Business

A Facebook-like platform that connects small firms globally

Sameer Vakil.  

At first glance, the GlobalLinker portal looks just like Facebook. Once logged in, a user will find posts from entities that he is connected with, his network of connections, notifications related to his posts, likes and comments, among other things.

There is just one difference, though. GlobalLinker is not a social media platform for individuals to share updates about their life. It is a dedicated portal for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) where such entities can network with peers and potential customers while marketing their products and services.

“Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform for individuals and we intend to become such a platform for SMEs,” said Sameer Vakil, one of the three co-founders of the company.

“But, our mission and purpose is totally different. We want SMEs to come and talk about their businesses and services. They can connect with potential clients or peers to grow their businesses,” added Mr. Vakil, who has earlier worked with Citibank and MasterCard.

SMEs from 5,934 cities

Interestingly, if the numbers are anything to go by, then GlobalLinker has indeed found flavour in the vast SME community.

Launched in 2015, GlobalLinker currently has more than 2.65 lakh SMEs registered on its platform. Further, these SMEs come from 154 different countries or from 5,934 cities across the globe.

More importantly, the SMEs are able to unlock various benefits by being a part of the GlobalLinker community.

To start with, there are more than 100 offers on products and services offered by member SMEs. Companies from various sectors have even formed subgroups to have very focussed engagements.

Promoters of companies also regularly write on issues related to their sector or business environment to have an interactive discussion with fellow promoters.

“SMEs have written and contributed more than 2,500 articles on GlobalLinker, initiated 25,000 discussions and created more than 365 different groups on the platform,” said Mr. Vakil, while adding that over a million connections have been made between SMEs on the platform.

Mr. Vakil, along with Summi Gambhir and TJS Varadhan, founded what he calls an algorithm-based match-making and business networking platform, which currently has SMEs across 39 industries and 208 sub-industries with the highest representation from the food and beverage sector followed by construction and real estate.

At a time when a digitised or online presence is considered a necessary ingredient for business growth, GlobalLinker allows member SMEs to create a free e-commerce store apart from helping them create digital business cards, digital business profiles and also a digital product catalogue.

Apart from India, local versions of GlobalLinker are live in Thailand and Philippines. Going ahead, the company is eyeing a presence in regional associations such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), European Union (EU) and North American Free Trade Agreement.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 11:49:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/a-facebook-like-platform-that-connects-small-firms-globally/article29310323.ece

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