Indian B2B Sector is Rising; Has Moved Beyond E-commerce
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The Business-to-Business (B2B) segment has had a wonderful 2017. From rise in funding to more and more start-ups coming into existence in the sector or existing start-ups pivoting to be B2B, entrepreneurs in the space are excited.
The recent NASSCOM-Zinnov report showed that funding in the B2B segment has risen from 27 to 32 per cent while over 50 per cent of start-ups added in 2017 were in the B2B segment with fintech and healthtech leading the pack.
A Steady but Fast Rise
Over the last couple of years, the B2B segment has seen many new start-ups come into the sector. Established start-ups too are waking up to the need of a B2B segment with even Amazon launching Amazon Business in a bid to reach out to Small and Medium Enterprises.
With the government’s push to go digital, enterprises which were earlier not keen to adapt to technology are now remodelling their business plans to adapt to the changing times. Both demonetization and GST have further helped these businesses to go online. But when they do plan to do so, they have had to turn to other B2B players who can help them take their businesses online.
Milind Mody, Founder and CEO, of eBrandz which helps companies market themselves online said that they have seen a spike in the number of B2B clients in the past one year. “We have many leads and enquiries coming in from B2B clients. The fact that they are reaching out to us proves that their businesses are growing and they want to take it to the next level. When they reach out to agencies like us, it means they also have money to spend on marketing,” said Mody. He also added that things are looking brighter after the implementation of GST.
In fact, while Mody had so far been catering to clients from Tier I cities, this year there has been a surge of clients from Tier II cities as well, where they didn’t expect many B2B players wanting to expand their online presence.
Technology Has Forced the Growth
Agreeing to what Mody said, Srihari Icharapu, founder of Cargo Exchange, a B2B logistics company, believes that the government’s vision of digital India has really helped their business. The recently founded company has seen a rise in the number of clients in the last one year. “People are forced to go digital now and they turn to us for their backend support,” said Icharapu.
According to him, the implementation of ease of doing business, has resulted in the need to increase the operational efficiencies of companies which has brought a lot of clients under their radar.
Not Just E-Commerce Anymore
Earlier, the B2B segment was flooded with e-commerce start-ups, all trying to be a marketplace for other businesses. But with technological advances, B2B too has evolved to look at various other segments. Fintech and Healthcare have seen a rise in the number of B2B players. Angel investor and CEO of Indifi Technologies Alok Mittal believes that the rise of B2B startups augues well for a balanced growth of start-up ecosystem, where adequate premium is being paid to all steps of the value chain, rather than to consumer services alone. "It is also an encouraging sign to see increasing number of core technology B2B startups in areas such as AI and Blockchain, and this is likely to create more global product companies out of India,” he said.