Alibaba and Indian e-commerce firms

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Monalisa Sarkar, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.


NEW DELHI: With increase in internet users and smartphone penetration in India, it is now one of the largest online retail markets in the world and is attracting interest from many global investors. With these recent improvements, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is making an investment strategy to acquire some Indian e-tailers.

Its B2B e-commerce platform provides a global market to small and medium enterprises. At present, Alibaba Group has four offices in India and its platform has several small businesses from where goods ranging from spices to chocolates to tea are sold.

In January this year, Alibaba signed a memorandum of understanding with industry body CII for greater business engagement between small and medium enterprises in India and China. Their investment strategy focuses on three aspects; target e-tailers that have large customer base and robust network of merchants, expand its range of products and services and improve customer experience.

In order to take on rivals such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon it is also in talks with many smaller e-commerce players to create a large online marketplace model.

Their investment approach will also try to go global and support entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and technologies. Alibaba founder Jack Ma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March and discussed how the firm can help in empowering small businesses in India.


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