When ex-Google employee Rahul Garg, conceptualized his startup in late 2014, he realized that the global trade of products was still operating in the old fashion, while the internet/ mobile, had led to democratization of the services and mobile app and advertising ecosystem.
His startup Moglix, is a B2B e-commerce platform, which specializes in B2B procurement of industrial products such as MROs, power tools, fasteners, electrical devices, industrial lubricants.
“The global trade had not evolved in last 10 years, as much as internet and mobile adoption had evolved across Asia since Alibaba’s early days from 1998-2005 in China. The cross-country trade runs in few trillion dollars and is still defunct with information asymmetry/ missing trust signals between suppliers and buyers, further accentuated by the friction in enabling services of logistics, customs, payments and data,” Rahul said.
The Firm today announced that it has raised INR 28 crores in Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners with participation from Jungle Ventures and SeedPlus. Moglix has raised Pre-Series A funding from Accel Partners and Jungle Ventures in October 2015 and an undisclosed financial investment in the company by Ratan Tata in February 2016.
Commenting on the funding, Rahul said, “We are inspired by the confidence shown in us by Accel Partners, Jungle Ventures and SeedPlus. We see this as a testimony and validation of our leadership in the B2B procurement space and are excited about the disruption in the space in the coming years. We are thrilled to have Anurag on board as an advisor. Given his deep experience working with startups in the technology and manufacturing sector, his inputs will make a huge difference, as we scale Moglix rapidly.”
From being an ex-Google employee to donning different roles at Moglix
At Google, Rahul gained extensive experience in building global products and running sales across Asia. From working in a large structure like Google to running a startup, Rahul said it changes “most of the things.”
“Google is an awesome organization with a great culture and a learning experience. I started Moglix with a strong belief that we can create a technology driven. As a CEO of Moglix – I wear multiple hats during the day: sales, product, operations, people, investors, strategy etc. All of this comes with a strong sense of trust that my team, customers, partners and investors has bestowed in me. Moglix – is like a 3rd kid for me.
Getting Ratan Tata on board
The company has raised, itsPre-Series A funding from Accel Partners and Jungle Ventures and an undisclosed amount from industry magnate Ratan Tata.
Speaking about Ratan Tata’s contribution, Rahul said, “Ratan Tata’s contribution to the manufacturing sector has been inspirational and with his guidance we are hopeful to steer the company towards transforming the buying and selling process for manufacturers in the country. It was a great experience as we presented to him.”
“He asked us about the different challenges in our proposition: be around exports, supply-chain, returns etc and how we would go about solving for it,” he added.
Benefits from the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ Initiative
Rahul claims that the inspiration for Moglix comes from the use of technology to make a major impact on the country. “I think there is a positive momentum in the country. Make In India, is important for Moglix: If India was to realize its projection of $8T economy the current manufacturing sector needs to go from $300B to $1.5-$2T sector. This kind of growth shall need technology, process and supply-chain transformation where Moglix can enable them to scale-up. Startup India on the other hand enables an increased awareness about the startups which is good for us as many manufacturing houses become more open to work with startups,” he said
An investor and an entrepreneur
Apart from being an entrepreneur, Rahul has also invested in startups and says that it’s interesting to watch the change in investor sentiment since 2012, when he had started out as an investor.
“The investing cycle in India has gone several cycles: “herd”, “what’s hot”, “me-too”, “fomo” to getting back to the basics: “customer value”, “willingness to pay”, “net margin”, “customer nps” etc. I believe strongly that India is a massive opportunity and next 10 years shall be transformative in the country – however we needed a course correction to make sure we don’t become a boom and bust of startups. Hopefully many of the investors would become smarter and focuses on building businesses versus continue to fund me-too copy cats,” he said.