Home / Companies / People /  JSW One aims to hit GMV of $1 bn by 2023: Jindal

Within just 14 months, JSW One Platforms, the digital marketplace for building materials, has clocked gross merchandise value (GMV) of 1,000 crore. In an interview, Parth Jindal, director, JSW One Platforms, elaborated on the group’s key initiatives to ensure the business accounts for 20% of revenues. Edited excerpts:

Your stated ambition is to make JSW One the Amazon of building materials. How do you propose to achieve this?

Whenever we spoke to our end-customers, whether B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer), there was a great deal of disgruntlement on the way they were transacting with us. At JSW Group, we have the unique advantage of being present in cement and steel, as well as paints. We have the three major products that go into building material and wanted to provide a one-stop shop for the customer’s building material needs. At the core, we wanted to offer ease-of-doing business and customer delight both for the small customer, someone buying products worth, say, 1 lakh, or large customers, who buy products worth 1,000-10,000 crore from us. That was the genesis of our efforts. I also feel the last decade has seen a complete change in e-commerce and B2B areas, and this decade is set to witness huge changes in the way B2B operates. India is growing from a $3 trillion to $10 trillion economy. MSMEs are going to play a huge role in this growth. We feel we were not doing business in the right way to attract MSMEs to do business with JSW.

How has the response been so far? How much investment do you plan to raise going ahead?

We started from absolute scratch just 14 months ago, and now we are a 1000 crore GMV company, which is one of the fastest in the entire industry. We will exit FY23 at 3,000 crore run rate. Next year, (FY24) our target is to do $1 billion GMV on JSW One Platforms. Overall, it’s been a super-exciting journey and we are very excited for the next decade of JSW One Platforms. To achieve break-even by FY27, we have envisioned investments of about 4,000 crore. Currently, the business is owned by JSW Group with equity backing from JSW Steel, JSW Cement and JSW Paints. These three group companies will continue to fund the business. So far, the group has invested 250 crore in the business, which is sufficient for our targets this year, and a part of next year.

Which key verticals or functions will the money be used for?

The money will go into physical expansion, setting up a pan-India footprint. We are also setting up retail footprint. Money will go into building tech, logistics, distribution and servicing. Most B2B ecosystems are not like packaged goods. It’s not like FMCG where it’s picked up from B2C. In B2B, we need to service the material and there are a lot of requirements around creating these servicing capabilities. There are no logistics providers, there are no deliveries. All the capabilities we are building are from the ground-up, to cater to the building and construction materials ecosystem. Money will be required primarily for two areas— technology and customer acquisition. We don’t want to be an asset-heavy platform.

Some of your competitors have big global funds backing them. How do you see the competitive landscape?

Every company wants to differentiate itself from the competitors—on customer service and the ability to deliver. We will continue to focus on that. We have not discounted at all. In the first few months we offered marginal discounts. From the beginning, the focus is on creating life time value of the customer. For every customer we acquired, there is significant focus on servicing and understanding his buying cycle productizing, digitizing, and reaching out to him via every possible channel such as web push or WhatsApp. We continue to differentiate our customer service, product basket, catalogue and offering financing solutions. Enhancing customer’s capability to buy using our bank and financial institution network. If you look at our competitors, none have manufacturing pedigree. They are aggregators or you can call them traders. Quality of our products is all assured because these are manufactured by JSW or by like-minded companies that have come on board with us on the platform.

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