From websites to portals, the internet is maturing fast into building
communities on the net. Banking on this concept is a niche Indian player which is riding the dot com phenomenon to create one of the largest ‘industrial
marketplaces.’ Industrial Product Finder (IPF) is a magazine which has been serving the Indian industrial manufacturing and engineering segment for the past twenty seven years. It has gone online with IPF Online Ltd. The new entity based in Chennai is presently funded by the Tamil Nadu State ILFS Venture Capital Corp, which has a 51% stake in the company.
While the magazine has been almost synonymous with information on
industrial products, the portal intends to provide Indian businesses with a ‘competitive advantage to create one of the largest industrial marketplaces’ in the world. The site has 22,000 farm-fresh products online which are listed, catalogued and categorized to easily find products which match specifications.
This is in addition to the legacy of 90,000 industrial products contained in the magazine. The company intends to touch 100,000 new products in its first year, and with this, it would probably be the only portal to have such an exhaustive list of industrial products in the world. The objective is to marry IPF with state of the art technology in such a way that manufacturers of engineering and industrial products are able to do more business-to-business transactions on the net.
The company looks at creating communities on the net–bringing together people of similar interests and in similar industries. The site has made a beginning with about five verticals. The number of communities is expected to go up to 32 within an year. The site ensures that serious and relevant communities build up online, by making it open only for registered members.
For instance, to enter the electrical and electronics vertical group, surfers would have to identify themselves with the group. They cannot become registered members of the group unless other users identify them as belonging to the same industry. “The logic is that people in the same business know each other, and if they don’t then they take responsibility of eliminating the member who does not belong,” explains L
Subramanyan, CEO, IPF Online. The site tries to capture information that the serious surfers would be interested in such as exhibitions, event coverage, news, and buy and sell. The company is in the process of signing MoUs with large banks for transactions over the net. Finally, it wants to make ecommerce a reality by integrating the various aspects of the site such as find, order, quote, negotiate and sell. IPF Online aims to be a comprehensive site for the industrial products market worldwide.