Alibaba plans to en­ter In­dian e-com­merce mar­ket

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

NEW DELHI: Chi­nese e-com­merce ma­jor Alibaba Group is plan­ning to en­ter In­dia this year and is look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties to build the busi­ness or­gan­i­cally or through other means. "We are plan­ning to en­ter the e-com­merce busi­ness in In­dia in 2016. We have been ex­plor­ing very care­fully the e-com­merce op­por­tu­nity in this coun­try, which we think is very ex­cit­ing on the back­drop of Dig­i­tal In­dia," Alibaba Group pres­i­dent J. Michael Evans said in New Delhi.

The com­pany said it is eval­u­at­ing all op­por­tu­ni­ties to build the busi­ness or­gan­i­cally or look at any other thing that might come along. Evans, who along with Alibaba Group's global man­ag­ing di­rec­tor K. Guru Gowrap­pan met tele­com min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad on Satur­day said the com­pany plans to come in In­dia and work to serve both cus­tomers, con­sumers and small busi­nesses be­cause that is the his­tory and the DNA of Alibaba.

"We have in­vest­ments in both pay­ments and e-com­merce al­ready and we will over the course of next year will fig­ure about ex­actly what our strat­egy is," Evans said. Alibaba has made in­vest­ments in Paytm and Snapdeal. Speak­ing about the meet­ing, Prasad said: "We hope Alibaba will come and have a good foot­print in In­dia, in­clud­ing the ex­pand­ing busi­ness of ecom­merce (for which) they are ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity. I have said very clearly that Alibaba is quite free to come and ex­pand its foot­print in In­dia."

Sources who were privy to the meet­ing said Alibaba is very keen to come to In­dia in a very big way, par­tic­u­larly in the e-com­merce seg­ment. The com­pany is ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial whether to go on their own or set up shop with some­one else. "I ex­plained to them that e-com­merce is a ris­ing phe­nom­e­non in In­dia with a growth rate of over 60 per cent," Prasad said. In Novem­ber 2014, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who was on his first visit to In­dia, said he would "in­vest more in In­dia, work with In­dian en­trepreneurs and In­dian tech­nol­o­gists to im­prove the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two na­tions". Ma, one of the rich­est per­sons in China with a for­tune of about $24 bil­lion, founded Alibaba in 1999 in Hangzhou. Mean­while, Prasad also met Asia-Pa­cific head of Ama­zon Web Ser­vices (Pub­lic sec­tor) Peter Moore, who dis­cussed the com­pany's plans to launch a ded­i­cated cloud re­gion in In­dia later this year.

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