Sunday, March 3

B2B Startups Coming Up In Big Way Says Mohandas Pai

Tech investor T V Mohandas Pai today said business-to-business startups are coming forth in a “big-way” despite difficulties in running them when compared to business-to-consumer startups.

Quoting a report, he said there are 20,000 startups in India and 90 per cent of them are B2C, because they are started by young people barely out of college.

For them B2C becomes easy because they see the challenges faced by the consumers out of experience and exposure, he said. “The balance 10 per cent, about 2,600 companies all across the country, would be B2B and of them I would expect 1000 companies to be high quality companies.”

Pai was speaking during a panel discussion on the topic “B2B startups and their impact on various sectors“, organized by Airbus BizLab.

He said despite difficulties, B2B is now coming forth in a much bigger way.

“ is because in the B2C the large e-commerce companies are getting all the money, the smaller companies are not able to get the money and they struggle a lot,” Pai said.

Noting that running a B2B is difficult, he said, “It is because you have to sell to business and selling to business takes long as companies which are in business for a long time are slow to adapt to new technologies as there is inertia in the system.”
A lot of the time, it is difficult for B2B startups to even get off the ground because it’s so hard to find that initial few sales to get the business going. Using better marketing techniques will help improve the chances of a B2B startup to work. For example, they may consider using preloaded USB flash drives to give to potential clients for free as they then have a better understanding of your business, plus they have a USB that will come in useful for them.

But overall we see this trend (for B2B startups), and I think it is cyclical (between B2C and B2B startups) as both are happening side by side,” he said.

Pai also said Bengaluru has unique advantage from the growth of B2B startups with the ecosystem that exist in city.

“Bengaluru has an unique advantage, because there are 35,000 IT companies in the city and there are companies in machine tolls, aerospace, space research, electronics and 3D printing, artificial intelligence which were in smaller ecosystem that are now maturing and more money coming in,” he said.

So if you look at the environment today, I would say that B2B is coming up, B2B is becoming more useful with many more enterprises of the world that are coming to Bengaluru for setting up facilities and this is creating a right base for the high quality work,” he added.

Airbus BizLab today announced the successful culmination of its second season and called for applications for season three by inviting interested B2B startups to apply for the acceleration programme.

Bizlab is a part of Airbus innovative strategy to bring together start-ups and Airbus “intrapreneurs” to work and speed up the transformation of their innovative ideas into valuable businesses.

Through its six month “acceleration programme” for early stage projects, Airbus Bizlab gives access to a large number of coaches, experts and mentors in various domains, it said.

Airbus BizLab said it will soon be launching in India a community of B2B start-ups working in areas such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, IOT and Robotics.