enquiries. Its monetization is through a “freemium” model where buyer listings are free but suppliers pay with subscriptions. By paying the subscription, suppliers are given priority in the search results and RFQ credits while buyers are not charged. Currently, India Mart has 1.47 lakhs (as against total registered suppliers of 6 million) paying subscription suppliers growing at a CAGR of 19 percent between FY16-20. This leaves lot of room for conversion from free suppliers to paid subscribers.

The top 10 percent of customers contribute to 40 percent of revenues and subscription revenues contributes nearly 95 percent of income for IndiaMart.Shift from offline-based service to online based offerings: As per IndiaMart, there are more than 63 million MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in India, of which only 17 percent use the internet. Only 5.7 million of these MSMEs are registered with IndiaMart. Out of the registered customers, only 1.5 lakhs are paying subscribers. Both buyers and sellers want to expand their reach and the internet is providing that medium. Hence there is a steady shift from offline based to online based services. With higher usage of internet and greater adaptability amongst MSMEs, we expect higher numbers of paying subscribers in the years to come.

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Visibility in revenues, cash flows and profits: IndiaMart collect advance subscription from its subscribers which gives it good revenue visibility. Deferred revenues (advance subscription received from subscribers) has grown at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from FY16 to FY20. With higher cash collection from subscribers, IndiaMart has a negative working capital cycle.

Chart

Improvement in margin once operating leverage kicks in: IndiaMart has already seen an improvement in operating margins. EBIDTA margin has improved from -23 percent in FY16 to 28 percent in FY20. The company has started employing low cost outsourced sales representatives in its sales team thereby lowering employee cost as percentage to revenues. (41 percent of revenues of FY20 as compared to 65 percent in FY16). We expect further improvement in operating margin with higher revenue growth and greater operating leverage.

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IndiaMart’s Q4FY20 earnings was above Street expectations despite the economic slowdown. However, the COVID-19 lockdown has hurt the bulk of its subscribers. Traffic on its website and app has dropped 50 percent and quite a few of its paying subscribers have not renewed subscriptions.

Currently IndiaMart plans to focus on retaining its paying subscriber base via discounts and relaxed payment terms. The management has cut salaries and discretionary expenses to maintain its margin due to a decline in paying subscribers. We expect FY21 to be a weak year for revenues and profits. We would again like to revisit FY21 numbers once we see the full impact in Q1FY21. In FY22, we expect the longer growth trend to be visible once normalcy returns. IndiaMart is currently trading at 33x FY22E. We recommend investors to buy IndiaMart on dips in a staggered manner as the near-term earnings outlook is extremely weak.

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We like IndiaMart because of long-term accelerated adoption of internet by MSMEs, dominant market share in B2B online space, debt-free balance sheet and upfront collection of revenues from subscribers.

Risks: An extended economic slowdown can hurt revenues and profitability. Competition from other online players also  significantly hurt IndiaMart’s profitability with subscribers shifting to other sites or apps.

Buy Indiamart, target price Rs 2,535: Edelweiss | Economic Times

Economic Times

The brokerage is building in a 13 per cent fall in revenue run-rate over the next two quarters and a slow recovery thereafter. But it also anticipates a stronger recovery should the government package suitably address MSME challenges.

EdelweissNSE 4.93 % has given a buy rating to Indiamart with a target price of Rs 2,535, based on 33 times Q1FY22, rolling over the valuation to Q4FY22.

IndiaMART InterMESH’s (IndiaMART) fourth quarter results were significantly ahead of expectations despite the lockdown impact. That said, the management painted a gloomy outlook for MSMEs, which would translate to 10–20 per cent business mortality of its paying customers.

The company’s focus is now on customer retention via discounts and relaxed payment terms. It has undertaken cost-cutting measures such as salary rationalisation, cutbacks in discretionary spends, etc to absorb the impact on profit.

All in all, the brokerage is slashing revenue/PAT by 22 per cent/22 per cent for FY21E and 36 per cent/29 per cent for FY22E. It is building in a 13 per cent fall in revenue run-rate over the next two quarters and a slow recovery thereafter. But it also anticipates a stronger recovery should the government package suitably address MSME challenges. Besides, the lockdown would accelerate digital adoption, implying higher growth potential over the medium-to-long term.

