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In the Press

Polymer site is industry's toast MID-DAY, 5 April 2001

POLYMERUPDATE.COM was India's first plastics related site launched in November 1999. With over a half a million page views in 2001 itself, a new look site will soon be launched with an active trading platform.

Polymerupdate.com has over 8,500 registered users and the number is fast growing. The site provides real-time news feeds. Further, due to the limited penetration of the Net in India, it will on public demand, now take its news and price feeds out to the industry through the widest network available in India - telephone lines.

The site offers a dial-an-update service - a unique, first of its kind in the world service, for which the initial response has been overwhelming.

So how did the ideation for the site happen? The extreme volatility in resin pricing made it imperative for resin producers, processors and traders to stay informed. This helps in streamlining inventory management, purchasing raw material at the right price and keeping in touch with market happenings - all leading to an immense cost saving.

The Polymerupdate team has tied up with Telivoice (formerly Navinmail) with which one can, at the cost of a local call, access the latest news and price updates provided exclusively by Polymerupdate, through any touch tone telephone across the country and also across select overseas locations, helping one stay informed. Further, voice commerce will soon be introduced through this unique medium, all for a very affordable fee.

An industry site, like Polymerupdate is not a destination in itself, but more of a facilitator. This is because Net transactions require some getting used to, particularly in India. Security is a primary concern for most users.

Polymerupdate provides a one-stop-shop that assists customer read market trends, follow price movements on a real-time-basis, predict future price trends, manage inventory, track what the competitors are doing, and above all, help the customer trade without having to suffer the inefficiencies associated with the traditional method of placing an order.

Further, their platform helps the processor post his inquiry in a seal bid fashion. Depending on his price and product requirement, he may get offers from several individuals (manufacturers, traders, distributors or even other processors who have excess stock). When a match is made (the hand-shake) on their trading platform, the transaction is taken offline. They get paid through what they call a listing fee (list of products to sell) and an access fee (access the listings made by the buyers), both charged to the supplier.

Another model at Polymerupdate is the demand aggregation model. Since the market in India is highly fragmented, they aggregate demand and create buyer pools. Small buyers club their inquiries to form a larger pool which is then opened to manufacturers/traders/distributors and so on. A bidding process starts whereby the pool quantity, regarded as one, gets a price benefit. This is done region-wise to overcome the logistics problem.

Since theirs is an industry backed site, the model has been developed in-house working very closely with processors, traders and distributors alike. Credibility is built into the system to help the investors, who are some of the country's leading processors, to post their inquiries.

Polymerupdate touched over 7,50,000 page views last month and will soon see a steady inflow of revenue. As their monthly costs are minimal, they seem set to survive the ongoing Internet space badgering, quite comfortably. Or so is evident, from their strong brand equity and growing popularity.