How ExpoBazaar is making B2B export feasible for Indian MSMEs and small businesses
Supply chain disruption was one of the first challenges Indian businesses faced as soon as the country went into a lockdown in 2020.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional supply chain gave a huge opportunity to business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce players, who aided companies falling short of raw materials or exploring new business avenues.
According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market — valued at $14.9 trillion in 2020 — is over five times the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. And, Indian B2B ecommerce players, including Udaan, Moglix, MedikaBazaar, etc., saw a whopping 100 to 300 percent growth during the last two years.
Moreover, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat movement has excited Indian entrepreneurs to put made in India products on the world map, and this is where ExpoBazaar is carving a niche for itself.
Founded in March 2022,— a subsidiary of Greater Noida-based India Expo Mart Ltd — is a cross border B2B e-marketplace that connects global retailers with Indian exporters and manufacturers.
In a conversation with SMBStory, Rakesh Kumar, Chairman, India Expo Mart, and Director-General - Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), speaks about how ExpoBazaar is strengthening the country’s export business, empowering Indian manufacturers.
SMBStory [SMBS]: How is ExpoBazaar helping MSMEs?
Rakesh Kumar [RK]: There are 6.3 crore MSMEs in India that employ over 11.1 crore people and are accountable for 27 percent of India’s GDP. However, a majority of micro and small enterprises are not able to utilise their full potential.
Dekhiye har businessman ka sapna hota hai ki kabhi wo bhi apna samaan export kare. (You see, every businessman dreams of exporting his product).
But lack of funds, skills, or even small production capacity hinders them from coming out of their shell and exporting globally. While large players actively indulge in cross-border business, smaller players have always faced challenges, and ExpoBazaar is filling this gap.
ExpoBazaar provides MSMEs with a digital path to offer their products to global markets. We are helping them receive proper guidance to expand internationally and receive global recognition.
We are helping India achieve more inclusive growth by aiding first-generation entrepreneurs, skilling youngsters, and empowering women.
ExpoBazaar works collaboratively with artisans, craft clusters or self-help groups (SHGs), and small manufacturers across the country to educate, teach, and uplift its associates.
Our experts provide them with insights on global markets, including the latest trends and designs, post which they manufacture relevant products and list them on ExpoBazaar’s website, helping them scale their business.
We work with retailers who are interested in exports. But rather than arranging inventory from outside, we connect them with the manufacturers already listed on our platform. It creates ease of doing business for both the retailer and manufacturer.
SMBS: How ExpoBazaar impacts the business world?
RK: ExpoBazaar’s mission is to have a sustainable model of inclusive growth for all the stakeholders — the community of buyers and sellers — involved in the product creation.
Each product listed on our website is hand-curated by our experts in the US and India to ensure only the best of India’s merchandise is listed online. We want to ensure buyers get an exclusive never-before-seen look into India’s handcrafted products sector.
Large players in India export through import agents of respective countries, who focus on big companies and big export inventories and contribute only five to seven percent share to the market.
However, there are small buyers and sellers across India who cannot import or export large inventory, respectively, due to limited production capacity. Connecting these sellers and buyers is our core forte, and this is how we are creating an impact.
While our focus remains on increasing exports from India and giving global buyers an Indian B2B ecommerce experience, we also strive to provide equal opportunities to all our associates.
SMBS: How many businesses are associated with ExpoBazaar? What is its revenue model?
RK: At present, we have over 200 seller partners onboard. We focus on the home and lifestyle segment (décor, furnishings, and lamps), kids and babies, jewellery, fashion accessories, bags, and eco-friendly and sustainable products. We have plans to add hospitality and wellness categories to our platform soon.
Our revenue model is success-based, and we charge a nominal fee on sales and work on a no-sale, no-commission model.
SMBS: What are ExpoBazaar’s major challenges?
RK: ExpoBazaar's biggest challenge was to optimise its supply chain and curate premium quality and in-trend exclusive products as per the international standards for buyers.
After the pandemic, with rising costs and longer production and transit times, we had our work cut out for us. After conducting thorough research and eliminating several options, we zeroed down on a model best-suited to our sellers and buyers.
Our Just in Time (JIT) business model has streamlined our entire supply chain management.
ExpoBazaar seller partners can stock their live inventory in our warehouse on the US East Coast, which also serves as a fulfilment centre and ensures last-mile delivery throughout the US, delivering orders within five to seven days.
We provide our sellers with critical data on demand planning, forecasting, trends and analysis — right down to the colours, designs, and patterns — which will trend in the US.
This enables sellers to promote ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect’ manufacturing, helping them make conscious decisions on the assortment of products they need.
SMBS: What is the future of the B2B export market in India? What expansion plans do you have for ExpoBazaar?
RK: Ecommerce is a growth driver for business. For the B2B export market, it has fuelled growth, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain. The foreign market, especially the US and Europe, are big markets for India, and we will soon expand to Europe, besides Australia and the UK.
India is going to surprise the world. Soon, innovative artisanal products from India will be on the global map.