The share price moved down by -0.88 per cent from its previous close of Rs 2297.35. The last traded stock price is Rs 2277.10. Incorporated in 1999, the company has a market cap of Rs 6643.89 crore.

Investment Rationale

The company management highlighted that the lockdown has hurt business activity, almost halving its traffic. Paying customers are requesting a pause in their subscription packages and/or validity extension. In order to minimise churn, IndiaMART is offering discounts and relaxed payment terms. The brokerage has built in a drop of 15,000 paying customers for Q1FY20 and a gradual addition after that.

The brokerage is cognisant of the weakness at hand, but remains optimistic for the long run as the lockdown would accelerate online shift. The stock is trading at 27.5 times FY22E EPS.

Financials

For the quarter ended March 31, 2020, the company reported consolidated sales of Rs 170.10 crore, up 3.15 per cent from last quarter sales of Rs 164.90 crore and up 23.26 per cent from last year’s same quarter sales of Rs 138.00 crore. The company reported net profit after tax of Rs 45.00 crore in the latest quarter.

Promoter/FII Holdings

Promoters held 52.34 per cent stake in the company as of March 31, 2020, while FIIs held 12.24 per cent, DIIs 3.08 per cent and public and others 32.34 per cent.

Indiamart Intermesh, Tata Consumer added to MSCI India index; Tata Power drops | IIFL

IIFL

The following are changes in constituents for the MSCI India Domestic Index, which will take place as of the close of May 29, 2020.

According to the MSCI India Domestic Index on Tuesday has announced the changes for India-focused overseas funds. The following are changes in constituents for the MSCI India Domestic Index, which will take place as of the close of May 29, 2020.

Effective June 1, MSCI has added six stocks and deleted five from its Global Standard Index.

Stocks such as Biocon, Indraprastha Gas, Jubilant Foodworks, Tata Consumer, and Torrent Pharma have been included, while the deletions from their global index include Ashok Leyland, M&M Financial Services, Shriram Transport, and Tata Power.

Meanwhile, MSCI India Domestic Small Cap Index has added 13 and deleted 52 stocks from the MSCI Global Small Cap Index.

MSCI India Domestic Small Cap Index has seen 52 deletions which include Abbott India, Adani Green, Allcargo, Ashoka Buildcon, BSE, Venky’s India, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Power Finance Corporation and Dish TV India.

IndiaMart Intermesh, Mishra Dhatu Nigam, Nippon Life India, Future Retail, Ashok Leyland, Emami, M&M Financial and Relaxo Footwears are among the 13 added to this index.

The stock which has been added will see more buying activity from the foreign investors, and the stocks will have positive sentiment going forward.

Indiamart Q4, FY’20 net profit rises 57% to Rs 44 cr | Business Standard

Business Standard

B2B e-commerce company IndiaMART on Tuesday posted a 57 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 44 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 28.2 crore in the corresponding period a year.

Its consolidated revenue of IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd increased by about 22 per cent to Rs 187.3 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 152.8 crore a year ago.

For the financial year 2019-20, IndiaMART posted over seven-fold jump in its net profit to Rs 147.4 crore as compared with Rs 20 crore in 2018-19.

The firm’s annual revenue in 2019-20 increased 29 per cent to Rs 707 crore, from Rs 548 crore in the previous financial year.

“Our growth in cash flow from operations and deferred revenues remained subdued as the economy continued to face strong headwinds,” Indiamart chief executive officer Dinesh Agarwal said in a statement.

He added that while “we expect a decline in demand and business activity in the short term due to the ongoing crisis, we believe our value proposition will only become stronger as more and more businesses look for transforming themselves and adapt to online,” Indiamart chief executive officer Dinesh Agarwal said in a statement.

Shares of IndiaMART closed at Rs 2,192.25 apiece on the BSE, down by 2.6 per cent as compared with the previous close.

AIN News | Devdiscourse | Business World | Outlook India | MoneyControl

Full Year and Fourth Quarter ending March 31, 2020

Noida, India,May12, 2020:IndiaMART InterMESH Limited (referred to as “IndiaMART” or the “Company”), today announced its financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ending March 31, 2020.

