Source | Entrepreneur : By Sandeep Mathur
Financial Year 2016 was a watershed year for businessto-business (B2B) start-ups in India, with more than a 1000 new companies getting registered and over $1 billion was invested in the segment. Given the fact that traditional IT market is not adventurous enough to give young start-ups an opportunity coupled with the price sensitivity of the market, sooner or later B2B product companies will tend to look at going international.
There are three approaches that most companies traditionally follow:
1. Looking at the markets like the Middle East or South East Asia, you will find most of these economies are much smaller than India, however, sometimes it is easier to setup a shop there from a revenue standpoint and also it is a cheaper option. But, just because you have managed to set up your business in these economies does not guarantee your presence in the US or European market, it is still as hard or simple if you had customers only in India. Additionally, most of these markets are extremely relationship driven and therefore you need to have a clear partnership strategy, else it would be a waste of time.
2. Spend money on online advertising and make sure that the product is awesome and downloadable for a free trial and target smaller companies so that they can download the product and try it hands on. In my experience, a new product becomes instantly popular more out of an accident than a plan unless someone is selling some utility/tool that addresses a dire need or required by lots of customers.
3. And lastly, setup a telesale/ business development organization in India or the US (if you have more cash to burn) and move one of the founders to latter. This approach works sometimes. I feel that we have failed to see successful B2B product ventures coming out of India because most entrepreneurs are extremely conservative on their sales and marketing (S&M) spend.
Average S&M spend for most B2B start-ups in the valley is >45 per cent while in India it hovers at an abysmal 25 per cent and sometimes even lower. This speaks more about the state of mind.