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Why It's Time To Give B2B Its Due Credit Like the world-saviour Batman, B2B companies solve world-class industry problems with ground-breaking technology.

By Sanjeev Gadre

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B2B often gets a bad rap; viewed as bland and lacking in glamour. While these notions have generally held true for a long time, B2B has actually come a long way in the past decade.

Like the Batman trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a cool, bat-inspired persona to fight crime and save the world, B2B companies also enter the industry to solve a world-class problem with ground-breaking technology. Take the example of Elon Musk's SpaceX, a B2B company that was founded with a vision to colonize Mars. The vision, coupled with some path-breaking products, has made it one of the most admired brands in the world, and coolest, too.

Besides the cool quotient, B2B has also risen amidst a slew of challenges to become the backbone of the economy. In the Indian context, 91 percent of companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange are B2B. They are the ones helping the country get a steady flow of business and contributing massively to growth.

Supporting Growth Of The Economy

B2B companies fire up a country's GDP growth. The Reserve Bank of India's analysis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs database confirms this. Gross value added (GVA) by B2B companies grew at a staggering 17.3 and 16.2 percent in 2013-14 and 2014-15, respectively, dwarfing the value addition by their larger counterparts who grew at a modest 10.1 and 12 percent over the same period.

As B2B companies tap into the blue ocean of opportunities, most investors see green. Even in the toughest of times, B2B startups are logging in more funding deals than ever before. According to market intelligence platform Xeler8, B2B startupsin India logged in 209 funding deals in the first eight months of 2016, compared with 173 deals during the corresponding period in 2015. They are responsible for research and development of innovative solutions to problems that impact various industries. Successful B2B businesses drive growth by providing clients with products and services that allow them to work more efficiently. We transform the way businesses work, play, live and learn. It becomes obvious that an investor is more likely to fund a solution that impacts millions at a time.

Spreading Our Services

When we grow further, we spread our products and services to more businesses. This not only results in successful growth for businesses like ours but also allows more of the companies we serve to benefit from our offering. For instance, the development of technological platforms by B2B companies is opening newer channels for businesses across several sectors. This is bringing on board, a rising number of small players, including the neighbourhood "kirana' store. This becomes a win-win situation for all of us - enables smoother transactions, procurement, and builds better relations between big brands and shop owners.

Creating Employment Opportunities

We help our people think the future, while successfully offering opportunities and creating more jobs. According to estimates, in emerging markets, most formal jobs are with B2B enterprises, which also create 4 out of 5 new positions. The rise of startups that are dependent on a technology-driven framework for service provision offers an exciting opportunity for budding professionals to devise those technologies.

B2B is adaptable, agile, and can change its offering in accordance with a client's needs. With a superhero flexibility to mould ourselves according to the market, B2B can also hunker down when the need arises.

To become Batman, it's a fair assumption that one needs to put in the time and hard work necessary to be one of the world's greatest heroes. While many superhero films will reduce the superhero training down to a three-minute montage featuring a generic mid-2000s rock song, it is important to remember all the hard work it really takes to create the desired impact.

We are the unsung heroes of our time. The focus needs to shift from our vast wealth (read funding) to our science and technology advancements. B2B, for all its monetary benefits, is ultimately a tool for our efforts to make the world better. B2B is the hero we all deserve, but it is time for us to stop being the silent guardian, and proclaim our real prowess.

Sanjeev Gadre

COO, Uniphore Software Systems

Sanjeev Gadre is the COO of Uniphore Software Systems

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