Financial Highlights (Q4 FY2020):

IndiaMART reportedconsolidated Total Revenue from Operations of Rs. 170Crore, 23% growth YoYdriven by anincrease in the number of payingsubscribersas well as higher realization from existing customers.Consolidated Deferred Revenue grew by 17% from Rs. 586Crore in Q4FY19 to Rs. 685Crore in Q4FY20 Crore leading to much better visibility for future revenues.

Consolidated EBITDA was Rs. 52Crore representing a margin expansion from 15% in Q4FY19 to 31% in Q4FY20 partly due to increase in revenues and adoption of IndAS 116. Consolidated EBIT for Q4 FY20 was Rs. 46 Crore representing a margin expansion from 14% in Q4 FY19 to 27% in Q4 FY20.

Profit before Tax was at Rs.61Crore representing a Profit before Tax margin of 33%. Net Profit was at Rs 44 Crore.

The Company generatedconsolidated Cash Flow from Operations of Rs. 94Crore leading toCash and Investments of Rs. 931Crore as on March31, 2020 as compared to 685Crore on March 31, 2019, an increase of 36% YoY.

Operational Highlights (Q4 FY2020):

Traffic grew to 180 million in Q4 FY20 from 171 million in Q4 FY19, an increase of 5% YoY and total business enquiries deliveredincreased to 116million from 112million, a growth of 3%.Supplier Storefronts grew to 6million in Q4FY20 an increase of 8% YoY and paying subscription suppliers grew to 147thousand, a growth of 14%.

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

“I am happy to report closure of the financial year with a modest growth in revenues in these turbulent times.  Our growth in cash flow from operations and deferred revenues remained subdued as the economy continued to face strong headwinds.  While we expect short term decline in demand and business activity due to the ongoing turbulence, we believe our value proposition will only become stronger as more and more businesses look for transforming themselves and adapt to online.  Our strong balance sheet and a resilient business model will help us to navigate through these tough times and emerge stronger and better.”

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.

IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.
CIN :L74899DL1999PLC101534
Corporate Office
Tower 2, Assotech Business Cresterra,
Floor No.6, Plot No.22, Sec 135,
Noida-201305, U.P. Registered Office
1st Floor, 29-Daryaganj, Netaji Subash Marg, Delhi – 110002.
For any queries, please contact: investors@indiamart.com

Leader’s Talk: Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd. | Times Jobs

Times Jobs

Dinesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com, India’s largest online B2B marketplace for small and medium enterprises. Dinesh founded the company in 1996 and since then has steered it to become world’s second largest B2B marketplace today.

Prior to taking a plunge into entrepreneurship, this Computer Engineer from HBTI, Kanpur worked with industry leaders such as HCL Technologies (America), Center for Development of Telematics (C-Dot) and CMC Limited before returning to India. His rich experience spans over 20 years in the field of Internet, Networking & Systems Development and Consulting.

Here we have an account from Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd.


With which job role/ position did you start your career?
My first job was at CMC limited.

When did you join your present organisation?
In the 27 years of my career, I have held many roles but my favourite has always been my role at IndiaMART. IndiaMART was launched in 1999 and as the founder of India’s largest online marketplace, I got this opportunity to empower and enable businesses in the country and to make doing business easy for them.

What kind of leadership style do you follow in your organisation?
I would want to call myself a leader by example, and someone who believes in participative leadership.

How are you contributing to the growth of your employees/team?
One thing I have learned from Nachiket Mor is never to wait for the right time or opportunity but to create one because you will never have a perfect time with all the resources. He taught me to convert average into the best and have a crystal-clear thought process and foresightedness, qualities every leader must-have.

Name one person who had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
Nachiket Mor

Share that one critical decision that you made as the leader of your organisation?
In the early 2000s China began to dominate the international trade which directly impacted the Indian exports and Indian domestic consumption started to grow, I decided to pivot our focus from international business to domestic markets. With $10 million in funding from Intel capital, I re-launched IndiaMART as a domestic B2B marketplace in 2008, keeping its mission intact to “make doing business easy”.

When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?
There are several things that I look for in candidates before I get them on board. One basic prerequisite is stability. Stability tells a lot about a person while ensuring that the candidate has experienced the ups and downs in the organisation throughout his stay there from which the person has garnered a lot of experience which will be useful at IndiaMART. Besides stability, the capability to perform a variety of tasks is something that I look for in a candidate.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Leaders should always be farsighted and should think about the community at large. I believe that everyone comes in with their unique perspective in doing something, and we should always look for fresh concepts and newer ways of doing things. If this uniqueness is not accentuated, mapped and celebrated well, then it will go in waste. Everyone should know their strengths and build on it further to become an expert in their domain.

