Alibaba’s aggressive India expansion plan in taking a new turn today. World’s biggest e-commerce platform Alibaba.com, is now aiming to get as many as 10 Million Indian SMEs to sell on its platform — making it a serious competitor to the likes of Snapdeal.
India is Alibaba’s second largest market after its home turf China. In India the B2B division of the e-commerce platform has over 4.5 million sellers on board. In this strategic move, the firm hopes to take this number to 10 million in under one month.
India is a very important market for us. It is the second largest for us after China. SMEs are an important contributor to any economy and the same is the case with India. In the next few years, we hope to have 10 million businesses from India on our platform.
stated Alibaba.Com Global Business Development Timothy Leung.
To generate interest amongst the SME’s in India Alibaba.com has set-up the SMILE (small and medium industries leveraging export) initiative in partnership with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Crisil Rating, Tally, Capital Float, Jeena, SGS and Mypacco.
SMILE aims to provide Indian SMEs access to global business trading counterparts as well as one-stop trading solutions, including financing, logistics (domestic and cross-border), inspections and certifications, technology and SME trade-linked education.
As part of the SMILE program Alibaba’s strategic partners in India will provide online logistics and transportation support to the SME’s.
SME’s supported under this initiative will get round the clock support and the much needed financial assistance. Alibaba along with its partners will also impart training to individuals employed by the SME’s. The major advantage for SME’s is that once they are part of this initiative they can grow their business by reaching out to a global audience. Alibaba will provide a unique opportunity for these SME’s to sell on its platform.
Alibaba.Com is aimed at connecting buyers with wholesalers on a global platform. Over 40 million users access its platform worldwide to buy and sell goods.
By offering combined trading solutions to Indian SMEs, SMILE hopes to make cross-border trading easier, helping over 10 million SME s in India explore global trading opportunities in a more cost-effective way.
Alibaba has shown a keen interest in the Indian market. The company made a staggering $680 million investment Paytm, followed by more strategic investments.
Essentially, Alibaba is looking to expand its manufacturing base in those categories that do not have a strong presence in China such as jewellery, handicrafts and handloom.
India is expected to become the leading market for e-commerce sector by the end of 2030, by which point it is expected to be worth around $300 billion. This makes it an irresistible market for the e-commerce leader across the border. Alibaba clarified that its initiative for the SME’s is in line with the Government’s Make in India initiative and will go a long way in developing the Digital India programme.