Question: According to you, how important is it for SMEs to get into global trade?
The Government aims to bolster India’s march towards becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy and boost Indian global trade to USD 2 Trillion in next few years. However, achieving such high growth will require exceptional structural changes in all sectors of the economy, specially the SME sector which is the backbone and lifeline of our economy.
The SMEs are really important to any country’s economy but are even more critical for developing countries like India. Over the past few decades, this sector, comprising of manufacturing, agro industry, service industry, apparels & textile, gems & jewellery, food processing, metal and alloys, packaging, polymer & chemicals, etc. have emerged as the most vibrant and dynamic engine of Indian economic growth. Apart from boosting the local economies, this sector has a tremendous scope to contribute a significant margin to the country’s GDP.
While there is always only a finite scope for SMEs in the local market, exploring revenue source at a global scale is the need of the hour. Diversifying business in more markets not only allows SMEs to mitigate business risks but also enables them to achieve economies of scale. It opens up infinite growth potential and also makes them more competitive in dealing with domestic competition. Further, it increases credibility and customer faith in the brand, as the customer feels that those products have world class quality since SME is a global brand, neutralizing the advantage of multinational corporations and other larger companies.
So, global trade now infact is a necessity that SMEs cannot afford to ignore. It will not only halt their growth, but hamper their domestic existence amid increasing competition.
Question: What do you think are the major pain points of Indian SME manufacturers looking to export?
Indian SME manufacturers are not able to export because of multiple reasons. For example, finding and qualifying global trade counterparts is a big challenge. Further, in absence of any trade intelligence and detailed trade analytics, the cost of identifying the wrong target product, country or trade counterparts in global trade is really high.
Further, global trade barriers such as lack of reliable data on overseas markets, inability to contact potential overseas customers, unfamiliarity with export rules, procedures & documentation, lack of trained export staff for trade facilitation, difficulty in identifying foreign business opportunities, insufficient access to export finance etc. are difficult to overcome for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with limited knowledge, information and resources available. Additionally, the lack of a credible platform to identify and verify global opportunities, limited access to trade intelligence and market research, and the high cost of trade information have been dissuading SMEs to enter into the unchartered territories of global markets.
At present there are only workarounds such as trade fairs, trade agencies, consulting companies and market research companies etc. and these existing solutions/approaches are tactical, manual, expensive and prone to error with no focus on sustained or strategic growth.
SME needs an end-to-end solution and a partner that would go till the last mile and help them export/import globally. Additionally, technology today has the power to enable SMEs to gain meaningful knowledge about global trade, and understand prevailing trends and potential.
Question: What solution do you provide and how does it benefit your customers?
Connect2India came up with a holistic approach to address the actual concerns of Indian SMEs by providing them with an integrated global trade platform, enabling and empowering them for end-to-end export/import. From initiating to executing trade orders successfully under a single roof, Connect2India offers a technology-driven integrated global trade platform with a focus on overall trade execution.
Whether an SME is just getting started with export/import business, or needs to know the market to target for export/import, or wants to gain access to verified and trusted business partners, or wants to arrange and execute export/import orders with access to network of genuine trade service providers worldwide – Connect2India does it all.
We are a one stop source to enable and empower SMEs for end-to-end export/import.
- Analyzing Target Market – We provide complete trade analysis and trade intelligence to understand the market in a better way. Our unique data science simplifies everything by providing the key trade insights and analytics, making it easier for SMEs to make informed data-driven decisions.
- Finding Genuine Trade Counterparts–We help gain access to global importers/exporters with complete holistic view, trade history, sentiment analysis, find prospective customers, get buyers/importers due diligence done, get real-time global Leads notification and much more to enable safe and easy trade.
- Preparing & Arranging Export/Import Orders –We arrange the export/import orders for SMEs with our integrated global trade platform, strong worldwide network and team of global trade experts keeping your business requirements as our topmost priority.
- Facilitating & Executing Export/Import Orders – With our network driven model enabled using technology; we handle all the aspects of processing and successfully executing an export/import order with our global trade service providers. Further, if anyone needs financial assistance, we help them too with our network of financial providers.
In a summary – “From Getting Started to Executing Export/Import Orders – Connect2India does it all”. Apart from this, SMEs also get to explore markets in various overseas countries where Connect2India has strong presence, thus mitigating the risk substantially. Once an SME plugs-in into the platform, they get access to trade intelligence, trade insights, trade resources, trade tools and utilities, trade service providers, trade counterparts, of every single country.
Question: What is the future of your business opportunity?
According to WTO, the World Export of WTO Member countries itself was USD 24 Trillion last year and is expected to grow 4 to 5% year on 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 world demand.