What is one lasting impact that you hope to leave on your present company?
I started with a seed capital of Rs.40.000 more than 20 years back with the hope of unveiling the power of the internet and in using it to make doing business easy. In the due course, IndiaMART has witnessed several ups and downs, but we were able to survive it all because of the strong team that we had. We understood that a strong team is the real strength that helps you succeed.

What are you doing to grow and develop as a leader continuously?
A very important lesson that he had given me was to ‘first do it yourself’, and I try to follow this in every step of my life, this helps me grow as an individual and as a leader. If there is something that I can’t do, then I should not expect my team to do it or to know it.

What advice would you give to the new-age leaders?
I strongly believe that “Everyone is born with at least 20% of luck. So if you try only once, the chance of success is minimal. But if you try it five times, your chance of succeeding becomes 100%.” My failures have never stopped me from trying and experimenting further, and this is exactly how IndiaMART today stands as the largest online B2B marketplace in India.

How AI is helping IndiaMart fulfill its vision of buyer-supplier matchmaking | Forbes India

Forbes India

IndiaMART is a remarkable story in Indian ecommerce. The company clocked Rs 533 crore in profitable revenue in fiscal year 2019—and listed publicly on the stock-markets in June 2019. This is rare for internet companies in India. Throughout the IndiaMART journey, CEO and managing director Dinesh Agarwal has ensured the focus remains on B2B ecommerce. He wanted to make the internet simple for the growing community of MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises). Today, more than 5.5 million MSMEs are registered on the IndiaMART platform, which lists 63 million products. To find out how it innovates for the B2B economy, Forbes India met Dinesh Agarwal. Edited excerpts:

As an internet platform, who does IndiaMart serve? Can you tell me about your user base?

We serve all kinds of businesses—small, medium or large businesses; Indian as well as international businesses. Today we have about 5.7 million suppliers and about 93 million buyers registered on IndiaMart. We do more than 40 million business matchmakings every month.

Can you explain the concept of matchmaking on IndiaMart?

It is where a buyer discovers a supplier, and a supplier discovers a buyer for a particular product or a service.

You started out in 1995, tell me about the different technology eras that IndiaMart has been part of.

We started in 1996—it was the early days when there were hardly any computers or internet in India. However, I had come from the US where both were already popular. Understanding that exports were very important for the Indian economy, we realised that there for a price opacity and limited information about Indian products for the American importer. We started with that opportunity. Back then, we got online enquiries from the US and every night, we printed them, faxed them overnight and then sent them by post the next day. This went on for five years.

The internet really only took off when the dot com boom happened in 1999-2000. The focus shifted to computers, e-mail, content-building, more suppliers, and more exporters online. From 2001-2006, that was the second era.

Around 2007-08, Indian exports had started to flatten out. The mobile feature phone became very popular. We had to completely reinvent ourselves from being a computer- and email-based platform to more of a voice-based and SMS-based platform.

Finally, the smartphone regime has now transformed the Internet in a very different way. In 2010, we also thought for the first time that we want to completely pivot from an export-oriented business to a domestic B2B business. That is when, I think, we started growing at a very rapid base—from $10 million revenue business, we are now a $80-$90 million revenue business. Today, there is a greater focus on technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

You have always been an advocate for simplifying the internet experience. How and why is this important for the B2B marketplace?

Not only B2B marketplace. It is important for any consumer website service or business website service. You deploy technology for the users to use, not for the users to see the technology. So when you use IndiaMart, you would simply search for something and you will find it. There are many important things going on behind the scenes—the kind of data collection we have done, the behavioural affinity that we have found, the kind of keyword matchmaking, locational affinity, and computational power that goes behind that are very different.

You can search IndiaMart in nine different Indian languages. It converts into English on the backend, takes a voice input—all that has to be seamless for the user. While we are a technology company, users should see us as a functional company—not a technology company. My mantra is—let the user get his job done without being exposed to the jargons of technology or the technology hurdles.

At the backend, what is the complexity that is taking shape for IndiaMart?

