Episode 81 of our award-winning MVP - The Master's Voice Podcast
, features the visionary Bikky Khosla
, Founder of India's largest online B2B marketplace, TradeIndia.com
, in conversation with me, Pavan R Chawla, Founder-Editor of MediaBrief.com.
TradeIndia.com is the complete solution for SMEs. Bikky has been empowering almost every SME and MSME across the length and breadth of India for more than a quarter century -- 27 years now, to be exact, actually.
I flew up to Delhi to record with Bikky, and the experience of recording across the table with the peerless industry veteran, venture capitalist and mentor of entrepreneurs was truly memorable. Bikky was grace personified as he shared insights and wisdom in a truly engaging, forthcoming manner.
In this episode, Bikky walks down memory, reminiscing about how and where he first thought, way back in the mid-Eighties as he walked down LA streets, of a solution for the small and medium entrepreneurs of India.
We traverse TradeIndia's journey from the very early days of the internet, when Bikky was using traditional media to spread the word about his internet offering that has been created to empower SMEs. Over the years, today, TradeIndia has more than 10 million registered MSMEs who, through its web and mobile app platforms, continue to remain in business and are empowered to grow and thrive and contribute to the amazing Make in India mission and story.
Bikky speaks of the challenges he faced in the early stage of getting the portal up and running. Initial challenges? Well, he has a disarmingly simple reply: "Challenges will be there and facing them is a lot of fun. And today I feel happy that I've been able to create 2,500 jobs."
But Bikky does also speak of the hard work entailed by the creation of a huge category of an internet-based business marketplace. Bikky tells me that when the portals, the internet arrived, "the only way you could educate people was through one-to-one meetings... So we spent a lot of money on people, feet on the street -- an executive would go and meet a person and explain to him, because 30 years ago, you couldn't just put out an ad to explain what the internet was. So it had to be one-to-one education of the SMEs about TradeIndia.com and what it could do for them."
Bikky, along with his large team helmed by Sandip Chhettri, CEO
, continuously works to further strengthen the three pillars TradeIndia.com rests on - Marketing, Finance, and Software As A Service.
And Bikky has always remained committed to nurturing and mentoring good start-ups - he has made more than 100 investments. When asked what he looks for