Shareconomy, founded by Jayesh Desai and Shekhar Kale, is a new online platform that aims to connect companies with underutilised production capacities with those who are in need of manufacturing facilities. Jayesh Desai elaborates about the services this platform will offer, in conversation with Huned Contractor.
'Sharing' and 'Network Economy'
What was the rationale behind starting Shareconomy? What is its business model?
Capacity utilisation has always been a challenge for any new capacity installed or for those who are already established. In today’s world of digitisation, it is noticed that this sector where billions of rupees are invested and not utilised to fullest capacities, this is not only a loss for an individual but for the nation as well. On the other hand, our country has the youngest population in the world with the largest number of engineers and technocrats. For an aspiring entrepreneur it is always a big struggle to raise the required capital to start his or her own business. Spare capacity utilisation can act as a major support to such entrepreneurs by eliminating the need of major capital investment.
As to why our company has entered this space, the Rajhans (Desai-Jain) Group has been operating in diverse business verticals for over two decades, dealing with a wide range of industrial fraternity nationally and internationally. Having such extensive industry experience and scores of connections with industry veterans, the group, along with some industry think-tanks who are into the business of consulting, raised an issue about the underutilisation of industrial capacities prevailing in quite a number of industrial setups. It is only after careful deliberations with experts who voiced similar concerns that the group decided to give birth to this new venture called Shareconomy.
Its business model is designed to provide market intelligence and insights into key aspects of industrial growth. It aims at providing a mutually beneficial relationship between industrial capacity owners and potential capacity seekers. Its key features include working vigorously towards realising aspirations of new businesses and ventures by offering them a versatile range of capacities at preferred locations and matching their exact requirements. Not just that, Shareconomy will provide expertise on various aspects of business and also help simplify complex business environments by making them more accessible and uncomplicated.
In terms of its revenue model, its primary income will be from registration to avail data of listing of capacity. However, it has also been designed to generate revenue from advertisements, data monetization and other allied services. Helping capacity seekers to find appropriate capacity owners and matching the contexts of its business leads would bring revenue to Shareconomy. It is also building a platform for allied services required by the industry.
Today, globally – and even in India – underutilisation of industrial capacities is a norm rather than an exception due to low demand for products. Given this background, do you think there are enough seekers for these capacities?
We understand that underutilisation of industrial capacities is a common phenomenon these days, but this is where an aggregator like Shareconomy is needed. We have done surveys and interviews with industrialists and small and medium-scale manufacturers to see the sore reality of underutilisation of their production units. India has the highest population of a young dynamic workforce that is keen on executing ideas into measurable results. This norm is not just seen in India but experienced globally and Shareconomy comes into the picture to help people overcome it as we understand the gap in capacity utilisation. We aim at tapping those young entrepreneurs who have many creative ideas but barely any funding or opportunity to manufacture their products and participate in mainstream business.
Are you also looking at global companies (both as owners and seekers) for Shareconomy?
Yes, we are definitely looking forward to engage with global companies. If we look at the Indian market, there are a lot of global companies involved who are in need a good platform. Shareconomy aims at providing them a better and bigger platform to grow their market. We have a team of passionate and dedicated entrepreneurs who have vast experience in varied fields, and are working tirelessly to provide smarter platforms to many different companies. In fact, we already have a couple of registrations from global companies on our platform.
Are you looking to tap companies across industries or are you focusing on selected sectors only?
No, we are not focusing particularly on any selected sectors. We want to empower different industries with transparent business information and intelligence. We are planning to expand internationally and for that we are already working with 100+ companies of different sectors such as dairy, painting, agriculture, games and toys, etc. with our key potential industries being automobile, engineering, garment, food, pharmaceutical, electronics, etc. Our current key customers include Chitale Dairy, ITC, Global Consumer Products, Baker Perkins UK, Top Gear, Shakti Bhog. Ghodawat Consumer Products, etc. But we plan to take the concept of ‘sharing’ to as many industries as possible.
How can MSMEs use this platform?
As mentioned earlier, MSMEs are our premium target customers as a lot of them are unable to raise funds from the market to expand their capacities and operations. What MSMEs need to do is they can log on to our website and create an account, which is free of cost. After that, we provide capacity seekers a list of capacities out of which they choose their required capacity. Capacity seekers or MSMEs are then provided with a platform to post their needs and find the best option from a pool of capacity owners registered on our platform. We connect both the capacity owners and capacity seekers and make this complex process hassle-free for them. We also provide expert guidance and right people for business to MSMES from our end.
What is your view on the growth of India’s manufacturing sector?
The manufacturing industry is the driving force of any country and India’s manufacturing sector is booming with opportunities and possibilities. It is a major sector for India’s economy and is seeing a major bounce in new businesses. With initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ coming into action, transparency and user-friendly systems are bound to get into the framework and help the industry. With GST implementation, the manufacturing industry will definitely see a major impact and it will take some time to settle the operations. The industry will be benefitted in the long term with uniformity in pricing, hassle-free supply of goods, etc. Shareconomy will remarkably sync with the various government initiatives and help boost manufacturing. It will help in better utilisation of the huge unused capital investment and prove to be a sourcing hub for many industries that are in need of a helping hand to put their ideas into action.
What are your growth plans for Shareconomy?
Our vision is to be a revolutionary and smarter platform where demand, utilisation of capacities and growth will go hand-in-hand. We are looking forward to bring ease in regional, national and transnational industry alliances. We are currently operational in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Surat, Kolkata and Hyderabad and are working towards expanding our business in Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh nationally. We also plan to expand our operations internationally in countries like the US, the UK and Singapore. We have aggressive plans to empower industries with transparent business information and intelligence. The response so far has been great and we are expanding our business spectrum to reach more and more businesses.
The platform aims at a profitable and mutually beneficial relationship between industrial capacity owners and seekers. In fact, it will help realise the dreams of many businesses and new ventures by offering them a diverse range of capacities at preferred locations and matching their exact requirements. While the utilisation of capacities will improve on the one hand, it would avoid duplication of investment and reduce entry barriers for new ventures on the other hand. Newer players and other specialised capacity seekers can post their specific needs. The platform, with carefully thought contextual parameters for registering industrial capacities, will streamline the process of finding the best fit from a pool of capacity owners registered on it.