China’s wealthiest man and the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Jack Ma is on a visit to India with plans to meet local businesses & entrepreneurs in his priority list. In September, Alibaba raised a whopping USD 21 bn in an IPO escalating the Ma’s net worth to USD 30bn. Also recently Alibaba’s sales volumes exceeded USD 1bn GMV within 17 min on Singles day sales in China.
He is looking to invest more in India and work with Indian entrepreneurs and technology companies, Ma said in his keynote address at FICCI conference.
He arrived in India as a part of 99 member delegation and one of the key meeting Ma is believed to have is with with Snapdeal’s CEO Kunal Bahl. Both companies share a common investor i.e. Softbank and similar business model. There were also rumors about Chinese firm’s intent in investing in Snapdal as a part of their Indian expansion. Kunal Bahl had earlier mentioned Snapdeal’s approach to replicate Alibaba’s model in India.
Ma also announced that for the next three years, Alibaba will focus on globalisation and that he was “watching” India. Indian merchants are the second biggest sellers on Alibaba after the Chinese. Ma said that more than four lakh Chinese consumers are buying spices, chocolates and tea from India.
Praising PM Modi Ma said, “I have heard the Prime Minister’s speech and it is very passionate and inspiring. As a businessman, I was inspired and moved by it. Both China and India can achieve a lot working together,” he added.
Alibaba, which is listed on the NYSE and has a market value of nearly $280 billion is seen as the biggest rival of Amazon in US and globally.
In India; Amazon, Flipkart & Snapdeal are all chasing for the market leadership with heavy fund inflows. Amazon has been rapidly scaling up Indian operations with USD 2Bn commitment from Amazon US which brought Jeff Bezos himself to hand deliver it in India few months earlier. Amazon is also in talks to acquire Big Foot Retail, the parent company of Jabong to fuel its global ecommerce presence as per the reports.
Alibaba has not yet set a strong foot in one of the world fast growing ecommerce market where Indian market offers similar opportunity on which Alibaba grew in China. Alibaba currently has small B2B presence in India. So an acquisition led growth can be a key, and of course he has money.
The e-commerce giant is already on a shopping spree this year investing or acquiring both in China and abroad. Currently, Alibaba controls around 80% of the e-commerce in China but staying away from Indian market may not be a part of their plan. As Alibaba has strong rivals, may not be in China but globally as it goes head on with Amazon in US and will look to capatilise now on India as well. Lets us see where it leaves ‘Made in India’ Flipkart!
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