With the e-commerce market booming and with the growing trend of people shopping online, everyone seems to be focussing on a B2C platform. But, Aniket Deb, Sachin Agrawal and Ankit Tomar decided to focus on the B2B e-commerce segment. That's how Bizongo was born. The platform presently caters to the chemicals, plastics and packaging industry verticals.
Aniket says they offer an end-to-end solution of selecting the right product, seamless communication between buyer/seller, secure transactions, efficient pan-India logistics and committed customer service.
Conversations and team formation
The idea of Bizongo first came to Aniket and Sachin at a Starbucks outlet in Hiranandani when they decided to look at simplifying trade for Indian businesses as a whole. They had their eureka moment when they studied the current trade practices in detail.
Once the duo figured out what they wanted to build, they looked for someone with a good technical know-how.They found their third partner in Ankit Tomar. Aniket adds that it had to be someone who not only knows how to write code but also has great appreciation of good products. The trio are graduates from IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi. Soon, more members were added to the team.
B2B e-commerce in India is a complex and unexplored territory. The team at Bizongo knew that its market research had to be strong. So it spent a few months going around and talking to manufacturers and dealers to understand their behaviour and trying to identify the core problem.
"We decided to tackle this by being patient – we launched a MVP first, carefully tracked the demand on the platform and further introduced newer features to Bizongo to turn it into an end-to-end complete solution," says Aniket.
Launch and growth
After it launched the MVP, the team saw an increase in website traffic with close to 30 inquiries on a daily basis. Aniket says they observed the demand trends carefully and this led to the successful launch of ‘Bizongo direct sell’.
"We launched pan-India logistics services and integrated a third-party payment gateway on the platform.The number of orders we received soared ahead and we were glad to see our customers utilising sophisticated features like live chat and quotation generator to the fullest," adds Aniket.
Technology and backend
Aniket says the search is refined and there are product tags and filters provided for every category. "The process of raising a quotation request is simple and there are templates provided for each of our registered dealers and sellers,"he adds.
Placing an order and payment options are available on the website itself, which further diminishes the time required by the customer to complete the entire process.
Funding and future
Bizongo has raised seed funding from Accel Partners to hire the right talent and expand business development, marketing and technology verticals. "We also plan to strengthen our supplier base in the targeted categories and industry verticals," says Aniket.
He adds they see a lot of opportunity in the plastics, packaging and chemicals segments that they're currently dealing in. Their focus will be on building a strong seller base on the platform and thus become the go-to solution for these industries. "We will look into horizontal expansion across categories soon,"says Aniket.
While we see a slew of players battling for the B2C e-commerce crown, we don’t witness much traction in the B2B segment. According to some rough industry estimate, B2B e-commerce is a USD 500 billion market at its early stages in India. There are 4.8 crore SMEs that need to secure bulk supplies and it’s a much bigger opportunity than B2C e-commerce.