There are about 400 people working in the product and technology teams. We have multiple set of databases spread across India, US, Europe and Singapore. Every product and service—all 63 million of them—can be translated into different languages. Those are the kinds of technologies we use. There are APIs (application programming interface) that help us do this.

Our earlier brand promise that “IndiaMart pe kaam, yahin banta hain”, and the one now, “IndiaMart pe kaam bada aasaan hain,” we continue to focus on how to make product-matchmaking easier for businesses. Our overall mission or vision is to make it easy for doing business in India.

But IndiaMart has consciously stayed out of logistics and delivery. What have the challenges been because of that?

We have been mostly a platform—a technology platform or a media-cum-technology platform. We provide you with content, matchmaking, prices and specification. We are across 100,000-plus categories in India. So from steel to truck, iron ore to steel components, everything you see comes under our hood. It is almost impossible for us to add value in logistics across categories. The B2B sector’s orders require a lot of customisation. It’s not about picking up an item from the shelf and delivering it home. So we decided it is best delivery and its terms and conditions are left to the buyer and supplier.

Has the order size on IndiaMart gone up, or has it optimised over the last few years, considering the scale that has come onto the platform?

Order sizes vary. As I said, we have 100,000-plus categories. Order sizes vary across categories. On one side, we could have a simple a button, which with an order size of 1,000 could be worth Rs 1,000. On the other hand, we could have an Earth-moving equipment, with the order size of one, but worth Rs 50 lakh or Rs 5 crore. So it is very, very varied. Over time, I have seen more adoption happening both on the lowest and highest order-size items.

With 20 years of data on the IndiaMart platform, how are you able to harness external changes like AI and machine learning?

Earlier, we used data by way of traditional algorithmic matchmaking. But in the past couple of years, we find there are many use-cases for us to utilise machine learning and deploy artificial intelligence.

I’ll give you some examples. IndiaMart is a curated database of good businesses. A lot of tele-marketers use that to spam or sell their service. How to identify which call is spam, a sales call, or a genuine call? Earlier, listening to calls was almost impossible. Now there is a complete voice-to-text algorithm behind that, which automatically searches the patterns and identifies whether it is spam or not.

Similarly, there are suppliers like furniture-suppliers who say, “I can do all kinds of furniture–chair, sofa, table, and so on”. However, we know by his activity on the platform, he deals mostly in sofa-sets and dining tables. On his website, a hundred products are listed, but technology helps us discern which two products are his bread and butter. And on what products the supplier is more likely to convert, based on the market behaviour. If we use machine learning to gauge each supplier—their locational behaviour, price behaviour, quantity behaviour—we are able to do effective matchmaking on the buyer side.

We are a marketplace where a lot of people try and sell anything and everything. This could include banned substances. There could be banned items, which are not allowed in the marketplace. How do we check every product that goes through when even humans can’t identify them effectively? Every day, we upload 25,000 new product images on the platform. It is only AI and ML, which can sort them out—that a particular image is not right for the platform.

And how are you harnessing large shifts like video, playing out in India?

We have tried to harness video multiple times. In 2010-11, we used to hire special videographers to go to the suppliers’ office and shoot videos. It never took off. But in the last three years, especially after the Reliance Jio data revolution, videos have become quite a popular thing.

What has happened is, today we clock about 65 million visits every month, which is a lot of people coming from rural and remote parts of India. Around 33% of our traffic is from tier-three and –four cities, smaller tehsils, and villages of India. They prefer to watch videos in their language rather than in English or Hindi. In the past year, we have probably added more than 2 lakh videos—product videos and category videos that helps us. And in each of our categories, suppliers who were providing product photos and prices have started providing product videos. Each of those categories is becoming a destination in themselves.

Meet New Entrants | Business Standard

Business Standard

Some of the new entrants in the BS1000 club are bucking the trend in more ways than one. In addition to robust results in a lacklustre environment, many are also investing in growth.

The people leading these companies are laying the road for future gains through both greenfield investments and acquisitions. Among them is Sanjay Sethi, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Chalet Hotels. After a stint outside the company, he re-joined the firm in early 2018 with the intent of taking it public. The idea was to fuel growth, reduce debt at the time and also create a currency which could be used for mergers and acquisitions.