Though India is the worlds fastest growing economy, its contribution in global trade is just around USD 0.3 Trillion/year. In spite of the Government’s strong focus on SMEs, less than 1% of 65 Million Indian SMEs enter overseas markets because of challenges and complexities associated. This percentage of SMEs exporting globally in developed countries is 20% to 25%.
Similarly, only a fraction of 1000 Million+ overseas SMEs trade with India because of lack of credible information on trade insights, trade resources and trade counterparts in India. This clearly indicates a huge market size and opportunities that are completely unaddressed as of now.
We are increasing the size of the pie in global trade and with that; more SMEs in global trade will be vying for more global opportunities. We just need to make them globally aware, globally visible and globally competitive.
Further, the Government aims to bolster India’s march towards becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy in next few years and boost Indian global trade to USD 2 Trillion by 2022. India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) were estimated to be $483.98 billion in April-February 2018-19, exhibiting a growth of 8.73% over the year-ago period. Being a developing nation, the role of SMEs is very crucial as their performance have a significant impact on the country’s GDP. With the government initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, a major boost is expected in this sector.
For specific sectors also, our contribution to global trade is very low and there is a huge opportunity in these sectors. For example, despite India being the largest producer of agricultural commodities in the world, its total agro-export of USD 38 Billion accounts for only a little over 2% of world agro-trade, estimated at a massive $1.5 trillion. Aiming to push India into the list of the top 10 agro-export nations, The Union Cabinet approved the Agricultural Export Policy, 2018 focusing to increase agricultural exports from the current level of $38 billion to $100 billion in the next few years.
Question: How do I get started and how does the pricing look like?
Connect2India is the first and only platform that bridges the knowledge gap and facilitates end-to-end export/import for SMEs with its global trade integrated platform, end-to-end export solutions and access to worldwide trade network.
To get started, visit us at www.connect2india.com.
As part of the packages, Connect2India offers end-to-end solutions including worldwide trade demand, trade analytics, product competitive analysis, finding trade counterparts, global visibility set-up, arranging and executing export/import orders etc.
The customers can choose from the different packages available on our platform according to their need and can execute end-to-end export/import with the help of our integrated technology platform and our global trade experts.
Question: What output can an SME expect if once they get on board with you?
We enable SMEs to start and grow their export/import with our end-to-end solutions.
The company’s single most important focus since the start has been on providing ‘value’; and that is what everyone at Connect2India strives towards delivering. Connect2India has a strong business fundamental to provide real tangible ‘value’ to their customers and enable extremely sophisticated trade functionality that is easy to use.
With our vision to be most trusted integrated global trade platform, Connect2India focuses on “100% customer success” as its core principles and ultimate business objectives to make global trade safe, easy, and smart for end-to-end export/import.
The company aims to provide a sustainable competitive advantage to clients’ businesses with access to its smart & integrated global trade platform powered by unique and innovative offerings. Connect2India global trade platform analyzes and draws inferences from market data to enable clients easily access and approach the global trade information and knowledge pertaining to their products.
Connect2India offers business value realization in the form of tangible business returns to its customers, extensively leveraging technology to meeting the business objectives. We believe in keeping things simple and assist SMEs to attain a competitive edge on a global scale.
We are currently arranging and executing orders for our customers across India for multiple industries such as Agro commodities, Apparels & Textile, Handicrafts, FMCG, Agro Equipments, Chemicals & Polymers, Metal & Alloys etc.
Question: What role does Technology play at Connect2India?
Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Connect2India. It is enabling end-to-end global trade execution through the platform. From finding best target markets to worldwide demand to export/import duties and trade counterparts, all key steps for export/import could be done using the platform in the self-service mode.
We are using technology to make global trade safe and easy, making use of features like NLP & ML-based reputation & sentiment analysis to compute the reputation of a company, counterpart buying or selling behavior using big data sciences, and application of ML algorithms to derive buyer and seller activity pattern. These technology features help sellers to identify and qualify buyers effectively and vice versa. New features such as AI powered virtual trade assistant enables users to execute trade tasks with just voice instructions.
Question: How many people are associated with your platform?
With close to 1.2 Million+ Organic Visitors per month on the platform, Connect2India already works with 2.5 Billion+ trade data stats, has 2 Million+ Global Trade counterparts, gets up to 1 Million Google Crawl requests per day, has 90,000+ Strong User Base and paying SME customers all over India within multiple industries such as Agro commodities, Apparels & Textile, Handicrafts, FMCG, Agro Equipments, Chemicals & Polymers, Metal & Alloys etc.
The Google Organic Impressions for our integrated global trade platform in the month of March 2019 was 19.5 Million+ from users around the world which suggests that there is a huge demand and market adoption for its global trade platform. We expect this number to reach 50 Million+ / month by next quarter.