Riding the digital wave, Jet Airways is planning to launch a marketplace for small and meedium enterprises , making it the first airline in the country to launch such a platform.

The marketplace, to be launched in the next 3-4 months, will help SMEs buy/sell products online.

“We need to create an ecosystem that allows SMEs to leverage digital technologies, as they would not be often investing in these areas. SMEs generally focus on their own businesses and profitability,” Belson Coutinho, Vice-President - Mmarketing , E-commerce and Innovations, Jet Airways, told BusinessLine .

Mumbai-based IT firm DigiVation Digital Solutions has been contracted to build the marketplace.

The platform will be part of Jet Airways GlobalLinker, a digital travel and business networking portal for the SME sector. For the airline, this is however an attempt to increase the registrations on the portal, rather than an attempt to take on the digital majors.

“We produce a lot of content on GlobalLinker, ranging from financing a business to insurances, mostly written by experts and related to SME business. This content is free, while there are tools to integrate all e-mails — this a one-stop shop for SMEs,” he added.

Launched in 2014, GlobalLinker has about 50,000 registered SMEs with presence across sectors such as construction and real estate, agriculture and agri products, healthcare, medical supplies and pharma. SMEs from business services and consultancy, banking, finance accounting and taxation are also on the portal, registration for which is free.

Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline in terms of passenger traffic, provides a flat 10 per cent off on flight tickets for SMEs registered with GlobalLinker, in addition to discounts that are on offer.

Targeting millennials, the carrier also intends to increase its focus on social media and introduce artificial intelligence and chatbots to provide assistance on a real-time basis.