China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba is getting ready for a bigger push in India. The group’s business to business (B2B) arm alibaba.com is aiming to more than double its user base (small and medium enterprises) in India over the next few years. Presently alibaba.com has 4.5 million sellers on its platform and it plans to increase this number to 10 million. India is now Alibaba’s second most important market after China.
Alibaba.com connects buyers and wholesale suppliers across the globe and has 40 million users worldwide. On December 7th, the e-commerce giant launched an online platform SMILE (small and medium industries leveraging export) in collaboration with partners like ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Crisil Rating, Tally, Capital Float, Jeena, SGS and Mypacco. This online platform aims to encourage Indian SMEs, and Alibaba along with these partners will give these small businesses a complete support system. This will include finance and training to small businesses that are looking to scale up. The Alibaba platform will allow sellers to trade globally on its platform.
“India is at a critical point at present and from here we will see sharp upswing in ecommerce. We are very excited in building this consortium for SMEs, Timothy Leung, head of global business development, Alibaba told The Economic Times. He further added, “There are similarities in our experience in Chinese and India markets in terms of population size, kind of SMEs and also the core path in the ecommerce. We are also looking at our experience in the past in China and match it with what is happening in India”.