Tata developing “Tata Business Hub” like Alibaba as a marketplace for Indian SMEs

Tata Sons are developing a marketplace for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India that will unite the models of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and internet firms like Google and Zoho. The marketplace “Tata Business Hub” will offer digital tools and solutions to help scale up the businesses of SMEs.

The new project, Tata Business Hub, is being developed under Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head of TCS iON that offers cloud-based IT solutions to small and medium firms.

Tata Business Hub will offer SMEs a profile of TCS-developed digital tools in marketing and customer engagement on its platform, nexarc. It will also have strategic tie-ups with banks and financial institutions to aid small and medium firms in raising funds for their business. “Several small companies are unable to access credit, good technology, or proper marketplaces to showcase their products. This will be a platform to enable that,” as quoted in an Economic Times report.

According to officials close to the development, there were talks regarding a possible alliance between Tata Business Hub and IndiaMart. However, it did not work out. Tata Business Hub is assembling a team of curated advisors to assist and guide small business entrepreneurs in the challenges they face.

The platform has hired the former Country Manager of the U.S. software platform Intuit, Aditi Puri Batra, as its Chief Business Officer. Former Human Resources Head at CaratLane-Titan, Bindiya Verman, has been named as its Chief Human Resources Officer. Several executives have also been hired from digital startups like Ola and DailyHunt as the platform develops mobile-first applications for businesses.

Tata Business Hub has commenced the enlistment of small and medium enterprises across India for free. It has promised them leads through the platform. “Nexarc should offer something beyond listing companies. It must identify manufacturers with suppliers and do the matchmaking,” said Kuldeep Walujkar, Director of Corros Metals. “India and China are different markets. Alibaba is a very different story. There is an equal amount of buyers in China. India has limited buyers and many suppliers. There should be proper matchmaking with support,” he added. Corros Metals is a Pune-based small enterprise that is listed on the platform.

Nexarc has tools to generate invoices, bill collections, chat and conduct video conferences that have been developed by TCS and hosted on the cloud. Few of these tools have a freemium option, wherein customers get access to a limited set of services and pay a premium for extra features.

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