IndiaMART- The Success Story of a Leading B2B E-commerce Company in India

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Faster, stabler and more efficient internet is a major factor behind the rise of many startups. However, some startups were pure visionaries, established way before this modern internet connectivity. IndiaMart was one of such startups that were conceived of before the internet became such easily available and accessible as it is today.

When IndiaMART company was founded by the cousins Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agrawal in 1996, the internet was far from being a household term in India. The IndiaMART founders could very well visualize the revolution that India was about to see with better internet connectivity. Starting with a capital of just Rs 40,000, today IndiaMART is India's largest and the world's second largest B2B e-commerce marketplace.

So, let's have a peek into the startup journey of this 25-year-old company, which is making the eCommerce business easy for many individuals, SMEs, and large enterprises. Also, know about its Business and Revenue Model, Founders and Team, Funding and Investors, Challenges, Competitors, Name, Tagline and Logo, Awards, Acquisitions, and more.

IndiaMART – Company Highlights

  • Company Name-IndiaMART
  • Headquarters-Noida (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Founders-Dinesh Agarwal & Brijesh Agarwal
  • Industry-E-commerce
  • Founded-1996
  • Total Funding-$40.8 mn (January 2022)
  • Revenue-$98.40 mn (Rs 753 cr in FY22)
  • Parent Organization-IndiaMART InterMESH Limited

IndiaMART - About

IndiaMART is a leading B2B e-commerce company in India that connects suppliers with buyers. It has around 60% market share in B2B e-commerce along with partnerships with leading brands like Tata, Airtel, Hyundai, Bosch, Canon, and a lot more. It trades almost everything from apparel, home furniture to electronics, and building equipment. The company provides business visibility and credibility to its buyers and sellers with enhanced trust and experience of 24 years.

IndiaMart has also ventured into some other sectors, other than being a B2B e-commerce. Operational subsidiaries of India Mart include -

Tolexo Online Pvt. Ltd. (TOPL) - Founded in 2014, was a B2B e-commerce retail and  B2B Wholesale platform. In 2017, IndiaMart company announced that it is closing the retail B2B wing of due to underperformance. Currently, (a subsidiary of TOPL) is offering order management services to businesses.

Ten Times Online Private Limited (TTOPL) - Founded in 2013, is a platform for business event discovery and networking.

Pay With Indiamart Private Limited (PWIPL) - Started in 2017, It is a payment gateway that lets sellers collect instant payment from buyers through the Indiamart platform.

Hellotravel Online Pvt. Ltd. - Founded in 2009, this platform connects travelers to travel agents.

IndiaMART - Founders and Team

Indiamart Founders

Dinesh Agarwal and his cousin Brijesh Agarwal are the founders of IndiaMART.

Dinesh Agarwal

IndiaMART Co-founder CEO Dinesh Agarwal hails from a traditional business family in the Napara district of UP. Agarwal completed his schooling from a Hindi medium school. He then obtained his B.Tech degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur. Agarwal served in a number of companies before landing a job at HCL for which he needed to move to the US. He was associated with HCL Technologies as a Senior System Analyst before launching IndiaMART. Dinesh also served as a Software Engineer at CDOT Alcatel Research Centre.

Brijesh Agrawal

IndiaMART Co-founder and Director Brijesh Agrawal completed his BMS from the University of Lucknow. He then completed his PGDBM from NIILM, after which Brijesh joined Dinesh Agarwal in his venture.

IndiaMART had around 2,754 employees across different cities in India when last reported in March 2021.

IndiaMART – Startup Story

After graduating in software engineering, Dinesh started receiving lucrative job offers. After working in India with different organizations for 5 years, Dinesh went to the US, where he worked with CDOT for 3 Years. He was leading a comfortable life until one day he realized that he was not passionate enough about the work he was doing and had a calling to start something of his own. This made Dinesh return to India in 1996.

Dinesh was one of the early internet users and realized that the internet can do wonders in promoting businesses, so he decided to build a platform where businesses could display their products through dedicated web pages. Dinesh started the eCommerce business from his flat in Delhi in 1996 as an export marketplace with Brijesh.

However, finding clients was a difficult task initially for IndiaMART because many businesses were not aware of computers and the internet. They did not know how the internet could help in growing their business. So, they appointed some marketing and sales guys, who could educate the businesses about what the internet could do to them, thereby helping IndiaMart acquire new clients. They also started participating in trade fares held in Pragati Maidan to spread more awareness about their eCommerce business. The first client India Mart received was 'Nirula's' - the famous first food chain of North India. IndiaMart then had to build and maintain Nirula's website for an annual charge of Rs 32000/-.

