The commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu launched the FIEO GlobalLinker, a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join a global community of growing businesses, on Tuesday in New Delhi.
The app, said the minister, will help in expanding India’s multi-focused export strategy and also aid in connecting art and artisans to the market. He also said that at least 300 Geographical Indications will be registered on it very soon.
To check how the platform works, SME Futures installed the FIEO version of the app in Huawei Honor 7 phone. The first page is to register your business where you enter all details including name, location, business type, etc., which is followed by the OTP-based activation of your account. The welcome page asks for more information including nature of business, which the app uses to pull a list of other businesses from the same vertical.
The app officially claims to have over 1,40,000 SMEs registered. However, on Google Play store, it hardly shows any downloads and reviews from users. You can see a list of them once you register and connect with them. But you only get to see businesses of the domain you are registered for.
The dashboard of GlobalLinker looks much like Facebook newsfeed, where we could see an impressive numbers of ongoing discussions on a variety of topics. The dashboard page comes with four main tabs – Biz Forum, Network, Offers and FIEO services. Biz Forum shows list of articles that are related to your business type and discussions around topics of your domain.
The Network tab has several functionality including GlobalLinker Assist, which allows you to raise a query if you want. You will also find all common interest groups that are available and relevant to your business. The Offers page shows a list of offers that you might find enticing. However, there are not too many of them to explore as of now. You can also feature your product and service by raising a request for Member Listing.
The FIEO Services tab is a listing of all forthcoming events, trade policy information, and press releases, tweets, etc. However, we could not open a single link from the listing.
The FIEO GlobalLinker — like it is mentioned earlier — looks more like Facebook with newsfeeds and message tabs. The only catch is that it is little buggy. The app closed automatically several times during our testing. We found it sluggish too most of the times.
Overall, it is a handy app for exporters to find clients, suppliers and advisors if it can find enough users, since its existing database of registered entities does not seem to be actual users. They can benefit from its ability to create free e-commerce store for direct sales and improved chain management is an added advantage for SMEs.