B2B E-commerce In India Is set For A Bigger Boom In The Next Couple Of Years – Ravi Pagar, element14

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Q. How do you handle delivery for areas where standard courier services aren’t strong?

A. As of now, we deliver engineering products/hardware to more than 700 cities in India. Now, remember that these cities are not necessarily the tier-1 regions always.

We take products from three locations in the world viz. the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), and Singapore; and then get these product custom cleared, and deliver to the customers doorsteps. This whole process has now become a lot fine-tuned over the period of time. We also have an ACP with customs department which makes our customs clearing process faster. However, in certain cases when the products move from Bangalore to other regions (especially tier-2) we face challenges due to local requirements like Way bills, road permits and state specific local forms which can add to procedural delays.

We mainly rely on local courier companies for delivering products in certain remote geographies of India; but again, not all our courier partners are efficient in every region. It has taken time for us to understand the functioning of our supply-chain partners and customise them based on their efficiencies region wise.

We also take customer feedbacks, with respect to supply chain partners based on the services rendered. Finally we also make use of the governmental postal services to ensure maximum reachability.

Q. What are some of the biggest challenges faced in 2016? Please state challenges across sectors.

A. Honestly speaking, we have had a good run, and have been able to offer a seamless service that we offer internationally into India. We can get a few customers who have tasted our offerings in other markets like UK and US to vouch for the same.

The challenges are mainly procedural, and policy related, which can be frustrating and which we continue to work with Government and the Industry body to highlight and navigate.

Q. Finally, what innovations do you see in the online retailing of semiconductors and engineering equipment over the next few years?

A.In India, growth of online retailing of semiconductors and engineering equipment has also been stable and is likely to continue to keep going this way. As far as innovations are concerned, I think that the B2B category is poised for good growth.

Talking about electronics components, the key focus area would be how a B2B company attracts new customers by shifting their existing offline channels into online. Wider portfolio of products offered would also be a key trend over the next couple of years. We would also see products of superior quality. Focus is going to be more on low power consumption products, products which are sleeker, and make the design more efficient, products which can communicate seamlessly with one another.

The buying trends of customers are also poised for change in sync with the existing competition. Customers will continue to expect products faster, buying behaviour supported by being more intuitive, and obviously products being value for money (and not necessarily cheaper).


 

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