Leveraging the Proven Models of Alibaba, Tata Sons Poised to Build a Marketplace for SMEs

CIOReviewIndia Team | Monday, 12 April 2021, 04:16 IST

Leveraging the Proven Models of Alibaba, Tata Sons Poised to Build a Marketplace for SMEsTata Sons is building a marketplace for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India that will marry the proven models of Chinese ecommerce player Alibaba and internet firms like Google and Zoho, providing digital tools and solutions to ramp up their business.

The new entity, Tata Business Hub, is being led by veteran Tata Consultancy Services executive Venguswamy Ramaswamy, global head of TCS iON that offers cloudbased IT solutions as a service to small and medium firms, stated in a report.

Tata Business Hub will provide a suite of digital tools built by TCS in segments such as marketing and customer engagement to SMEs on its platform — nexarc — that will also have strategic tie-ups with banks and financial institutions to assist small and medium firms raise funds for their business, the publication mentioned citing people aware of the development. “Several small organizations are not able to access credit or good technology or proper marketplaces to showcase their products,” one of them stated in a statement. “This will be a platform to enable that.”

Officials responsible to the development told the business daily that earlier Tata Business Hub held talks with IndiaMart for a possible alliance, but it did not work out. officials close to the development stated.

The entity is setting up a team of curated advisors to assist small business entrepreneurs advise on challenges they face in their business and guide small businesses

The platform has hired Aditi Puri Batra, former country manager of US software platform for small businesses Intuit, as its chief business officer and moved Bindiya Verman, former head of HR at CaratLane-Titan, as its chief human resources officer. It has also hired executives from digital startups such as Ola and Dailyhunt as it’s building mobile-first applications for businesses, sources stated

Ramaswamy said it was too early to comment on the organization’s plans.

The platform has begun enlisting small and medium enterprises across the country for free, promising them leads through its platform.

“It (nexarc) has to provide something beyond listing companies. It has to identify manufacturers with suppliers and do the matchmaking,” the publication quoted Kuldeep Walujkar, director of Corros Metals as saying. Corros Metals is a small enterprise in Pune that is listed on the platform through a Tata dealer. “India and China are different markets. Alibaba is a very different story. There is an equal amount of buyers in China. India has limited buyers and many suppliers. There should be proper matchmaking with support,” Walujkar added in a statement.

The platform has tools for generating invoices, bill collections, chat and video conferencing that have been built by TCS and hosted on the cloud. Some of these tools have a freemium option, where customers get access to a limited set of services and pay a premium for extra features, a proven model of most software companies to win their customers.

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