In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Kiran Murthi, CEO of getitBazaar unleashed some key trends of the online marketplace segment. He highlighted on how this new concept is attracting Indian SMEs.
How the concept of online marketplace is evolving among Indian SMEs? What trends are you witnessing in this market?
Platforms like ours allow any seller, across the country, to open their online shop for free and upload as many products as they want. Such opportunity is enabling the adoption of online marketplaces among SMEs. We have opened more than 5000 shops in the last three months. Other than taking the merchant shop live for free, we also manage the complete operation of online marketing, order processing, logistics, payment collection and customer care for a simple fee of Rs 100 or 2.5 per cent (higher) on successful transactions. A platform like ours allows SMEs to try e-commerce without any risk or upfront investment with affordable fees.
Since the concept is quite established in the Indian market with names like IndiaMart, TradeIndia and Alibaba etc., what kind of niche is getitBazaar likely to create?
There are many listing sites in India, which have made good progress by allowing the SMEs to list their business and contact details online for prospective buyers to reach them. This provides only leads, but does not permit transactions; more like seeing an ad online rather than full e-commerce. These platforms are completely web based publishing platforms which do not have a service layer that enables the completion of transactions. getitBazaar is the first completely managed full service e-commerce marketplace focused on the SME segment.
What are the key focus areas for getitBazaar?
The SMEs are our key customers and delivering a service that helps them to compete with large companies with deep pockets is our key focus area. According to us, the SME network is the backbone for value creation across sectors in India and we believe that, our focus on them will help us in the long run.
What challenges do you face as an online entrepreneur in the SME segment?
We have been working with the Indian SMEs since more than 25 years and have a good understanding of their needs and how we can help them. This is the first time anyone in India has launched a platform like this. Like any other new concept, there were some initial challenges that had helped us learn and adapt better. We have crossed this initial stage and are scaling up fast now.
What are the key opportunities that you foresee?
Once the SMEs try e-commerce and understand the benefits of being able to start a new shop that works 24/7 and serves those new customers who would not have otherwise bought from them, we are very sure that they will show more interest in marketing their business on the platform. This is the biggest opportunity that we see.
What is the number of listings you already have and your expectations moving forward?
Our platform has opened 50,000 shops in the first year of operations.
How do you foresee your business in the next two years in India?
We are quite encouraged by the initial results and look forward to the next couple of years when we learn and scale up. We expect interest to grow among the SMEs and many new players to enter this market, enabling faster growth of the sector.
E-commerce is here for good. There will be a huge rush of SMEs into this new medium once the sector scales up and platforms like ours achieve penetration. We are quite sure that the resultant benefits will be extended to all stakeholders including buyers, sellers, service providers, platform owners and partners.