Chalet, a group company of K Raheja Corp, successfully listed in February 2019. The company runs seven hotels in partnership with global brands such as Marriott, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and Novotel. The 2,500-room hotel chain is on an expansion path. “Greenfield is the largest growth play for us. We’ve got three hotels under development totalling up to about 650-odd rooms under construction,” Sethi said.

The company also has a few non-hotel assets, such as retail and commercial spaces in its portfolio, which are co-located with the hotel assets and complement the hotel assets. “We’ve got a couple of office towers and retail products in the portfolio, and there are two more office towers under development,” he said.

Dinesh Chandra Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO IndiaMART InterMESHDinesh Chandra Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO IndiaMART InterMESH

In February 2020, Chalet took the inorganic route to buy Novotel, Pune, which Sethi says is a departure for the company, adding, “While organic growth has been the mainstay, all options for growth will be examined.”

Another new entrant, diagnostics chain Metropolis Healthcare, has depended on local partnerships to fund growth, both before and after it went public in the first half of 2019. Its initial public offer was shortly after financial markets had been in turmoil because of debt issues at lending major Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). Investor sentiment was weak during the book-building process, recalled Ameera Shah, promoter and managing director of Metropolis. Everybody seemed to be in wait-and-watch mode, and there were calls to defer the issue by a year. The company decided to go ahead anyway.

“We, of course, decided to price the IPO at a discount to the price we would have got normally in a good market. But we thought that let’s leave money on the table for investors. It was a good decision that we made at the time, because investors very quickly were able to pocket good profits and that gave them more confidence to stay for the future,” said Shah.

From Sanjay Sethi to Ameera Shah, meet new entrants in BS1000 club

A key part of the growth has been through partnering with local laboratories. The idea, according to Shah, has been to seek synergies where the local partner can benefit from the company’s experience and the company can also learn from them in a way that ensures growth. One such partner was Desai Labs in Surat, with which it began an association 10 years ago, and acquired in 2007. It’s grown from a single lab, to having a significant presence with 16 per cent market share in the city, with revenue growing 10-15 times.

The focus on growth continues, though Shah admits that the macroeconomic situation has been challenging of late. She believes, however, that gains can continue. “We are in full investment mode. We continue to invest in new labs, new centres, and acquisitions,” she said.

Acquisitions found mention in the December 2019 results too, with the company announcing that it acquired four labs in the quarter, and was in the process of acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Shraddha Diagnostic Centre in Ahmedabad.

For Dinesh Chandra Agarwal, MD and CEO of IndiaMART InterMESH, partnering with and helping smaller businesses aided the company to grow and get listed. He recalled in his maiden annual report after going public that the company started with Rs 40,000 in seed capital. This has since grown to a company that has more than Rs 500 crore in annual revenues.

IndiaMART calls itself India’s largest online marketplace, where businesses can buy and sell products and services from each other. This online business-to-business (or ‘B2B’) marketplace has helped people like Faruck Mansuri, a small businessman in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, buy a cutting machine, a weighing machine and a feather cleaning machine to help in his meat business. Piyush Jain, who inherited a swimming pool business, now offers 450 customisable products. His turnover has grown 10-fold and his geographic reach has extended beyond Delhi, to a network with more than 500 dealers and distributors.

Ameera Shah, Managing Director Metropolis HealthcareAmeera Shah, Managing Director Metropolis Healthcare

IndiaMART has a large base of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and claims 5.5 million MSMEs listed on its platform, though it has lately also attracted large brands to its platform.

“We earn revenue primarily through the sale of subscription packages (available on a monthly, annual and multi-year basis) to suppliers, which offer a range of benefits, including the listing of their supplier storefronts on a priority basis, access to a lead management system, integrated access to third-party online payment gateways and access to request for quotes,” it said.

The route has worked well, as its revenues and profits have grown. It is also betting on innovation to reach out better to customers. Agarwal gives the example of how search is now possible in nine different Indian languages through voice commands on the platform. There have been other moves too, to attract its target customers. This includes investing in video and algorithmic matchmaking initiatives.

“Internet penetration among India’s MSMEs remains low, with 17 per cent of MSMEs using the internet for business purposes in 2017,” he said of the potential for growth, going ahead.

The company is making other investments too, to leverage the potential of smaller companies that are going digital.

