Usually, people either search on Google or ecommerce websites, however, the results often don’t turn out as expected. And upon calling and visiting the vendor, the quality of the service sometimes turns out to be less than desirable.
ManySMEs have to go through this process, which often leads to a lack of confidence in vendors. To help SMEs find the right partner, Nishant Behl and Rohan Raj Barua founded ExMyB (short for Expand My Business) which uses technology to solve problems.
ExMyB, the Delhi-based startup, assists enterprises to earn trust and enabled them to be seen as authentic and transparent companies when people search for their services. ExMyB focuses on B2B service aggregation. Apart from this, what makes ExMyB unique is its ML-based curation and the ease with which decision points are provided to buyers.
"We are building a dedicated platform to solve this problem which ensures standardisation of services, quality checks by strengthening reviews, and referrals system. We will offer key decision points for buyers with authentic lead generation and business exchange in a verified and qualified ecosystem," says Nishant Behl, Co-founder of ExMyB.
The startup is going after basic listing services which are not giving the buyer good decision points to choose.
"Businesses presently resort to Google searches, unofficial WhatsApp and Facebook groups, and look everywhere to see what clicks and works. Our value proposition is simple - look among already qualified people and make your life easier and not worry about the kind of work being done. All these mediums require an enormous amount of time and effort and have no quality control whatsoever. We give our buyers curated listings of vendors who would be perfect for them to work with. The vendor is also aware of customer requirements. Thus, there is a lot of trust," he adds.
The company piloted with 1,500 SMEs to establish a solution that can verify the right vendor for the right SME.
The early days
Nishant and Rohan met as chapter heads (Toastmaster and AIESEC respectively) at Vellore Institute of Technology and worked together for projects. The two remained in close contact and have known each other for more than five years now. The duo graduated in 2017 and started the company in July 2018.
Before ExMyB, Rohan had a short stint at Adidas where he jotted down the problems that occurred while dealing with vendors on a daily basis. Nishant worked as a consultant in PwC, India. While working at PwC, he started trading some home decor items in his hometown to make extra money. While doing so, he thought of expanding the business and began looking for people to do his website, social media marketing, and logistics. He soon realised that it was very difficult to find vendors.
"I realised there are B2B product aggregators like Indiamart, but there are not many in the services," says Nishant.
When a client uses the ExMyB platform and puts in their requirements, they depend on a simplified process. The algorithm profiles the clients to understand their requirements and feed through their proprietary technology which helps them shortlist correct vendors. The requirement is sent to the vendors in an organised manner. Finally, the client gets in touch with the vendors who have already been briefed by ExMyB about the kind of clients who will be reaching out to them.
"We believe in buyer transparency, especially when it comes to sensitive and high budget services, and hence we would send them a list of vendors, so that ultimately the decision to choose a service vendor is in the buyer’s hands," Nishant adds.
The company bagged their first client at a startup event. There they met a hyperlocal store founder and he had an interesting take on how he saw his company tackling the problems of this retailtech model. However, he did not know how to take his ideas from paper, and actualise and model it in a presentable manner. That is when ExMyB helped him sign up with them and get the right vendors to build his company.
However, the startup journey wasn’t without its challenges.
"We believe every business has its’ own challenges. Without a second thought, there have been several difficulties but we are firm believers of the fact that ‘difficulties present opportunities’. Every minute spent with the concerned stakeholders has helped us build a better product. Understanding a B2B standpoint and creating a robust system around it in terms of operations and product has thrown many challenges. But with each passing day and added clients, we have just grown stronger," says Nishant.
It is a proprietary Machine Learning algorithm, and not open-source software.
"We are using a weighted composite scoring multivariate algorithm, with elastic search and, to further provide relevance to our buyers, a customised statistical prediction technique based on user profile and search," he explains.
The startup works on a robust architecture. Nishant says the search ranking and algorithm have been built by people with 30 years of experience.
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The business model and future plans
ExMyB has raised an undisclosed amount in angel round.
In the next 18 months, ExMyB is looking to enhance product quality. Currently, it has done a transactional value of Rs 10 crore. The founders have invested an undisclosed amount in the business.
"ExMyB is an ideal portal for businesses that need the support of reliable vendors. Every company registered on our portal is thoroughly vetted. At a time when many reliable business partners are reneging promises due to economic uncertainty, access to a portal where every vendor is guaranteed to be a reliable partner holds tremendous value for businesses," says Nishant.
They currently have 750 sellers on the platform. They have signed up companies like Swiggy, Maruti Suzuki, Bata, FedEx, and Clove Dental.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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