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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2009 - issue > Top 25 Most Promising E-Commerce Companies

mjunction: Dawn of value-added supply chains

Eureka Bharali
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Eureka Bharali
Internet nightmares and runaway stock prices haunted every firm in 2001. The casualties in the web sphere began to pile up from the shakeout in eCommerce and financial experts found it easier to liquidate a factory than a Web page. The two competitors, private sector giant TATA Steel and public sector behemoth SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited), did not expect such a calamity when they joined hands to foray into the internet space during the dotcom boom.

The two rivals leveraged on their experience to tight ship the secondary steel transaction via the use of technology and Internet. They had the Rs.20 crore business plan intact with a well-laid cash flow strategy. But their fate had some other plans and before the paper works turned into an actual business, the dot com bubble busted. Investments shrunk and the cash-doomed promoters left their ventures astray. Association of the names like Tata and SAIL could not reverse the trend and the third promoter ditched the foray in the last moment. Left with an actual cash of Rs.8 Crores, the company was destined to be in losses. The competency in the field helped them to remain undeterred and aiding them in the venture, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) re-structured the business model based on revenues to be generated by advertising. How would a business run on advertising, when the market lacks faith in the business platform? The same thought struck the promoters and discarding PWC’s model they shifted their focus from advertisement based to transactional based revenue model. So, emerged mjunction services limited, an eCommerce portal with a core focus on steel transaction and rebuilding supply chain aided by technology.

Today, mjunction boasts of an annual transaction value of Rs.15,000 crores and more than Rs.52,000 crores since inception. Had the third promoter contributed his share of Rs.2 crores, in six years it would have grown 60 times to Rs.120 crores. “Innovation became the cornerstone for us to survive. We have created the value in the market without the resources, as we were determined not to offer any free service, unlike our competitors in the sphere,” said Viresh Oberoi, Managing Director and Founder CEO of mjunction.

Founded in 2001, the company has re-created the supply chain with the blend of technology through being innovative, fair and transparent to generate and deliver long-term sustainable value to its clients and the industry. The way secondary steel and other commodities like coal are sold is very transparent, convenient and efficient. It has added considerable amount of value not only to the sellers of certain commodities but to the entire constituent of that supply chain, whether they be the buyers, the transporters, the financers amongst several others. Through strategic innovations like the first Online Auction of Vintage & Classic Cars or auction of Indian Steel and Wire Products’ (ISWP) old and used aircraft, the company has unlocked the best price for the sellers. However, the show wasn’t only seller sided. For the classic cars’ auction, the bidders were no ordinary car consumers; rather the company identified 60 collectors and connoisseurs of vintage cars. The process ensured a two-way satisfaction as the seller received the maximum profit, while the car could satiate the buyer’s specific interest. It is this value and credibility, which has helped the company to rope in 52 clients in the country and emerge as one the world’s biggest steel market within a short span of time, successfully outsmarting the likes of Corbus and Areva in the steel market.

As an obvious forward integration and offering more value addition for its clients, the company launched fulfillment services involving crucial activities like financing, logistics, inspection, knowledge amongst others. They have spanned across the entire eCommerce spectrum through their different portals. metaljunction facilitates eSelling Services, buyjunction provides eSourcing services and valuejunction for the eSelling of idle assets. Though the core focus is in steel and coal, the company is well aware of the market trends and has aptly ventured into the B2C retail space through their online store straightline.in that caters to electronics and consumer durables. Over the last eight years, as it gained the confidence of the clients, mjunction way exceeded its plan and successfully diversified its business. The motto was not only to diversify but to be the pillar for value added services, which justifies the launch of coaljunction an eAuction service for coal. The step eliminated the middleman and terminated the coal mafia. Today, mjunction has service offerings spanning the entire eCommerce spectrum and operates through – metaljunction.in, buyjunction.in, coaljunction.in, valuejunction.in, financejunction.in, autojunction.in, straightline.in and mjunctionedge.

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