How a marketing specialist came up with a platform to help small businesses in India grow

by Conte.ai 15 minutes read updated on August 25, 2022

Businesses in India couldn’t develop or implement innovations due to catastrophic procurement problems. Although the government was trying to solve this issue, the truly effective tool that fixed the situation was created by Gaurav Sonkar, the CEO of Bid4Best.

The innovative saving solution

Gaurav Sonkar studied marketing at the Institute of Management Technology in Ghaziabad and the University of Chester in England. He worked in this field for 16 years and then decided to change direction and become a financier. Gaurav had always been an employee, but he wanted more from life. And once he realised that, he was ready to quit a stable job with a good salary and launch his own project.

The former marketing specialist had worked with entrepreneurs for many years and knew all the difficulties they faced. Besides, he had always been interested in Human Resources, IT, BSFI (Banking Securities Finance and Insurance), and engineering. For a few years, he had been developing an idea to help small and medium businesses all over India, and finally, he decided to realise it. The entrepreneur found a business partner, Jayant Singh, with whom he created the Bid4Best startup.

“The entrepreneurial sector in India is ridden with problems and can’t develop,” Gaurav explains. “Procurements for small and medium businesses are deeply disorganised, which slows down the implementation of new technologies and the growth of companies. Entrepreneurs rely on old suppliers and markets, which leads to deferred procurement, effort exhaustion, high cost of raw materials, and other problems.”

 

First, Bid4Best developed an innovative solution that simplifies the procurement process for businesses by increasing the transparency of the process and creating new markets; it also ensures trades with the best rates. Gaurav and his team built India’s first B2B trading platform that runs on a reverse auction mechanism. Any business can register on the platform, run an advertising campaign, sell products, expand, and upscale, using the tools provided by the service.

On the Bid4Best platform, customers can find products that fully comply with their needs and buy them in bulk. The service facilitates transparent cooperation between client and seller. All individual objectives – selection of suppliers, assessment of costs, customisation of requirements, and the procurement process – are solved by the service algorithms.

Startup difficulties and how the pandemic improved the Bid4Best service

The entrepreneur admits that when the startup was first launched, there was not enough funding. Frequent difficulties threatened the survival of the company. But with support from family and friends, they overcame it all. The main problem was finding not just employees but people who were sincerely interested in the work. However, they overcame this problem too. The project team expanded over time, and now, 17 people are working at Bid4Best.

The pandemic significantly affected business processes across India, and at Bid4Best in particular. The startup's priority was the health and safety of its employees and clients. Lockdowns and Covid-19 hit the team hard, but the troubles brought them even closer. Despite the damage the pandemic caused, the CEO realised that what the business needed was a secure digital platform for interactions between companies. This insight helped improve the service and make it more interactive.

The tough conditions of the pandemic didn’t prevent the startup from achieving good results: the company’s growth in 2020 amounted to 3850% (TopLine) and 200% (BottomLine). The complete isolation and the simultaneous digitisation of the world during the pandemic allowed them to provide their clients with the opportunity to manage their business remotely and find new customers and sellers from different parts of the world with a single click.

Gaurav with a colleague

Word of mouth as the main source of leads

“We occupy a very narrow and specific niche; therefore, standard marketing tools don’t suit us. We almost don’t promote our business at all: most clients come to us after finding out about us from other companies.”

The Bid4Best team has tested various channels of communication with their audience. They achieved good results with email marketing and adopted this tool. The company has an unusual and varied client base, making it difficult for Bid4Best to work with social media. But the startup is now actively promoting on Facebook and LinkedIn, testing different hypotheses and tools.

Gaurav believes that the pandemic has changed people’s consciousness and behaviour. Now they’re more interested in innovative digital projects, which might be a good sign for small businesses. Companies shouldn’t miss this opportunity and should actively implement technological solutions in their work. This step will increase audience loyalty to the business, attract new clients, and increase brand trust. You can talk about your innovations on social media on your own or delegate it to the Conte.ai’s team of dedicated experts who will take responsibility for your content being created according to the latest trends to make your feed tune into your business flow. Moreover, posts will be published at best times due to our AI-powered technologies.

How risk leads to success

Gaurav is certain that you cannot achieve success without struggle; therefore, struggle is a necessary part of life. The Bid4Best co-founders were obsessed with an idea, working on it day and night, and therefore achieved success. Hard and persistent work helped them upscale the company, assemble a team of like-minded people, and establish long-term relationships with their clients.

The businessman strives to make Bid4Best a valuable and even irreplaceable platform for businesses. Additional tools that the service has accumulated, such as market analytics, articles with trends, forecasts, and other valuable real-time information, help achieve this goal. Each client can use these tools to improve processes in their company.

“The outdated traditional approach to business management had become a big problem in India. SMEs (small and medium enterprises) contribute around 200 billion dollars to the Indian economy, but they didn’t have a structured procurement process. We used our efforts to improve the situation by implementing a set of technologies. I think every entrepreneur must be adaptive, innovative, frugal, and know how to take risks. These are the character traits and skills without which even the most thought-through business model can’t succeed.”

 

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