The company initially started by offering free listing services to the eCommerce business, and once the businesses listed started getting queries from around the world, IndiaMART's sales representatives used to approach the businesses to report them about the progress. Once the business was convinced that getting their business listed on IndiaMart was actually helpful, they started buying paid services and the platform started growing gradually.

However, in the absence of proper internet-based infrastructure, challenges for the company were many. IndiaMART could not even send e-mails to the businesses regarding the queries these businesses were receiving through IndiaMART, as many businesses did not have e-mail ids even. The IndiaMART team had to take printouts of the queries they received and fax the same to the respective businesses. But despite all challenges, IndiaMART acquired around 1000 clients till 1999.

Another challenge appeared before the company with the 9/11 attacks, exports were hard hit due to the tragedy and IndiaMART's revenue came down by almost 40%. But the team continued its efforts.

A major turning point came when IndiaMART company shifted focus from export to Domestic market and started serving the eCommerce business within the country. Today over 6 million suppliers are registered with IndiaMART.

IndiaMART – Mission and Vision

Indiamart has been founded with a mission 'to make doing business easy.' Indiamart is fueled with the vision of retaining its lead in the B2B e-commerce segment in India.

IndiaMART – Name, Tagline and Logo

IndiaMart has brought out numerous taglines like "Kaam Yahin Banta Hai" and "Bada Aasaan Hai" till now. ‘The Global Gateway To Indian Marketplace" was the first tagline that IndiaMART recorded.

IndiaMART - Funding and Investors

IndiaMart has raised total funding worth $40.8 million over 4 rounds. In June 2019, IndiaMART launched its IPO, which turned out to be one of the most loved IPOs in 2019. As per NSE, IndiaMART IPO cumulatively received bids of 9,66,86,235 equity shares, which is 35.91 times higher than its total issue size of 26,92,824 equity shares.

IndiaMART - Business and Revenue Model

The oldest B2B eCommerce marketplace, IndiaMART operates on a subscription-based model for suppliers. While IndiaMART is totally free for buyers, its main source of revenue is subscription fees received from the sellers, sell of 'request for quote' received from the buyers, and the payment facilitation services that it offers. Furthermore, IndiaMART also earns advertising revenue by letting individuals and businesses post advertisements on the IndiaMART app.

IndiaMART – Growth and Revenues

From starting up when the B2B e-commerce sector was still upcoming to being hailed as the largest operator in the segment, IndiaMart's success story is itself testament to the growth it received. Furthermore, IndiaMart is also dubbed as the world's second-largest online B2B marketplace.

Here's a glimpse into the prominent growth highlights of the company:

The company boasts of a network of over 143 million registered buyers and 6.4 million+ suppliers

IndiaMart hosts a whopping collection of 71 million+ products and services

It has a staggering 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India

The B2B giant has further pulled in 259 Mn+ hits on its website and app in December quarter of 2021

IndiaMART recorded opening 52 offices in 52 weeks, which boosted its sales 10X times in a single year

IndiaMart has adapted a weekly salary pay disbursal system with an aim to extend a flexible and supportive working environment for its employees. Studied and identified as one of the most critical things that influence an employee, weekly payouts for the employees have been practiced in many countries like New Zealand, the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, and more and have yielded successful outcomes.

IndiaMART Financials

IndiaMart has posted its final quarter (Q4) revenues of FY22, which has recorded consolidated revenue of operations at Rs 201 crore, an 8% quarter-on-quarter growth from Rs 188 crore revenue that the company witnessed in Q3 FY22. The total operating revenue of the company stood at Rs 753 cr for FY22. This growth in revenue has been attributed by IndiaMart to the 11% increase in the number of paying customers for the company. The company, however, has witnessed a decline in its profits in this quarter, which were recorded at Rs 70 crore (Q3 FY22) and has now become Rs 57 crore in Q4 FY22. Notably, the profits for the company posted a Q-o-Q decline from what it saw in FY21's quarters. When it comes to the EBITDA of IndiaMart, the company recorded a consolidated EBITDA of Rs 57 crore whereas its EBITDA margin for Q4 FY22 was 28%, which was less than the 48% EBITDA margin it saw in Q4 FY21.

In FY 2019-2020, IndiaMART reported a revenue of Rs 707 Crore, which was only Rs 507 Crore revenue, when the company reported in FY 2018-2019. IndiaMart reported a net profit of Rs 147 Crore in FY 2019-2020 when compared to Rs 20 Crore in FY 2018-2019. The company's collections from customers were Rs 671 in FY 2018-2019, which increased by 10% to reach Rs 738 Crore in FY 2019-2020.

