A unicorn is a company with the valuation of more than $1 billion. The online B2B market potential in India is $300 billion right now and around 95 percent of which is still unorganised. This value will rise to $700 billion by 2020. This will be due to the transition of whole-sellers and manufacturers to open online platforms to cope up with the increasing competition to come as a result of the 100 % FDI the government has allowed in B2B e-commerce.
Comparing them with the B2C unicorns like Snapdeal and Flipkart which are yet to see profits, B2B platforms are already seeing profits and becoming the favourites of investors. In fact, the B2B online retail market is anticipated to attain double the size of the B2C online market by 2020, producing revenues of 6.7 trillion USD worldwide. B2B platforms are profitable because they charge a very small amount and provide a great platform for buyers and sellers of industrial goods, thereby omitting the function of middlemen. Thus, a B2B unicorn seems very practical in the near future.
The surest way to earn big money is to solve companies problems. There are over 300 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India and employees 40% of the total workforce. Marketplaces who’ll solve most of the problems efficiently will be the definite winner. The life of an SME owner is loaded with problems. They have quandaries within their organisations that don’t let them grow. The competition is fierce and these problems are what bother SMEs the most-
- Limited human resources: India is not a very literate country and SME owners can’t afford to hire professionals. The people they hire generally don’t know the techniques being used in other places. The knowledge of potential markets is also very essential which is not readily available. So, they really need to connect with people who themselves are connected. Lack of educated and connected youth also leads to technological backwardness and innovation are then hard to see.
- Money and scale: A company can survive the birth without money but to grow it needs the benefits of money as well as scale. Everything is cheaper in bulk but to get things in bulk, you need money or the support of someone who has and can reap those benefits that scale provides for you.
- Lack of infrastructure: It leads to low production capacity and limited facilities for control and check.
- Lack of marketing assistance: SMEs can’t market themselves and also can’t afford to hire marketing professionals.
But becoming a unicorn is not an easy task. The number of problems a company solves is the main factor which will determine the growth. There will be many other factors that companies need to look towards-
- Marketing strategy : The top management’s support and commitment towards marketing are essential for a company’s growth. Setting up strategic goals, collaborating (deciding on the strategic partners) and efficiently deciding on who are the potential audiences are also among the key factors.
- Website: The website design and the effective marketing of the website would be fundamental to the growth of the consumer base.
- Internal factors: Technological infrastructure inside the company, the convincing skills of the sales team, how fast are the logistics, how easily is the credit available and the training programme for the new recruits as well as the employees of the company.
- External factors: All the world is made of faith and trust and pixie dust. Trust of the business owners as well as the suppliers is essential. To develop trust, security and a successful relationship with customers is necessary. Responsiveness and listening to woes of customers very crucial especially in B2B, where every lead can lead to 10 more customers.