Apr 19
Enter E-Commerce
Enter E-Commerce
FIVE pillars – adorned with posters of inspirational quotes of Elon Musk, Jeff  Bezos,  Steve  Jobs  and  Arnold Schwarzenegger – partially obscure the view in the glass cubicles where small clutches of men and women are busy in meetings.
Around a large central table, about a dozen more are hunched over their laptops. Some are busy writing emails, a few others are engaged in virtual meetings and yet a few more scrolling up and down their monitors, patiently checking some documents.
The most remarkable feature of this sprawling hall is the silence that prevails.
The long, central table is assigned to the operations wing– the nerve centre of L&T-SuFin, an integrated B2B e-marketplace for buying and selling industrial and construction products, along with finance and shipping support. SuFin is the conjoined term derived from supply chain and finance.
These are some glimpses from SuFin’s head office, housed in The Metropolitan building at Mumbai’s  Bandra-Kurla Complex. Located on the fourth floor, this modern workplace was christened ‘the garage’ by none other than L&T’s CEO & MD Mr S N Subrahmanyan, who believes that any new business must  start  with  ‘a  garage’ before expanding its wings.
‘The garage’ has already witnessed more than 1,500 transactions between MSMEs in a few days since the launch, which is a testimony to what it brings to the value chain.
Besides the operations wing, there is another small set-up on The Metropolitan’s third floor, from where SuFin’s product catalogue team operates. There are other teams that take care of products, business development, sales, shipping and financing.
Business transactions – for a closed user group – on SuFin platform began in March 2021, exactly a year before the formal launch this 7 March. It was a conscious decision taken to avert technical glitches. The formal launch, hosted at AMN Tower in Powai, was both a deep dive and an exposition of a world that reflects L&T’s extensive knowledge and capabilities in procurement, logistics, IT solutions and finance.
L&T Group Chairman Mr A M Naik lays out the essence of SuFin. Describing it as a “new chapter in L&T Group’s growing bouquet of digital initiatives”, he underscores that with last year’s launch of L&T EduTech (an e-learning platform) and L&T-SuFin now, L&T is “reaffirming the commitment to leverage digital platforms and configure new business models that will contribute significantly to the industry value chain”.
Mr Naik expects both L&T-SuFin and L&T EduTech “to provide L&T with a strong entry position in the e-commerce space” and that “this will be a take-off point for a much larger scale engagement in subsequent years”.
L&T CEO & MD Mr Subrahmanyan has an interesting anecdote on the genesis of L&T-SuFin. “The idea of SuFin was conceived on a flight while I was discussing with a peer the operational efficiency of procurement. Since we were primarily discussing procurement for construction projects, what came to my mind was Constzon – something on the lines of Amazon. But during subsequent strategic exercise the nomenclature ‘SuFin’ was finalised,” he says.
Mr Subrahmanyan adds: “The total contribution of SMEs to the GDP is 37% and the growth of the overall manufacturing sector augurs well for them. L&T-SuFin would attempt solving the pain points of the MSMEs through digitalisation and automation. L&T’s deep understanding of dealing with industrial goods will ensure that SuFin becomes a platform providing the best-in-class to customers.”
Mr Subrahmanyan’s vision goes beyond borders. Not only does he see “SuFin expanding into multiple product lines by creating state-of-the-art solutions for industrial trade and supply chains”, once it achieves success in India, the new-age business shall “expand on a global footprint”.
L&T-SuFin’s Business Head Mr Bhadresh Pathak casts a wider light on the diverse spectrum of over 40 product categories that are already available on the platform. They include industrial supplies and consumables, building and construction materials, machinery, tools and mechanical equipment, electrical and electronic supplies, printing and office supplies.
With L&T-SuFin, one can get everything that makes a business work:
• Efficient product and seller discovery will enable  businesses to digitally and cost-effectively source industrial supplies across India.
• Online transaction facility for trading products and  related services, along with payment and settlement mechanisms.
• Finance support to listed entities from partner banks  and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) for overcoming liquidity constraints.
• Logistical support to create convenience for shipping goods from sellers to buyers.
The real story involving a full-scale execution of the well-thought-through strategy has started now, but what is heartening is the high level of customer satisfaction.
“L&T-SuFin has helped me through the finance option for my business and I am now getting a lot of enquiries,” says Mr Mayilvaganan of Thirumalaa Electrical System,  a switchgear vendor based in Coimbatore.
While over 22,000 buyers and sellers are already onboard L&T-SuFin, more than 170,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) have been listed so far. And the numbers are growing by the minute. Welcome to a new dawn! 


There are no comments for this post.