IndiaMART CEO Dinesh Agarwal mentioned that it will be difficult to maintain the same assets for FY21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company had not only retained its growth but posted total revenue of Rs 756 crore in FY21, which is a 7% year-on-year (YoY) increase from Rs 707 crore that it earned in FY20. The EBITDA of IndiaMart has also witnessed a 94% YoY growth, which grew from Rs 169 crore in FY20 to Rs 328 crore in FY21.

IndiaMART – Challenges

Being a pioneering Indian B2B e-commerce company, IndiaMart had to face numerous challenges ever since it was established back in 1996. From finding clients, spreading internet awareness, and getting them listed online to help them gain a convincing reputation online, IndiaMart had seen its share of challenges.

Back when IndiaMart was established, emails weren't much popular so they had to take printouts of the queries and fax them. The 9/11 attack was another roadblock that IndiaMart saw when their exports were hugely truncated, which dragged down the revenues with them.

Indiamart also faced the backlash of 2012 when the economy slowed down in India.

IndiaMart has recently been featured in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) among one of the most notorious markets. The Notorious Market List of 2021 compiled a total of 42 online and 35 physical markets across the world, and all of these markets, according to USTR, are involved in trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. The Trade Representative report of the US censured the popular Indian eCommerce platform as the hub of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, electronics, and apparel.    

IndiaMART - Awards

Here's a glance at the list of awards and recognitions IndiaMART earned throughout the years:

  • Red Herring 100 Asia Awards 2008
  • Manthan Award South Asia and Asia Pacific 2013 under the ‘E-business and Financial Inclusion’ category
  • ‘Special Contribution Award’ at WASME – Super SME Awards, 2016
  • ‘Best Online Classified Website Award’ at Drivers of Digital Awards, 2016
  • ‘Best Business App Award’ at GMASA 2017 and ‘Best Business App’ at Drivers of Digital Summit & Awards, 2018
  • ‘Best Online Classified Application’ at Drivers of Digital Summit & Awards, 2018
  • ‘Video Content in a Business Website- Special Mention’ at Video Media Awards and Summit 2019
  • India Law Awards 2019 for ‘Technology, Media and Telecommunication In-House Legal Team’
  • “Most Promising Company of the Year” at the CNBC Awaaz CEO Awards
  • ‘Bada Aasaan Hai’ received the ‘Best Video Content in a B2B Marketing Campaign Award’ at the Video Media Awards & Summit, 2020.

IndiaMART – Acquisitions

Indiamart has fully acquired 2 companies to date. The company acquired accounting platform Busy Infotech for Rs 500 crore on 25 January 2022, prior to which, it acquired Playcez on 23 August 2013.

Indiamart acquired 26% stakes in IB Monotaro, a Japan-based company, which operates in India under the brand name "Industry buying" and is focused on supplying industrial and business products for the eCommerce businesses, as per reports dated February 24, 2022. According to the deal, the popular B2B sales marketplace platform bought 810K shares from Emtex Engineering for a total consideration of Rs 104.2 crore, with an aim to offer an end-to-end commerce experience enablement and thus, serve the B2B businesses of the country.

IndiaMART - Competitors

Some of the leading competitors of IndiaMART are:

  • Tradeindia
  • Yellow pages
  • Exporters India
  • Amazon
  • Flipkart
  • Tradekey
  • Udaan

Though there are many upcoming e-commerce companies in India, IndiaMART sustains its position with its stronger network and greater years of experience in the e-commerce field.

IndiaMART - FAQs

When was Indiamart founded?

IndiaMART was founded in 1996 by cousins Dinesh Agarwal & Brijesh Agarwal.

Which is Indiamart's Parent company?

IndiaMART InterMESH Limited is Indiamart's Parent company.

Who are top competitors of Indiamart?

Some of the top Indiamart competitors are:

  • Tradeindia
  • Yellow pages
  • Exporters India
  • Amazon
  • Flipkart
  • Tradekey
  • Udaan
  • Paytm Mall
  • CafePress

Who is the CEO of IndiaMART?

Dinesh Agarwal is CEO of Indiamart.

Who are founders of Indiamart?

Dinesh Agarwal and his cousin Brijesh Agarwal are the founders of IndiaMART.

Which type of company is IndiaMART?

IndiaMART is a leading Indian B2B e-commerce company that connects suppliers with buyers. It has around 60% market share in B2B space.

Can we sell on IndiaMART?

You can Register yourself as a seller and start selling to millions of buyers across the world on Indiamart- India's largest online market place. Login as a Seller to manage your Profile.