Indian startups are inspiring global opportunities, says Rahul Garg of Moglix

India need not follow the China-playbook for the world to discover its manufacturing prowess, said Rahul Garg of Moglix at TechSparks 2021.
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Building for Bharat is an opportunity in itself, said Rahul Garg, founder and CEO of business-to-business online marketplace, Moglix. Calling India a potential $10 trillion economy by 2030, Rahul said it could be the gateway for Indian companies and startups to build for the world. 

There is a need to look beyond the US and China to adapt ideas to the Indian market, Rahul told Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, at a fireside chat during TechSparks 2021.

“It was fair when our ecosystem was in early stages and there was a need to be the X of India. In the last five years, our venture capital has also come to realise that there is a massive opportunity to build in India for problems that do not exist in countries we take as a proxy,” he said.

He added that while most of the consumer internet companies fall into the bucket, these adaptations for the Indian context were necessary. Going ahead, though there is an opportunity to build global leadership for something which started in India.

Catching up with China

Increased infrastructure spends and the move to unify the taxation structure under the umbrella of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help India reach the landmark, said Rahul. According to him, India need not follow the old-school ways of sales adopted by China to market its capabilities to the world.

“In the digital world we are living in, we need to find a way for India’s manufacturing capabilities to get discovered. Then, we can build frictionless lanes for the world to benefit from,” he said.

He added that this can be achieved by building frictionless experience for supply chain, technology, data, and financing

Solving for a large domestic market will ensure that India can be the powerhouse of the world, especially when it comes to labour-intensive manufacturing processes. He cited the example of the pharma sector where India served the world by supplying the COVID-19 vaccine, apart from manufacturing it for its own population. 

Moglix, which joined the unicorn club earlier this year, made its global foray this year by launching in the Middle East, though at the current scale, it just serves one percent of demand from the Indian market. 

Road ahead

With a catalogue of 500,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) serving sectors as diverse as auto, chemicals, oil and gas, steel, and more, Moglix wants to scale to serve the needs of Indian industries better.

Over time, the startup has seen the adoption of technology growing by the manufacturing sector which lacked even catalogues with product specifications. “Even a simple product like an LED bulb has more than 20 specifications, keeping wattage constant. Without a catalogue, you are making it up by sending pictures of the holder or the size of the room,” said Rahul.

He added that Moglix has managed to solve for catalogue, where the procurer can now order the exact category from the supplier. Another problem technology has managed to solve for its customers is the visibility of the delivery of products.

The optimised delivery of advertisements based on the customers’ exact location which Rahul developed in his previous role as head of AdX at Google is what he aspires to bring to the manufacturing sector.

“As an entrepreneur, what I got right early on is identifying a problem which I would be passionate to solve for in the long run,” Rahul signed off.

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Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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