17 Jan 2020, 10:00 — 7 min read
Founder: Mr Ritesh Shah
Industry: Electricals & Electronics
Year it was found: 2016
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
SwitchBazaar was founded in 2016 by Mr Ritesh Shah with an objective to provide an opportunity to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the electrical goods and services industry to connect with buyers across the world. Through the SwitchBazaar online marketplace, SMEs can promote their goods and services to all types companies across the world. Sellers on SwitchBazaar are typically electrical manufacturers, distributors, dealers, importers, exporters and service providers.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Mr Ritesh shares his passion for entrepreneurship, his business journey and goals for the future.
GL: Tell us a little bit about SwitchBazaar. What motivated and excited you to start it?
Ritesh: SwitchBazaar is the dream of some real followers of the 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiative. To be specific, it was a dream seen by myself in the early days of my career. SwitchBazaar is India’s first electrical B2B marketplace for global trade, where our primary focus is to provide an opportunity to SMEs to connect to buyers worldwide.
“If you can dream it, you can do it”. That’s the motto I have believed in all my life. I began my career as an inplant trainee at Larson and Toubro (L&T) and moved along to diverse roles in multinational companies like Essar Group and Reliance Industries. I also hold a PGDBA in Supply Chain Management from Welingkar Institute along with a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, but this isn’t what made me start SwitchBazaar — it’s the vision, the strong problem-solving perspective, and the ability to see what people usually miss, that led me to create this mega dream.
I have always been different, so it didn’t take so long to see what 90% of the population of India was still ignoring. I saw the problems people are facing in sourcing and procurement of transactions. I saw that the whole supply chain between industrial products is unorganised, offline, and there is no dedicated electrical B2B marketplace which could help them in executing their business at the optimum level.
Be very clear about your goal then create a road map. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.
Also read: Piyush Nagar, Founder, SixthSense IT Solutions
GL: What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Ritesh: Right from the start we have focused on the social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We also use e-mail marketing and blogs based on requirement. We have also been lucky to get Indian and global media coverage in publications like Business World, Dailyhunt, Startup Journey, AN News and many more that has also helped us to reach out to more people and create awareness.
GL: What are challenges for your business to grow bigger, better and faster from here? What are you doing to tackle them?
Ritesh: The main challenge is the rigidness and slow speed of users to adapt digital technology, which leads to process inefficiencies and reduces marketing exposure as well. This surprised me but at the same time inspired me to conceptualise and form SwitchBazaar, where electrical suppliers can easily promote their goods and services at a global level.
But like they say, beginnings are the hardest. No business becomes super successful overnight. SwitchBazaar had taken birth in my mind, but the process of making it the solution for the larger industrial population of India was not at all easy. There is a saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I created SwitchBazaar with supreme hard work, determination and with strong manpower from different expertise. It involved a lot of struggle to solve this basic need of the market, but good things happen to those who work hard and have patience. The SwitchBazaar team follows this mantra, we work hard and develop faith through patience.
GlobalLinker is a great platform for like-minded people to come together. I love the networking opportunities that GlobalLinker offers for small businesses to find other businesses to collaborate with.
Also read: Ajit Singh Ahluwalia, Director, Surindra Engineering Co Ltd
GL: You are a Linker. Which offerings of GlobalLinker have helped you?
Ritesh: GlobalLinker is a great platform for like-minded people to come together. I love the networking opportunities that GlobalLinker offers for small businesses to find other businesses to collaborate with. Also, the support that GlobalLinker offers in terms of digital services for branding and marketing is invaluable.
GL: What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Ritesh: To begin with, be very clear about your goal then create further road map and if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.
Be persistent to get into a market, but also keep an eye on the news and understand if there is a market shift happening. Global markets keep changing due to change in policies, political scenarios, agreements, etc. You should be able to steer yourself accordingly.
Most importantly, believe in yourself and never give up.
GL: What is the next big thing on your business agenda?
Ritesh: Currently we have users (i.e. electrical buyers/sellers) from 10 different countries, and in the next few years we would like to expand to another 50 to 60 countries, so we can create a large network of electrical users on our platform.
GL: We would love to know the person behind the entrepreneur.
Network with Ritesh Shah by clicking on the 'Connect' button on his profile.
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Posted bySupriya Mathur
As part of the editorial team on GlobalLinker, I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME...