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"We are a Business Partner of SMEs"

In an interaction with SMEntrepreneur, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com, shares his views about how online business directories are helping SMEs expand their business, gain visibility, find customers and generate quality business leads.

Tags: Dinesh Agarwal, IndiaMART.com, business directories , online directories , IndiaMART App, m.indiamart.com

BY Swadha Mishra | January 23, 2014 | COMMENTS ( 0 ) |

Dinesh Agarwal Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com

What services do you offer to SMEs?

Our name has been synonymous with SMEs ever since we came into being, which was almost 18 years ago. Our continuous endeavour has been to introduce services to SMEs that open new avenues for networking, sourcing and help them reach out to markets by transcending geographical boundaries.

 

For this, we offer services such as listing, website creation, TrustSEAL, Buy Leads and online tenders. We also launched the location-based search called "SmartSearch" on our marketplace that has been incorporated on IndiaMART search and directory pages to assist buyers search for potential suppliers within 100 km of their preferred location. It’s a great tool for buyers as they are armed with the power of easily identifying suppliers within a defined area and selecting basis the best price and quality they offer.

 

How do these services benefit SMEs?

Our services provide 360 degree solution to SMEs - be it with respect to saving cost or time or bridging the trust gap between buyers and suppliers. We have helped establish online presence of more than 1.4 million businesses either through website creation or company listing. Our platform also offers access to 6.5 million buyers and to industry specific tenders.

 

Through these services, we have strived to address all kinds of challenges that small businesses  face traditionally or may face once they are online.

 

How your services differentiate you from your competitors?

We have made a conscious effort towards building a buyer’s marketplace after setting up a successful supplier’s marketplace. This has been possible through our pioneering solution called "Buy Leads," which is based on the pay-per-lead model, creating a win-win situation for buyers and suppliers. While suppliers pay for the leads that they can serve, buyers get competitive quotes from genuine and interested suppliers.

 

We have designed this service in such a way that comes at a very low price to the user. We have always focused on bringing affordable and low cost solutions to SMEs and this is a step in the same direction. Buy Leads have brought in 'open tendering' to SMEs - a process that was completely missing for them. Today, buyer’s marketplace hosts over 1 lakh Buy Leads from buyers every month.

 

As the largest online tender information portal, we offer access to the largest aggregation of industry specific tenders. The portal offers comprehensive coverage and largest database of Indian tenders with over 5000 new tendering opportunities being added every day.

 

Has it helped in increasing the listing-base of SMEs online?

We have more than 1.4 million registered companies on our portal that shows the kind of confidence small businesses have in the services we offer.

 

We have been in the industry for more than 17 years and we have seen a consistent increase in the number of businesses who have migrated to the Internet to address their need for a low cost marketing tool. From only 500 Internet subscribers in 1996 to 1.4 million suppliers today, we can see to what extent the Internet has impacted small businesses.

 

As far as Buy Leads service is concerned, it is proving to be a perfect tool to catalyze B2B matchmaking on our portal. It has got major traction with suppliers showing increased interest in the service. This is the reason the buyer’s marketplace hosts over 1 lakh leads every month.

 

How digitisation of business directories has helped SMEs grow?

In the past few years, digitisation has had a profound impact on how SMEs do business. The latest to take the business world by storm is the mobile technology which is transforming the way businesses source, produce, market and sells their products.

 

The pace of change is also accelerating, with mobile phones widely predicted to become the preferred consumer payment device within just a few years. The convergence of the Internet and smart phone is a combination made for each other. It holds immense potential to become the ideal marketing tool for small enterprises.

 

What other services do you plan to offer to woo more SMEs in future?

We have decided to bring the entire marketplace on mobile. The mobile-optimised version of IndiaMART.com – m.indiamart.com – has been made available on all mobile phones that support the Internet. We also introduced IndiaMART App that is currently available on Android and will soon be ready to be used on other mobile devices too.

 

 

How online business directories can help SMEs prosper in future?

The Internet is the future, and no business can survive without embracing it. The SMEs can discover immense networking opportunities once they get listed in business directories. We are in the midst of a mobile revolution and the possibility of conducting business while on the move is something that SMEs can take maximum advantage of.

 

IndiaMART.com offers a pool of data on suppliers and buyers but we are not just an online directory. In fact, we offer a platform to find buyers and suppliers that generates opportunity for sourcing, networking and creating a buzz online through our services such as website creation, buy leads and tenders etc. Today, we have become a business partner of SMEs.

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