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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Suchit Bachalli, CEO of Unilog (Part 5)

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18th 2014

Sramana Mitra: The other interesting slice of the market view that you’ve provided is this whole world of people who are not doing e-commerce. They’re slow adopters that you’re now bringing fresh onto the Internet. That’s a very interesting world. Given that you’re operating in a territory that is a lot more behind than where a lot of the early adopter market is, what other white space areas do you see in your orbit where you would point entrepreneurs who are starting today to look at providing solutions?

Suchit Bachalli: Let’s say they have a great search product. They have a good recommendations engine. B2B is a happy stomping ground. With a little bit of customization of the messaging and the product, there are B2B companies that can write fairly large checks for innovative technology in e-commerce. For example, we partnered with Monetate. Monetate has a great market. They’re going out and doing a lot of stuff in the B2C. We’re taking these technologies to a market segment that is located in Wisconsin. I think there is opportunity for new technologies to be downsized a little bit, easier to use, and then sold in the B2B. There, the entry barriers are much less.

Sramana Mitra: The way you sell is a direct sales process?

Suchit Bachalli: We have both. We have some value-added resellers. We certainly have some ability to sell directly. One of the things in this B2B space is they’re very ERP-dependent. It was the same story in the 90s. The big ERP companies never made inroads into the SMB space. You don’t see an SAP or JD Edwards or Oracle in the SMB space. You see companies like Infor. You see mid-tier ERPs. We work with all of them. A lot of them are complementary to us. We sit on top of all of these ERPs because we want to deliver real-time pricing and inventory on the website. The ERPs are a natural ally for us. We work well with a lot of them. We also work well with consultants and independents who help implement ERP solutions. That’s our go-to market strategy. It’s a mixed bag. Out of 100 deals, I would say it’s probably 60% direct and 40% through the channel.

As an Indian company, we wanted to move from a services company to being a products company. Somewhere in the middle of this year, we went over that tipping point where we have over 50% of our revenues coming out of the products side. That’s another part that we want to do. If there are entrepreneurs in India, we definitely want to give the message that this is a much better play to be in. It’s a lot less crowded.

Sramana Mitra: If you’re not familiar with my work, you should check it. I have a book out there called, ‘Bootstrapping Using Services.’ We are familiar with this methodology. We have case studies on this particular topic. We use this particular strategy of bootstrapping product companies using services regularly in our program. Congratulations and good luck!

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Suchit Bachalli, CEO of Unilog
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