Metalstreet: Enabling Data-Driven, Smart Buying for SME's and Consumers of Metals by Digitizing their Purchase Process

Nupin Pillai, Shashank Ananth & Arun Shukla, Co-FoundersB2B e-commerce has for long been in the shadows of B2C e-commerce. However, this fledging industry is now rapidly growing and is eliciting interest from entrepreneurs, B2C e-commerce players and investors. In early 2017, when the GST regime was just kicking in and India was finally becoming a ‘single market’ devoid of state borders, Shashank Ananth, Nupin Pillai and Arun Shukla met folks from the steel industry who highlighted issues relating to opaque and volatile pricing, and the lack of information relating to inventory availability in a fragmented supply chain. Given the size of the market and the introduction of GST, the team looked at this as an opportunity to create value for all stakeholders of the supplychain. Taking advantage of the circumstances, the trio, conceptualized ‘Metalstreet’ a supply chain marketplace for metals, commodities and capital goods where buyers and sellers can run pan India trades and leverage inventory and price arbitrage beyond their existing buyer/seller networks.

“At Metalstreet, we strive to become a single window for metals purchase for a buyer. A buyer uses our unique pricing tool to arrive at the lowest product price and buys from suppliers hitherto unknown to him. He also avails trade guarantee from Metalstreet and is assured of quality and quantity. Buyers can also track their consignments in realtime on
the Metalstreet app and can availa range of services that also include purchase finance. We’ve had several instances where buyers have located new suppliers through Metalstreet and have realized savings of Rs.1500/tonne on the landed cost anyone who understands the metals industry can tell you that this is an extremely significant cost reduction, ”says Shashank Ananth, Co-Founder, Metalstreet.

Metalstreet facilitates direct trade for large value/volume transactions between buyers and sellers while providing guarantees to both parties

Metalstreet is one of the very first in this space to have attempted to digitize the purchase path for high value/volume trades while providing an extremely user friendly, B2C kind of experience to both parties involved in the trade. “Apart from the metal requirement, buyers often want to know the technical parameters of the material that is being delivered. We solve this problem by facilitating ultrasonic testing of the material and procuringthe technical certificates from the manufacturer to ensure the right material is getting delivered. This not only minimizes product return rates but also makes the entire process simple and easy. Also, while the customer’s requirement is always about what they want, we make an endeavour to understand what they need. And, when you focus on the need, you land up providing options aplenty that were never envisaged in the first place. And the icing on the cake is that technology does all of this in a quick, transparent and efficient manner,” briefs Shashank.

Both buyers and sellers are the customers of Metal street. Buyers are typically industries, fabricators and SMEs (manufacturers) who consume metals as raw material, while the sellers are traders, distributors and manufacturers of metals. Having started with steel as the first category, Metalstreet is slowly addressing other categories metals and beyond. “We are rapidly adding newer sub-categories under metals including some that are extremely disorganized. We are also looking beyond metals and are evaluating several commodities and capital goods categories. Additionally, we are looking to strengthen our services that include buyer finance, logistics, service centers and warehousing. We also aspire to expand our geographical reach to tier 2/3 cities and are developing localized versions of our apps to make it easier for customers from these regions to deploy technology,” says Shashank Ananth. In summary, Metalstreet is looking for innovative ways to help customers increase transparency, efficiency and profitability in addition to overcoming geographical limitations right from their smartphone.