Jet Airways will become India’s first airline to launch an online marketplace for B2B transactions geared toward the SME community, reports this week said.
The airline announced Monday (May 1) that it is launching an online platform through which SME buyers and suppliers can transact. The portal will open sometime within the next three to four months, the company said.
“We need to create an ecosystem that allows SMEs to leverage digital technologies, as they would not be often investing in these areas,” said Jet Airways Vice President, Marketing, eCommerce and Innovations Belson Coutinho in an interview with BusinessLine. “SMEs generally focus on their own business and profitability.
Jet Airways tapped IT company Digitation Digital Solutions to develop the online marketplace, reports said, and will integrate the tool into Jet Airways GlobalLinker, an online business networking platform also developed for SMEs.
“We produce a lot of content on GlobalLinker,” Coutinho added, “ranging from financing a business to insurances, mostly written by experts and related to SME businesses. The content is free, while there are tools to integrate all emails — this is a one-stop shop for SMEs.”
GlobalLinker first launched in 2014, reports said. Jet Airways is India’s second-largest airline and has made similar efforts to target small- and medium-sized enterprises, offering these customers a 10 percent discount on ticket fares for the companies registered with GlobalLinker.
India has a strong B2B eCommerce presence, with Walmart expanding its B2B efforts in the nation in 2014 and B2B eCommerce platform IndiaMART recently landing a Series C funding round led by Amadeus Capital.
Riding the digital wave, Jet Airways is planning to launch a marketplace for small and meedium enterprises , making it the first airline in the country to launch such a platform.
The marketplace, to be launched in the next 3-4 months, will help SMEs buy/sell products online.
“We need to create an ecosystem that allows SMEs to leverage digital technologies, as they would not be often investing in these areas. SMEs generally focus on their own businesses and profitability,” Belson Coutinho, Vice-President - Mmarketing, E-commerce and Innovations, Jet Airways, told BusinessLine.
Mumbai-based IT firm DigiVation Digital Solutions has been contracted to build the marketplace.
The platform will be part of Jet Airways GlobalLinker, a digital travel and business networking portal for the SME sector. For the airline, this is however an attempt to increase the registrations on the portal, rather than an attempt to take on the digital majors.
“We produce a lot of content on GlobalLinker, ranging from financing a business to insurances, mostly written by experts and related to SME business. This content is free, while there are tools to integrate all e-mails — this a one-stop shop for SMEs,” he added.
Launched in 2014, GlobalLinker has about 50,000 registered SMEs with presence across sectors such as construction and real estate, agriculture and agri products, healthcare, medical supplies and pharma.
SMEs from business services and consultancy, banking, finance accounting and taxation are also on the portal, registration for which is free.
Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline in terms of passenger traffic, provides a flat 10 per cent off on flight tickets for SMEs registered with GlobalLinker, in addition to discounts that are on offer.
Jet Airways will launch two flights directly connecting Chennai with Paris and Bengaluru with Amsterdam. The launch of these new routes will enable passengers travel to destinations in Europe and North America with its codeshare partners Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
From October 29, 2017, Jet Airways 9W 236 will depart from Bengaluru at 2.25 am and arrive in Amsterdam at 8.35 am. On the return leg, Jet Airways 9W 235 will depart from Amsterdam at 10.50 am and arrive in Bengaluru at 12.40 am.
These flights will be operated in conjunction with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines. On the same day, Jet Airways 9W 128 will depart from Chennai at 1.45 am and arrive in Paris at 8:10 am. Departing from Paris at 10.10 am, JetAirways 9W 127 will return to Chennai at 12.15 am.
Both Air France and Delta Air Lines will be codeshare partners on these flights.
Jet Airways will operate a daily service between Bengaluru and Amsterdam, while the flight between Chennai-Paris will be operated five days a week.
These new flights will complement the airline’s existing direct operations from Delhi and Mumbai to Amsterdam and onwards to Toronto as well as direct flights from Mumbai to Paris.