IndiaMART InterMESH bought a 26 per cent stake in a mobile accounting software application in the first week of September. “We will continue to look for possible opportunities where we can make investments,” Agarwal said.

Another company which has been on a steady investment spree is Polycab India, which makes cables, wires, fans, lighting and other electrical equipment, and will invest Rs 300 crore of capex this year. The company has said that it has been investing a similar amount over the last five or six years. The company’s business has grown since then. So, relative to its business, the company has scaled back on expansion. However, it is in contrast to the rest of the private sector.

“A sharp decline in real fixed investment induced by a sluggish growth of real consumption has weighed down GDP (gross domestic product) growth,” noted the latest Economic Survey. It said that the contribution of industrial activities to the economy has fallen during 2009-14 and also during 2014-19. Manufacturing and construction segments have contributed to the slowdown.

Inder T Jaisinghani, Chairman and MD, Polycab IndiaInder T Jaisinghani, Chairman and MD, Polycab India

Polycab too has grown well in recent times, navigating the slowdown through reliance on markets outside India, too.

More growth lies ahead, believes Inder T Jaisinghani, chairman and managing director at Polycab India. “The increase in consumer spending, infrastructure growth, industrial investments, and the inevitable rise in nuclear, more affluent families will drive demand for innovative and premium products of the kind manufactured and sold by Polycab,” he said.

However, not all new entrants in the BS1000 have fared equally well. Some, like Sterling and Wilson Solar, had difficulty meeting debt obligations and their stock has been under pressure.

On the other hand, there is a big outlier — Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) — which has gone up six-fold in value since September 2019 from its IPO price, as investors have lapped up its shares.

Fresh blooms from the garden diaries of Sandeep Rohilla

A gardening enthusiast, environmentalist, or a caring father, on our quest to unveil Product Manager – Sandeep Rohilla’s passion for gardening, we discovered the various facets cushioned softly behind Sandeep’s tranquil personality.

A Pastime turned into Passion

Three years back, Sandeep began gardening by planting herbs and small plants in pots on his rooftop. Little did he know that along with the plants, his passion for gardening also grew with each passing day. Sandeep gives the credit for his love for gardening to his wife. He shares that she motivated him to start planting medicinal plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, etc. at home to naturally purify the air and create a healthy environment for their son – Mahir

Initial Phase of Mahir Garden

Today Sandeep maintains over a thousand planters and spends his morning hours basking in the glory of his little creation, irrespective of hot or cold weather. Every morning from 5 am to 7 am, Sandeep upkeeps his garden and meditates there to self-heal.

His wife also supports him in the daily gardening tasks like watering the plants and safeguarding them from monkeys. That brings us to an excellent tip from Sandeep; he grows a lot of cactus plants to restrict monkeys from destroying the terrace garden. Sandeep is an ardent fan of cactus and succulents as they do not require regular watering and belong to the sustainable future of gardening in metropolitans like the Delhi NCR, which are already marred by the water crisis.

He also loves growing roses of different varieties, besides seasonal flowering plants that infuse vibrant colors with each changing season. Sandeep also believes in organic farming and grows vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and a variety of herbs to reap fresh and organic produce.

Facing Challenges, Learning, & Winning Competitions

As an amateur gardener, Sandeep had his share of challenges. He shares that due to lack of professional know-how, he would grow summer plants in winters, and vice-versa. He gained knowledge about plants, plant care, and nutrition via YouTube videos, books, blogs, and a thriving community of fellow gardening enthusiasts.

Sandeep launched his blog in 2019 and named it after his son. He shares his gardening exploits on Facebook, from where he got the attention of the Floriculture Society of Ghaziabad. He was approached by none other than the society’s president – Mrs. Rama Tyagi to join it and expand the impact he wants to make to the environment. Sandeep has organized, participated, and won several accolades in Flower Shows and competitions in 2019 and 2020.

In the district-level competition, Sandeep won a total of 17 prizes in two different categories, of which 7 were for the First position, another 7 for the second position, and 3 for the Third position for various parameters. He also won the First Prize in the individual gardener category and a 2nd runner up Overall at the District level.

Winning Flower Show 2020

Sandeep actively participates in the Green plantation drives in society parks organized by the municipal corporation of Ghaziabad.

