3M India Limited, the Indian subsidiary of 3M Corporation and maker of over 8,000 products in industrial, health care, safety and graphics, consumer and energy among others, is testing waters in the e-commerce space. The company, which has launched a wide range of its consumer products on many e-commerce marketplaces, has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Amazon India to sell some of its products for B2B customers. ALSO READ: Walmart to take on Amazon in potentially costly e-commerce battle “Amazon India has recently launched a B2B portal (amazonbusiness.in), where products are made available to small and medium enterprises, Tier-II and Tier-III vendors. Basically, small businesses can look to buy their raw materials on this portal and 3M India will be launching many products on this portal,” Amit Laroya, managing director, 3M India Limited, said. Before starting to sell its products on the e-commerce marketplace, 3M India carried out a pilot project by launching some specific products for dentists through a health care portal. “Dentists are independent and they own their own business in a way. So, we tried to prepare some kind of customised kits for dentists. We added some nine to ten products for them like dental fillings, braces etc required by them. Dentists found value in these kits and it encouraged us to explore e-commerce business route,” Laroya said. He is confident that Amazon’s B2B portal would be a game changer for 3M India as it would be able to ship out its products in one place to small and medium enterprises.
"It gives us an opportunity to access all small businesses in once place.
If you are a manufacturer of steel fabricators you need lot of consumables. 3M is a supplier of these consumables like abrasives, steel products, MRO products, electrical insulation tapes," Laroya said.
In the last two to three months 3M India has tied up with leading e-commerce platforms in the B2C segment. "This is working very well for us. We have started supplying a wide range of products like laptop skins, floor mops, several DIY (do it yourself) products, car care products, polishes and other stationary products among others. We have found traction in the sales and we will be launching many more products going forward," he said.
While stating that it is too early to estimate the size of business from e-commerce for the company, Laroya said the company has estimated 10-15 per cent of its total sales to come from e-commerce channels in the next four years.
For the financial year ended March 2015, 3M India has reported net sales of Rs 1,808 crore, a growth of 6 per cent over the previous year.
He said B2C business can only grow if there is growth in B2B segment and to achieve growth in this segment, the company?s partnership with Amazon will be crucial, he added.
3M India has given a list of products to Amazon and is in the process of signing agreements with them. "It is going to take some time. We don't know what is going to sell and what not. It is a learning experience for us. 3M India had experience in other markets like China, Japan and Australia. Those experiences will be brought to India," he added.