According to estimates, the online B2B market is set to become six times than B2C e-commerce. Given that there are about 42.5 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India which have 95% of the industrial units and employ 40% of the country’s workforce, it is safe to say that MSMEs will be the driving force that facilitates this rise. MSMEs are crucial for India’s economic development given their tremendous contributions to domestic production and export earnings and their comparatively low investment requirements. The need of the hour, then, is to give impetus to online networking platforms catering exclusively to MSMEs that allow a B2B exchange of goods.
Tapping into this burgeoning industry, ICICI Bank in partnership with First Hive, a cross-channel marketing platform, has launched SME Empower, an online marketplace catering exclusively to small and medium enterprises. The marketplace is open to all SMEs, including non-ICICI Bank customers.
SME Empower: ICICI Bank’s online marketplace for SMEs
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Ajay Gupta, Head- Commercial Banking and SME, ICICI Bank said, “At ICICI Bank, we are committed to offer innovative products and services to our customers at speed and high level of convenience. We have constantly strived to grow our offerings and services for the small and medium enterprises by providing solutions which keep them to scale. The SME Empower platform further underscores our commitment to be a partner in growth to the SMEs by providing access to a large ecosystem of customers and suppliers.”
Aditya Bhamidipaty, Founder & CEO, First Hive said, “SMEs are the growth engines for India and we are excited to partner with ICICI Bank in helping the SMEs in acquiring, engaging and retaining customers. This helps them to not only gain a new series of customers but using ‘First Hive’ – a cross channel marketing platform they can also equip their business to go digital and create a sustainable value add to enabling their success”.