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‘Focus on current customers and revenues, growth will come later,’ says IndiaMART CEO Dinesh Agarwal

“It will take some longer period before we can look at that kind of grown [20%] again,” IndiaMART CEO and MD Dinesh Agarwal said during the company’s earnings call for Q4FY20 on May 13. Right now, the company’s aim is to protect its current revenues and customers, and focus on the growth and ARPUs later since the customers are also suffering from a financial crunch, he said. The lockdowns have already affected the company’s ARPUs for Q4FY20 and for April, and will continue to affect them “substantially” in the short run, and in the long run, depending on how the lockdown plays out, he said. Having said that, Agarwal also said that the company’s geographic and category diversification could help them leverage staggered opening of the lockdown and that the company’s subscription-based model, negative working capital and robust cash reserves made them confident. Impact of economic slowdown exacerbated by the lockdown: Last year, the auto sector and real estate were severely affected, followed by financial turmoil, followed by the NBFC crisis that hit the SMEs, and now the pandemic. “The last financial year has been challenging because of the weakness in the overall economy and we have been sharing this information since last 2-3 quarters itself,” Agarwal said. Expect sales and collection from customers to remain suppressed for next few months: The company is taking cost optimisation measures such as “relooking at the current cost structure, renegotiating vendor contracts, looking at variable costs, deferment of appraisals and temporary salary rationalization…

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