Jack Ma Alibaba (1)The Alibaba Group is turning its sights on the Indian market. The group’s founder and chairman visited India in late November, leading a large Chinese delegation.

While Alibaba doesn’t currently have any direct presence in India, Ma said: “I myself commit that we will invest more in India, work with Indian entrepreneurs, India technologists to improve the relationship of the two nations and to improve the great lives of human beings.”

“There are large numbers of Indian businesses on our websites,” Ma told the conference. “We have over 400,000 Chinese consumers buying Indian chocolates, spices and tea. I did not realize Indian chocolates were so popular … India has many more great products, which it can sell to China on Alibaba.”

Emphasizing Alibaba’s focus on helping small businesses globally, Ma said: “ Over the next three years, one of the key strategies for Alibaba is to globalize and to make sure that we can help more small businesses around the globe to use our services to do business.

In October, one of Alibaba’s largest shareholders, Japan’s Softbank, invested more than US$800 million in two Indian e-commerce companies (Snapdeal.com and Ola Cabs). Snapdeal has a similar model to Alibaba’s which aims to connect small businesses directly to buyers. The e-commerce market in India remains small. In 2013, it was valued at US$2 billion compared with US$300 billion in China.

Source:  Business Strategies Group Hong Kong  –  www.bsgasia.com