‘Grow Fast’ Should Not Merely Be the Only Objective of Business, Says ProcMart’s Anish Popli

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The overshadowing segregation of the term ‘indirect’ can variegate from business to business. It is in such a situation that ProcMart set foot on, giving a newfangled connotation to the aforesaid appellation, with a mission to provide a digital ecosystem for indirect procurement to manufacturing enterprises by providing them with a seamless experience of B2B ordering, vendor consolidations, inventory optimization, and tax compliance.

Company handout

Since the primary focus of the company’s inception has been on indirect procurement or the sourcing of goods and services that support the operations of the company, it is frequently regarded as a non-core expense for many businesses, despite the fact that it can account for up to 10-18% of purchases in many cases, and it is typically not managed by a single functional unit.

“We sought to address the problems associated with the high operational and logistical costs, the unorganised supply chain, and the absence of quality assurance and monitoring in this sector. Additionally, it was challenging for businesses to keep track of several points of contact. We, therefore, began designing and gradually implementing this strength to strength in this industry with a team of diverse and skilled individuals,” said Anish Popli, founder and CEO, ProcMart.

The CEO further added that, “We plan to disrupt the procurement and supply chain sectors with the combination of expertise, technology, customer focus, and support facilities. We aim to offer semi-customizable plans to maintain a healthy balance between customer satisfaction and scalability.”

While asserting the initial days of the company’s exciting inception journey, Anish revealed that the company was born in 2015, a year which was proven to be the most important transition period for several Indian markets. As stated by the CEO, “The country underwent major economic reforms and we projected a significant increase in output as a result of government initiatives such as Make in India and the implementation of GST. Being from a procurement background, we were able to understand the shortcomings of the market like unorganized B2B transactions and lack of technological involvement.”

He further stated that, “We aspired to fill these gaps and began by addressing the ground-level problems and providing comprehensive solutions to our customers. We planned on developing a mechanism that could smoothen and streamline this whole process.”

Each sector of the business field has its own set of demands and challenges. Encountering and subjugating any obstacles that arise is what sets a good business apart from its adversaries. But, in accordance with ProcMart, working in the B2B sector of India was a challenge as the ecosystem consists of tedious and time-consuming offline communications and cash flow problems. The B2B sector is hugely dominated by MSMEs and over a period they’ve set their industry standards, which make it very difficult for a big player to enter and try to streamline the market.

“A few years ago, there was a paucity of wholesalers and retailers that could provide proper catalogs and pricing in a well-organized manner. The technological adaptation of this sector is slow, but with the implementation of GST and post-covid things are accelerated and are beneficial for this sector,” Anish further noted.

He also highlighted that, “The payment collection system was one of the greatest challenges in B2B, as payment cycles were stretched and are hugely based on interpersonal rapport and trust as the basis rather than histories or credit scores. With the introduction of digital payments, things are getting much better and the adoption rate is also very good. UPI payments are likely to be more beneficial in the coming future.”

At present, the company is also aware of the market trends along with creating an astonishing identity in the sector by itself, and it also acknowledges that there are various other players in the market like Moglix, Industry Buying, and Infra.Market, yet huge portions of the market remain untapped. In an effort to increase customer satisfaction and stickiness, one should strive to offer each client a unique solution that addresses every aspect of the ecosystem according to their requirements.

The importance of money to set a business off the guard cannot be exaggerated, because it is an absolute necessity. ProcMart has raised initial Seed and pre-revenue funding from IndiaMart to build a cloud-based e-procurement portal that brings the company close to product-market fit. Recently, the company has also raised $10 million in its Series A round from Sixth Sense Ventures. With reference to this, Anish Popli said that, “We plan to use the fund for international expansion, strengthening vendor partnerships and upgrading our technology and warehousing capabilities. We will be further working on securing more funds in the near future.”

ProcMart has been positioned as one of the prominent players in the ecosystem because the company has a clear cut vision about the future. With a claim of having 13 fully functional offices across India and 1 in Malaysia, and more than 7500 active vendor relationships including OEM, distributors and traders, the team is planning to open 5 new offices in India and 2 international offices in Australia and Vietnam.

“We have recently forayed into packaging and will be working towards adding a new line of business as well i.e., chemicals, to our existing clients, as we see a lot of scope in this sector which is also well aligned with our current business activities. Along with that, we’re in conversations with potential clients for prototyping new services like store-in-Store services and vendor managed inventories using our mobile application,” disclosed by the CEO.

In the light of the long-term expertise in the sector, Anish Popli advised those who want to start their journey in the ecosystem that, “With anticipation of recession and increasing inflation in the market, the companies should focus and be vigilant on being profitable from the early years only.”

He also highlighted that, “In the market, now we see an increasing shift from growth to profitability, during the last few months. ‘Grow Fast’ should not merely be the only objective of the businesses; ‘Money Making’ now has to come hand in hand.”

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