Alibaba cautious on India strategy, weighs options

Bindu D Menon Recently in Shenzen | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 14, 2016

bl14_Mikhael Evans

Amazon, Flipkart & Snapdeal biz model doesn’t appeal to us, says Group President

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said its India strategy will revolve around strengthening it’s payment infrastructure. The global firm said that it unlike it’s competitors Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart who are burning cash to gain market share, it will be cautious in its approach.

Biggest online sales

“We will focus on payment in India and services later. In India, we have made investments in Paytm and own up to 40 per cent in the company. We will continue to expand our base whereever there is a mobile phone growth,” Michael Evans, Group President, Alibaba said.

Alibaba had held its biggest online sales on 11/11. Evans said that, “whatever is happening in 11/11 is a proxy to what is happening in the global market.”

Asked about its India-specific plans and whether the company will make more investments to garner a lion’s share, he said, “Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal use a business model which don’t make sense for us. They are spending lot of money to gain money. That is not in our DNA. India is a young market and many markets around the globe are young. So we will go slowly and not do anything differently than what we are already doing.”

Evans said shopping festivals such as 11/11 will become global as it connects manufacturers with buyers. “Future of globalisation will not be with global MNCs but smaller SMEs. Our platform helps goods and services reach a consumer at a reasonable price,” he added.

With offline stores

Alibaba said it is working with more than one million offline stores across product categories to present consumers with an integrated online-to-offline experience across products.

This year Alibaba’s event has over 11,000 international brands and over one lakh local brands participating in the 11/11 activities.

Several first-time brands are reposing their faith in the global shopping event including Burberry, Sephora and Target, Maserati among others.

32% growth

Alibaba’s Single’s Day, a one-day shopping extravangaza had posted a sales of $17.8 billion, registering a growth of 32 per cent over the previous year. Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma said , “We have made massive investments for this day. We think of ourselves not as an e-commerce company but as an economy. In next twenty years, there will be virtual economy on the Internet,” he added

Single’s Day takes place primarily in China with several international brands participating in it.

Since it first launched Single’s Day in 2009, Alibaba has turned its online sale into a nationwide event.

Joe Tsai, Vice-Chairman, Alibaba Group, said, “Shopping is entertainment in China. The idea is to make the experience fun and interactive experience is a part of that experience.”

Published on November 14, 2016
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