Case study: Business Consulting How An Entire Business Was Conceived, Built And Operationalised From Scratch And Successfully Launched In The Online B2B Marketplace

There has never been a superior time to start an online e-commerce business. E-commerce is at a point that anyone can establish a great looking store and sell a product to anyone, in any city, on any continent.

However, the prevalent barrier to entry also happens to be the very first footsteps in the journey. Uncovering the ideas, evaluating them, testing demand, and sourcing a supplier/buyer can be a complicated process. Many times, for new entrepreneurs, this becomes a daunting task and the sole reason they throw in the towel before every really starting.

With so much scattered information, resources, and tools on the internet, all promising to help uncover the elusive perfect product/service to offer online, where to begin and move ahead?

It was in that stage of a brewing idea of starting off with an Apparel e-commerce Store that the Client had approached the Consulting Team to help them take shape.

The initial thought process of the Promoting Team was to start off online sales of apparels within India.

The Consulting Team with its varied experience felt that this small idea can be converted into a global online B2B business if it can be aligned with the research on opportunities, demand and Gaps in the existing market and then streamlining it with the stakeholders' vision and with this we defined the objectives and approach of the engagement.


The primary objectives were:

  • To understand the B2B dot com market in depth, by identifying the right opportunities aligned with the stakeholders
  • To study the market cases and best practices of various B2B & B2C e-commerce ventures and the strategies behind their beginning, continued operations and sustainability
  • To come up with various business verticals in the B2B e-com sector
  • To develop well-defined and well-detailed business plans for the final zeroed in business idea
  • Ensure that the business is sound and all details in terms of revenue projections, risk assessment and mitigation, scale up strategy with an exponential growth approach and emerge as the most trusted player in the market, with respect to the current business environment has been planned
  • Analyze scope & feasibility of business operation, synthesize operations, finance, marketing & organization resources
  • Create necessary business relationships with various organizations that form part of the ecosystem in various regions
  • Create detailed execution roadmap along with necessary on-boarding of execution partners & create the advisory board to work for a long term association to guide its way forward Ensure successful execution of the new platform by handholding the in house team
  • Work with the team during the incubation phase to create a successful scaling up plan with necessary checks and balances in the overall business model
  • Work with team to ensure a smoothly running internal operations
  • Continuous Support throughout the Business Life Cycle beyond the First Year of Incubation


The Consulting team started with looking at the probable opportunity types to familiarize. Understanding these eight opportunity types are key to helping the team ascertain great product and service niche prospects to sell online.

  1. Uncover Opportunities from Search and Secondary Data
  2. Build an Interesting and Captivating Brand
  3. Identify and Solve a Customer Pain Point
  4. Identify and Cater to Consumer Passions
  5. Follow Your Own Passion
  6. Look for an Opportunity Gap
  7. Utilize Your Own Experience and Expertise – Core Strengths and Focus Areas
  8. Capitalize on Trends Early

The next step was to identify the secondary data available on the search engines from the identified opportunities and shorten the learning curve by diving deep directly into the already existing offerings and competitors to dig out the best practices and then customize it in such a way that it becomes a completely unique proposition and then the following recommendations were made one by one accordingly with time and phase to arrive at the intended objective:

  • Service Ideas
    • Looking for the Service Ideas
    • Understanding the Service gaps and offerings
  • Trending Verticals
    • Selection of Vertical
    • Chosing the Niche
    • Drilling it Down with Keyword
    • Results and conclusions drawn to arrive at the final verticals
  • Evaluating Service and Niche Offerings
    • Criteria Overview
    • Product Based & Market Based Criteria and Selection
  • Evaluating the Market Demand
    • Long Tail Keywords
    • High Search Volume
    • Validating Geographies
    • Social Media Demand
    • Finally Putting it all together
  • Evaluating Potential Competition
    • Identifying Top Competitors
    • Analyzing Competition
  • Validating Service and Niche
    • Seondary & Primary Research and Surveys from Authentic Sources
    • Presell/Feedback from potential select few target audiences
    • Campaign Creation
    • Landing Page and Lead Capture
  • Planning Financial and Business Plan
    • Financial Planning
    • Financial Structure of the Firm
    • Finance Processes & Documents
    • Financial Projection
    • Business Plan with Financials
  • Planning the GTM
    • Recruitment Planning
    • Creation of JDs
    • Induction and Training
    • Target Build Up
    • Coverage and Outreach Plan – Physical and Digital(including the marketing plan for digital)
    • Vendor/Agency management for Marketing Collaterals including the Brand Identity Approval and Finalization
  • Technology and Support
    • Understand the B2B E-Commerce components that make up the buyers' experience.
    • Diffentiating the vendors
      • Starter Store versus Demo System
      • Key Differentiators
      • Technology / Architecture
      • Search and Navigation
      • Personalization / Segmentation
      • Product Information Management (PIM / PCM)
      • Business Tools
      • Solution Time to Market
      • B2B Roadmap / Innovation
      • Creating user stories and use cases based on the model selected
      • Final Vendor Selection and monitoring


The Team conceived the entire business from ground zero, did the necessary background work and in a span of year and a half slowly from scratch had been able to build and operationalize the entire online B2B marketplace business with a proper organization structure, where the client is now handed over the entire business with a 100 member team on boarded in various functions, agreements with the ecosystem partners in place, client has its own presence in the entire Country in each zone, the domestic sellers/buyers are on boarded onto the platform and revenues are on track with the first year projections. The Client is now looking forward to its first round of Funding for expanding into the international markets. The Client received the entire research insights, mapping plan, implementation plan and also the use cases and unique offerings along with the entire strategic framework including vision/mission exercise, strategic wheel, PEST analysis, SWOT analysis, environment mapping and all.