How SMEs get new customers, digitisation, and free networking from GlobalLinker's partnerships

Over 250,000 SMEs from across 37 industries and 208 sub-industries have directly benefitted from these partnerships, GlobalLinker says.
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GlobalLinker, the Mumbai-based business networking platform that digitises and connects over two lakh SMEs, has been actively partnering with Indian trade bodies and industry associations. This way, it wants to create co-branded platforms and connect SMEs registered on GlobaLinker with SMEs who work with trade bodies and industry associations.

The goal? To help SMEs network with each other and get more business opportunities, says Sameer Vakil, Co-founder and CEO, GlobalLinker.

He adds that there is a “natural and symbiotic relationship between GlobalLinker and trade bodies.”

GlobalLinker-FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisation) platform launch with Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu

Some of the common goals include representing SMEs’ challenges to industry stakeholders, keeping members informed, organising industry events, and more. And SMEs registered or working with Globallinker through partnerships can access economies of scale, using a wide range of business tools and services.

In an exclusive interaction with SMBStory, Sameer explains more about these synergies and how SMEs benefit from such partnerships.

Edited excerpts:

SMBStory: What are the main objectives of trade bodies and industry associations?

Sameer Vakil: Trade Bodies and industry associations are formed with the sole purpose of helping their SME members. First, they aim to connect them with other SMEs to find networking opportunities. Second, they seek to represent the challenges of their members to the government, media, and people at large.

Third, they want to help members stay updated with the latest news and developments from their industry and sharing the industry’s best practices. And last, they organise regular events and meetups for the members.

SMBS: And why are they partnering with GlobalLinker?

SV: Since GlobalLinker makes business growth for SMEs simpler, more profitable, and more enjoyable, there is synergy with the vision of trade bodies. Together, we can set up co-branded platform to help trade bodies connect and engage with their members, manage, and promote their events, and also get a chance to invite more members to join.

The GlobalLinker founding team

Using the co-branded GlobalLinker platform, trade bodies can offer select products and services at preferred rates to their SME members and enable them to sell online, both within and outside their community.

SMBS: What are the main benefits GlobalLinker offers through these partnerships?

SV:  The co-branded platforms act as one-stop-solutions for all SME requirements. This covers networking, knowledge, offers and business efficiency tools. Some examples are free ecommerce store creators and intranet for employees.

Trade bodies and industry associations can also easily communicate to their SME members on the platform through newsletters, updates, and events. They can also invite SME communities to participate in their awards. For example, Retailers Association of India organises and manages their awards program entirely on GlobalLinker. The association also invites GlobalLinker SME members to apply for awards.

Further, we help trade bodies digitise their SME members by creating an eBiz card, a digital profile, and a digital catalogue of their products and services.

SMBS: Which trade bodies have come onboard this idea?

SV: We currently have programs with FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisation), Retailers Association of India, Bombay Industries Association, and WTC (World Trade Center) Mumbai, FIEO. We are in advanced discussions with several national and regional trade bodies, and will be announcing their programs soon.

Over 250,000 SMEs from across 37 industries and 208 sub-industries have been direct beneficiaries from these partnerships.

Here’s what some of the trade bodies have to say about their partnerships with GlobalLinker.

Ajay Sahai, Director General and CEO, FIEO, says, “We tied up with GlobalLinker to launch FIEO GlobalLinker. This co-branded platform provides exporters an opportunity to connect with people across the world who may be a potential buyer or supplier.”

Through this platform, SMEs can save money on a lot of business products and services being offered on GlobalLinker, Ajay adds.

“The beauty of this partnership is that it is absolutely free for the members who are joining and also allows them to know the various facilities that FIEO is providing to exporters,” he says.

Prasanna Dongre, President, Bombay Industries Association, believes that digitisation of SMEs is the main reason the association works with GlobalLinker. “Together with GlobalLinker, BIA helps its members embark on their digital journey, allowing them to network with businesses and seek growth opportunities online,” he says.

The benefits passed on to SMEs seem to have taken effect. Vijayakumar Ramasubbu, Director, Vegie Garments, says he heard of RAI GlobalLinker at a RAI meeting held in Coimbatore. “The RAI GlobalLinker platform helped us connect with more people from our field within India and abroad as well. Another feature we use regularly is the 'Knowledge' section which helps me stay updated with the latest and relevant news and information,” he says.

Vijayakumar’s company is also using GlobalLinker’s ecommerce offering, Linker.Store, to sell its menswear products.

“We use Linker.Store as a one-stop-solution for SEO, coupons, logistic partners and payment gateway integration and more, free of cost,” he adds.

GlobalLinker also recently partnered with the Telangana government to launch a digital networking platform named, ‘Telangana State GlobalLinker’. The new platform seeks to digitise and connect over 2.3 million MSMEs in Telangana to a global community of small and large businesses.

Telangana State GlobalLinker will allow MSMEs to create a digital profile for their business, connect with other global MSMEs, enable them to find buyers and suppliers, gain visibility, and receive up-to-date industry trends and news. Members will also enjoy exclusive offers on travel, legal services and loans, offered by both corporates and fellow SMEs.

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