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IndiaMART, 23-year-old start up, becomes the first B2B e-commerce to go public in India

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Source www.theindianwire.com

IndiaMART, an Indian e-commerce website that provides B2B, B2C and C2C sales services, has attained a new milestone of ‘Going Public’. Only a few of its competitors have managed to achieve this milestone. 

With the victorious winning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, IndiaMART becomes the first company which is now all set to be called as a ‘Listed Company’.

Being India’s largest online platform, IndiaMART raised $70 million in a tech IPOs for India this week. The achievement by IndiaMART is unconventional as NSE (National Stock Exchange) on Thursday experienced an elevation in the share prices by 40% on the first day of trading. The issue/launch price of IndiaMART’s Tech IPO was INR 973 ($14.2) and NSE closed at INR 1326 ($19.3) on Friday. 

The analysis of Big 4 Consulting companies such as Ernst and Young predicts that now more Indian e-commerce companies will follow this track and will announce their IPO in the forthcoming months. 

The journey of IndiaMART is filled with prosperity and hardships.
Let’s have a look at IndiaMART’s Journey. 

IndiaMART’s Journey: From an ‘Online Portal’ to a ‘Listed Company’

Agarwals establishing IndiaMART 

The startup was established in 1996 by Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal. The registered name of IndiaMART is IndiaMART InterMESH Limited. In one of the recent interviews, Dinesh Agarwal said, “In 1996, there were hardly any computers in India”. Also, the sources for global information were very limited. No doubt, IndiaMART as a web portal had to go through a lot of hardships in a few first years. 

New ways and learnings in 2002

In 2002, IndiaMART launched its own travel portal for businesses. In 2003, it floated its own business verification service. A few months later, it revealed its own payment platform named ABC Payments. 

Travel portal for business, business verification service and ABC Payments did not work out for IndiaMART. But, IndiaMART’s co-founders have always believed in learning from their failures. The moment they realized none of these services is going to work out, they firmly moved on and started working on the new strategies. 

The road ahead since 2008

In 2008, the Indian rupee became very strong against the dollar, which also influenced their exports business as US companies stopped exporting goods/products from Indian companies. 

However, by this time, lakhs of people had their presence on the Internet. With the introduction of social media websites such as Orkut and Facebook, many Indians started using the internet. Agarwals decided to leverage this change and they have been prioritizing Indian market since then.

According to Economic Times,  in 2012, IndiaMART was the largest online marketplace in India and in 2014, IndiaMART accounted for 200 crore revenue. Also, IndiaMART launched its e-commerce portal, Tolexo, in 2014. 

“We need 30 to 40 more IPOs. This will also mean that the stock market here has matured and understands the tech stocks and how it is different from other consumer stocks they usually handle. More tech companies going public would also pave the way for many to explore stock exchanges outside of India” Dinesh Agarwal explained. 

Many Indian companies are likely to follow this tech IPO trend. Indian market is ready to announce more tech stocks in the near future. MakeMyTrip went public in 2010 and after that, no startup/company followed the path of going public.  

Ventures such as Zomato, Flipkart, Swiggy, Paytm, Byju have had their own big shares of funding but most of them won’t be able to have their Tech IPO in their immediate future due to their profitability. 

IndiaMART has set a benchmark for its competitors and for all kinds of tech ventures. 

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