June 12, 2008, The Economic Times
mjunction, the e-commerce joint venture between TATA Steel and Sail, will aggressively bid for procurement outsourcing deals globally, drawing on experience gained from its first international client - European steelmaker Corus.
India's biggest e-commerce platform, equally owned by the domestic steel giants, plans to eventually establish its physical presence in continental Europe.
"Till date, we have been targeting Indian players. We believe a potential economic slowdown will see corporates more aggressively look at procurement outsourcing. The Corus experience will hold us in good stead as we look for more business globally", CEO and MD Viresh Oberoi said.
Besides Europe, mjunction will seek to tap the American and Australian markets. Anglo -Dutch steelmaker Corus was bought by TATA Steel in 2006.
Procurement outsourcing involves a variety of activities, including the buyer floating a request for proposal, identifying sellers, zeroing in on products, price negotiations and arranging for supplies, although the last named activity is mainly undertaken by logistics firms.
Mr. Oberoi said it was difficult to estimate the size of the global procurement outsourcing market. Many domestic BPO companies have evinced interest in the market for procurement outsourcing but these relate to activities such as the issue of purchase orders and payments. Mr. Oberoi said mjunction enjoyed an advantage over BPO firms because of its expertise in retail e- commerce as well as the ability to offer low costs.
mjunction, established more than six years ago, handled transactions worth Rs. 10,300 crore in 2007- 08 and Rs. 8,200 crore in 2006- 07. It is aiming for a 50% rise in the value of deals this fiscal. Some 90% of its transactions by value are from trading in metals - mainly steel - and coal.