Sandeep aims to reach out to a broader audience and plans to launch his YouTube channel for spreading the knowledge and gardening skills he’s acquired over the past three years. He also wants to hone his gardening skills further to participate in All-India level flowering competitions in the times to come. 

What drives this Gardenist

There are three things that inspire Sandeep to nurture his garden, the first being his love and care for his son. With air pollution breaching safety levels and taking a toll on the health and immunity of children and adults alike, Sandeep feels that we must create a healthy environment around our dwellings, which is in our immediate control. 

He also shares that gardening has helped him cope with stress and depression. Years back, he was suggested by his doctor to take up a hobby, and he inclined towards gardening. Ever since the size of his garden has expanded, and that of his medicine box has only shrunk. He has little to no dependency on his depression-related medicines anymore.

The last thing that drives this avid gardener to follow his gardening routine is his sense of responsibility towards the environment. Sandeep feels that if each citizen starts growing plants, many of the environmental issues can be sorted on their own. However, what disheartens Sandeep is that people fail to realize the power of nature and do not take up simple and sustainable hobbies like gardening.

A message for Budding Nature-enthusiasts

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse,” said Jim Rohn.

Not having a dedicated garden area to start gardening is an excuse that Sandeep will ever buy. He states that there is a wide variety of pots and planters in the market today that can be used for terrace or balcony gardening.

Mahir Garden on Terrace

On the other hand, he states, “one can also adopt a roadside or a corner in a nearby park to contribute to the environment while pursuing gardening as a hobby.” Sandeep’s thoughts remind us of a famous quote by Spencer W. Kimball – “Wherever you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.” 

Sandeep also suggests budding gardening enthusiasts to learn the basics of gardening, understand the lifecycle of seasonal plants, and plant care from self-help and DIY videos on YouTube. “When you understand your plants, the climate they thrive in, the nutrition and sunlight they need, etc.… you save yourself from disappointment,” he states.

“Start with herbs as they are quick to grow and require minimal gardening skills. When you reap your first produce, the feeling is extremely gratifying and motivating. You can grow parsley, rosemary, holy basil, or coriander on your window sill; it will not only beautify the space but also encourage everyone around to take up gardening, even if in a minuscule way,” he adds.

For aspiring gardeners and enthusiasts, the most vital skill that Sandeep wants to teach is patience. “Plants take their own sweet time to grow or bloom. Respect their growth cycle because gardening is all about patience,” he concludes.

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Mask, Gloves: Check; Hazmat: Check. Indians suit up to ward off Covid-19 | Economic Times

Economic Times

New Delhi: Indians are stocking up on hazmat suits in their defence against Covid-19, perhaps taking a cue from supermodel Naomi Campbell who wore one to the airport. The demand for the protective attire has picked up in the last few days as it has for products such as latex gloves.

Nirvana Being, located in the capital’s Khan Market, has sold 300 hazmat suits after having begun stocking them this month. It also sells online. Online marketplace IndiaMart said demand for such suits jumped fivefold in February.

“The increase in demand can be linked to the coronavirus since the platform has witnessed a sudden increase in inquiries of all the medicinal items which were prescribed to safeguard oneself from the virus, be it surgical masks, hand sanitisers etc.,” said IndiaMart CEO Dinesh Agarwal. Items such as tissue paper, kitchen towels and wet wipes are also selling in much bigger numbers, he said.

IndiaMart said demand quadrupled in February from what it was in December for protective overalls or chemical suits and doubled for latex suits.

“This is the first time we are keeping these bodysuits,” said Jai Dhar Gupta, founder of Nirvana Being. It currently has a stock of 1,200 imported hazmat suits sourced from Dupont and 5,000 pairs of latex gloves. One hazmat suit costs Rs 2,000 while a pair of latex gloves costs ₹100. With the rise in Covid-19 cases, Apollo Pharmacy Retail has also been selling more hazmat suits in the last two weeks.

“The demand for these suits has definitely gone up… These are being used especially by the caregivers and hospital staff,” said Jaya Kumar, CEO of Apollo Pharmacy Retail.

Such suits are available on Flipkart as well. The marketplace didn’t respond to queries.

3M recently received a request for safety goggles for the first time in India, demand for which has been negligible so far. “We have manufactured goggles for supply to the government of India (Ministry of Health), per their specific request,” a company spokesperson told ET.