The largest e-commerce company in India, mjunction, is smarting from an unsuccessful attempt to sell steel directly to consumers. The joint venture between Tata Steel and the Steel Authority of India, which sells to businesses instead of individual consumers is experimenting with e-tailing consumer products and will wait for about 2- 2.5 years before aggressively pursuing that line of business, its Founder CEO and Managing Director Viresh Oberoi told Pluggd.in in an exclusive interview.
Pi: What are your plans when it comes to the B2C space?
A: We plan to focus on B2C in the space of 2 – 2.5 years from today . And we do not think that the time is going to be too late as we believe in getting the details right rather than participating first.
Pi: But existing players like Flipkart and perhaps foreign players like Amazon would have already made good progress by then.
A: We want to approach it right and not necessarily first. For example, though we were the last player to join the steel eAuction scenario, we have survived the race and till date remain the dominant player in India. We will bring advantages to the table.
A: Once we decide to enter the eRetail space, mjunction will have advantages over its competitors that include its credibility and pedigree. The background we have established through offering services across various industry verticals along with these two key attributes will definitely stand us in good stead. We will be able to leverage existing partnerships and the Tata group will be our greatest support.
Pi: What are your existing operations in B2C?
A: In the B2C space mjunction has straightline.in and autojunction.in. One is an online retail portal that sells a wide range of consumer products.The other serves as the knowledge and content powerhouse for the automobile industry powered by a strong user generated content model.
Pi: How do you see mjunction expanding overseas?
A: In case of buyjunction, we have tied-up with one of the prominent European company, EPSA Groupe in France and we have been working together for the last 8 months. We have gained considerable benefit from the services as we have learned new techniques. Buyjunction gives EPSA Groupe strategic low cost back end operations in India for end-to-end procurement transaction processing. We will also bring EPSA Groupe Category Expertise especially in the areas of Business Travel and MICE (Meetings and Conventions) to the Indian market for clients in this geography to leverage.
As for metaljunction and coaljunction expansion in overseas market, it is more about concept selling. As the industry players over there do not have any idea about the Indian market and the operational approach, we are presently doing pilot projects for the clients.
Pi: Are there big entry barriers for upcoming B2B eCommerce ventures?
A: Credibility is the biggest entry barrier for any new entrant. mjunction, when it entered the B2B eCommerce sector it could bring on the table the credibility factors of TATA Steel and SAIL, a Maharatna company.
Neutrality or transparency plays another crucial role in establishing your credibility to the client. Since our inception transparency has remained a key concern along with innovation and integrity.
Pi: What kind of investment does it take for new B2B ventures? Is it capital intensive?
A: Any new B2B eCommerce venture does not require to be cost intensive. The new venture can be asset-light but ensuring excellent implementation and focus on delivering value is important criteria.