Connect2India, the SaaS Enabled Managed Marketplace for Global Trade, continues to scale aggressively.

Connect2India, the SaaS Enabled Managed Marketplace for Global Trade, continues to scale aggressively.

Connect2India, the SaaS Enabled Managed Marketplace for Global Trade, continues to scale aggressively.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are to play a vital role towards achieving the aim of inclusive growth and lessening the gap between the rich and the poor, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said at the recently concluded International SME Convention – 2018. The international convention with theme of "Business beyond Borders" was attended by SMEs, Associations and Government bodies from across 30+ countries.

India is currently home to 60 Million+ MSMEs and only a very small percentage of that participates in Global Trade. Similarly, a very small fraction of overseas SMEs currently trade with India.  This is in spite of the fact that SMEs are lifeline and backbone of our country's economy. Highlighting this, Union Minister for MSME, Sh. Giriraj Singh said that the first ever International SME Convention is to bring in positive prospects for the Indian MSMEs.  He further said that the convention comes in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for the country. Giriraj Singh even highlighted the need of an integrated platform to integrate product, technology and people that would allow SMEs to go global.

One such company which stood out in the convention and which is making this vision a reality, implementing and executing 'go global' for Indian and overseas SMEs on the ground is Connect2India.  Connect2India, as the name suggests, is a bridge to connect the world to India and vice versa. It is a SaaS enabled managed marketplace for global trade and offers an integrated platform and end-2-end managed solutions to enable and empower Indian SMEs to trade globally and overseas SMEs to trade with India.  Connect2India received appreciation from one and all, including from Union Ministers, for the work it's doing to enable SMEs to go global.

Connect2India Founder with Union Ministers at ISC – 2018

"There are barriers to global trade but it's mostly about perception", says Pawan Gupta, Founder & CEO of Connect2India. "There is lack of knowledge and information with regards to going global and we are bridging this knowledge gap", he further adds.

The world is full of opportunities in the shape of unexplored global markets, WTO recently predicted a 3.7% growth in global trade for the coming year, this means more demand in the global markets, which eventually means, more opportunities for SMEs to sell their product and take advantage of the vacuum between current supply and foreseen demand. Even at the convention, Mr. Suresh Prabhu stressed on the complementary relationship between big enterprises and MSMEs. He mentioned that "Only if the small survive the big will prosper".  Big enterprises and MNCs require global value and supply chain, which is not possible without MSMEs. Need of the hour is strengthening these linkages between big and small, and together both will propel the global economy.

With a fast growing economy, expanding global market, middle class of nearly 300 Million+, and digital penetration of 400 Million+, the opportunities for SMEs are immense. Unfortunately, Indian SMEs are losing on this global growth channel because of lack of global awareness, global visibility and access to global opportunities.  The challenge is Indian SMEs are not aware of what to export, where to export, when to export, whom to export, how to export, how to manage paperwork, how to manage export finance, how to ensure payment, whom to approach to help with export execution etc.  This is exactly the pain point Connect2India is solving, both for Indian SMEs and Overseas SMEs, and is evolving the complete global trade ecosystem in India, with strong value proposition for all the constituents.

"It is more about generating awareness, educating customers and handholding them than a selling effort! We are adding value to the customer from initiation stage till the execution stage and our customers are really appreciating this end-2-end approach where they are getting everything under one roof", says Sumit Bhatnagar, Director-sales at Connect2India, who led the exhibition and presentation of Connect2India at International SME Convention.

Sumit and Pawan at ISC – 2018

We are not aiming to make money by selling gimmicks, we want our customers to actually export and we know that leads would only take them so far. Language barrier, logistics support, documentation & paperwork, due diligence & trade history of buyers are few of the many challenges that an Indian aspiring exporter faces at every step of the way.  If we really want him to be able to export, we have to guide him every step of the way and that's what we offer at Connect2India… The holistic solution", he adds.

Connect2India started its journey around 2 years back with a team of five. "The focus since the beginning has been to build a very strong foundation and deliver tangible value to customers and the strong foundation not on one aspect but on multiple aspects such as technology platform, leadership team, company culture, sales & marketing channels etc", says Pawan. If the foundation is strong, it makes it easy to scale and grow very aggressively. Further, you need to develop trust with customers and there is no better way of creating trust by delivering value. Gimmicks, discounts and freebies will get you only so far. Nothing makes us happier than making our customers happy, adds Pawan.

Connect2India Leadership Team

The approach seems to have paid rich dividends to Connect2India so far. With full platform launched in end of April 2016 for Indian and overseas SMEs, Connect2India already works with a Billion+ data size, has 12.5 Million+ Organic Google Impressions per month, has 7.5 listed SMEs, 2 Million+ Global Trade counterparts, gets 600,000 Google Crawl requests per day and has paying SME customers all over India within multiple industries, including several large Indian conglomerates also using Connect2India.

The leadership team is a great combination of youth, experience and exuberance and an all-inclusive culture has ensured that there is zero attrition of the core team. With its self-sustainable business model and focus on 100% customer success, Connect2India is all set to further scale very aggressively with large number of Indian and overseas SMEs on boarding the platform to successfully arrange and execute their global trade business using Connect2India.

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