As the basis for the development of a number of industries, the steel industry in India has always been a force to be reckoned with. From construction companies to MSMEs, several companies are profiting from the sector as the sourcing of raw materials is an integral part of the process. The procurement process in India is very localized, unorganized and requires manual intervention.

Metalbook, a comprehensive digital sourcing platform for steel products, has simplified the process for organizations looking for raw materials. With a nine-member team based in New Delhi, the startup provides manufacturing, processing and logistics solutions according to consumers, ensuring that the products that reach them are perfectly suited to their needs.

Brand creation

Metalbook was founded by Aman Tibrewal, Pulkit Baldev, and Raghavendra Pratap Singh in January 2021. The core team’s experience and business acumen comes from the collective knowledge of the industry they possess.

Metalbook is run by Pulkit, an IIM graduate with experience working at companies like Tata Steel Ltd and OFB Tech. Company operations and technology product implementation are overlooked by Raghavendra, who previously worked with Uber, Reddoorz, and Loconav, after graduating from Delhi University of Technology. Aman comes from a traditional family of companies specializing in the steel trade and has also worked with JK Tires. Understanding the industry’s shortcomings, the team decided to disrupt the steel sourcing process across the country.

Realizing that buyers find it tedious to get high quality products at low prices with satisfactory service assurance, Pulkit and Aman realized that the power parity between resellers, distributors and fulfillment centers had to be transferred to consumers. . Thus, they introduced a digital platform capable of maintaining full transparency with consumers and, simultaneously, providing the best service.

In less than a year, Metalbook has experienced 18-fold QoQ growth, integrated over 370 steel suppliers and 200 customers across the country, and landed customer accounts such as DLF Limited, BL Kashyap and Sons, Zetwerk, Moglix, etc.

Challenges, growth and the way forward

Several VCs have missed the opportunity to invest in the business at the ideation stage, citing the low profit margins and capital-intensive nature of the industry. But that didn’t stop the founders from believing in their idea and led them to run the business in a primed way and grow extensively. The founders then decided to observe a judicial mix of advance and credit orders and enlisted the help of the NBFC and distribution networks. The idea worked wonders and the level of revenue execution for a seeded startup was unprecedented.

Metalbook recorded profitable Rs 50 crore turnover in just six months of FY22. Its order book currently stands at over Rs 230 crore and is expected to reach Rs 500 crore by the end of November 2021. This put Metalbook on the right path to becoming a profitable startup with the highest turnover in the first year.

A higher level of traction in the market has now allowed Metalbook to venture into the second phase of its expansion plan, and the core team plans to raise funds accordingly in the coming months.

According to the founders, the key factor that helped Metalbook grow was the dedication and experience of the core team. The knowledge they gained over the years and the trust factor helped them go full speed from the start, which allowed the business to grow at an exponential rate.

The level of services offered by the company is second to none, which has helped it generate huge market demand. Another factor that has helped the business grow is the underlying goal of understanding problem areas for the consumer and implementing fluid ideas to solve those issues through their platform.

The startup aims to record a net turnover of Rs 1,000 crore by FY23 and raise funds from VCs to establish a consolidated sales team and grow further. Several new products are aligned with branded solutions for Metalbook, which are expected to be released soon, the founders said.

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