Since the second half 2020, India’s startups have seen an unexpected spike in Unicorn numbers. Although most sectors struggled to survive, Indian startups managed to attract attention from foreign investors. Moglix was one such startup that earned Unicorn status among many others.
Rahul Garg founded the B2B online marketplace platform in 2015. It raised $120 Million in Series E funding led by Falcon Edge Capital, Harvard Management Co., and Harvard Management Co. with participation by existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital India.
Garg speaks with Entrepreneur India about his decision to quit his job and start a business from scratch. This is also his first interview with Emeritus Ratan Tata.
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Garg earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at IIT Kanpur, and then he completed an MBA in Marketing at the Indian School of Business.
He was able to take on multiple roles in his career with these two degrees. Conexant System, which was acquired by Ikanos Communication, employed him as a product manager. He then joined Google, where he was head of AdX for India and SEA.
He quit his job at Google in January 2015 and founded his company Moglix three years later. He is the entrepreneur in his immediate family. Garg answered a question about why he quit his job at Google. He said that entrepreneurship was a natural progression from his IIT days.
Garg had previously started two companies that failed, but they didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams. He stated that he was in his mid-30s and had the financial stability for the third dive.
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Moglix, as mentioned, was founded in 2015. This was at a time when Indians could get home delivery via e-commerce platforms. Flipkart was gaining ground and Amazon was closing the gap.
Garg said that the idea behind Moglix was simple. Garg stated that what is happening in B2C must also happen in B2B, particularly in the manufacturing space and in infrastructure. In 2015, Indiamart was the only platform that could cater to B2B needs.
“I was able to see all the Asian commerce businesses and the entire region from my vantage point. Alibaba was one of these companies. Garg stated that after studying these companies, I had a strong feeling that what happened in Flipkart, Amazon, and B2C eCommerce would have to occur in B2B.
He said that entrepreneurs must start at least two to three years before the market can be built. He explained that Flipkart couldn’t be started in 2014-2015.
Moglix, an online platform, offers solutions for more than 500,000 SMEs as well as 3,000 manufacturing facilities across India, Singapore, and the UK. According to the company, several major manufacturing companies such as Vedanta and Hero MotoCorp have used their platform to procure indirect material.
The startup boasts a network of more than 16,000 suppliers, 35 warehouses, logistics infrastructure, and close to 500,000+ product lines.
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It is difficult to get investment for a startup in a market that is still developing. Garg was able to understand this at every stage. According to Garg, B2B was an area where investors were slow in investing capital between 2015 and 2019.
Garg believed in long-term play and chasing big markets. Garg believed in long-term investment and Moglix, which has raised over $220 million since its last round of funding, is now valued at more than $1 billion.
Jungle Ventures and Accel were the first venture capital companies to recognize the potential of Moglix and invest in them. Indian business mogul Ratan Tata also saw the potential of Garg and his team.
“Having the opportunity to show our startup to him was a huge achievement for us. On his 2016 meeting with Ratan Tata, Garg stated that he had never even considered getting a cheque.
Garg described the moment of victory as a moment of victory’ when Mr. Tata gave him a check and called it a pahela exam passing hogaya’
Garg believed that the pandemic, which decimated the sector, helped people move online. From Jan-March 2020 to January-March 2021, the startup saw a 200 percent increase in its revenue.
Moglix also helped to alleviate the country’s oxygen crisis in the second wave. The startup also collaborated closely with GiveIndia and ACT Grants.
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