The year 2021 has showed that the importance of B2B e-commerce has increased more than ever. This is directly entailed from the fact that India has become a hotbed for e-commerce activities with businesses increasingly relying on B2B firms/ enablers to avail their products pan-India.
In fact, according to a report, the sector saw valuations double every 3-4 months, attracting investment rounds of more than $100 million. Much like its B2C counterpart (e-tailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra), the B2B ecosystem has also been keeping up with the online market trends. In other words, as consumers have become increasingly dependent on the B2C e-commerce to meet its needs, the businesses have now increasingly relied on B2B platforms to reach out to their consumer base.
Utkarsh Gupta, Managing Director of Ramagya Mart, said, “As an organization that is under the aegis of Ramagya Group, Ramagya Mart, is what I call a B2B phenomenon incepted and launched in challenging Covid times: between the first and the second wave, we laid out strategic structures that involved developing our e-commerce product, identifying our human capital structures, appointing and training a team of professionals, and gathering business intelligence to identify, engage and list 1,000+ manufacturers on the portal.”
Also, the growth in the sector is aided given the amount of funding the sector has received this year. B2B Unicorn Zetwerk bagged $210 million led by Greenoaks Capital. Gurugram-based B2B Marketplace Of Business raised $325 million At $5 billion valuation. The popular B2B food marketplace Jumbotail raised $85 million in Series C round. In fact, in 2021, B2B e-commerce players raised a record $2 billion (about ₹15,000 crore) across 60 rounds, as per data sourced from Tracxn.
“As we end 2021, the tenacity we displayed as an organization to face adversities, and overcome the challenges gives me a feeling of fulfilment. Though we have miles to go in this journey to promote 'swadeshi', to become an Indian B2B platform that specifically promotes Indian home appliances' manufacturers to their B2B audiences that consist primarily of retailers, wholesalers, resellers, dealers and distributors,” Gupta further added.
According to a report, India's B2B e+commerce market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, and is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2024. The primary reason for growth has been for businesses, particularly newer ones, having access to financing and capital became extremely difficult which allowed these B2B firms newer and larger number of opportunities. Udaan, Tradeindia, Indiamart, eIndiabusiness, Procmart, Ramagya Mart, etc. are some of the B2B firms that have performed well in 2021.
Anish Popli, Founder and CEO, ProcMart said, “While we have seen demand increase in multiple locations, growth in Southern India has been significant. The rise in demand was particularly significant in Q2 of FY22. The performance especially in Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad has increased even more than in the pre-Covid era.”
The company saw a 2X high jump in revenue in the FY21. During the ongoing year, the company is maintaining its run and the last 2 quarters saw a jump of 2.5X over last year’s revenue.
“We picked our markets carefully and have increased our presence to 6 new locations in the past 2 years,” Popli further added.
Future Of B2B E-commerce
The role of B2B has also become paramount given much of retail business in Tier-I cities is inching towards a saturation point and going forward, in order to reach Tier-II, III cities and rural markets, businesses will be increasingly relying on B2B platforms.
Bengaluru-based B2B firm Solv has been instrumental in digitizing entire trade ecosystems across industries, involving lakhs of verified buyers and sellers, enabling listing of thousands of quality goods at competitive prices with easy door-step pick-up and delivery of goods, on-demand access to finance and simplifying business support functions. The company shared insights based on the experience working with businesses.
“The current $700 billion+ B2B retail market has the potential to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025; this feat can only be achieved through sustainable, user friendly and importantly, affordable tech solutions which can create a participative economy. Trusted and inclusive digital ecosystems like Solv aim to not only help small retailers expand regionally but also mark their presence in the global marketplace, enabling them to connect with other businesses and financial service providers in an affordable manner,” Amit Bansal, CEO, Solv.
“As we end 2021, the tenacity we displayed as an organisation to face adversities, and overcome the challenges gives me a feeling of fulfilment. Though we have miles to go in this journey to promote 'swadeshi', to become an Indian B2B platform that specifically promotes Indian home appliances' manufacturers to their B2B audiences that consist primarily of retailers, wholesalers, resellers, dealers and distributors,” Gupta further added.