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China’s Tiens Group plans entry into Indian e-commerce

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Indian e-commerce is set to welcome another big business conglomerate locking horns with the likes of Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, PayTm, and Shopclues. After the recent announcement of Tata Group’s entry into e-commerce with its marketplace Tata CLiQ, it is now Chinese multinational conglomerate Tiens Group which has set its eyes on Indian e-commerce and is planning to launch its marketplace in the country by the second half of this year.

Tiens Group will set up its e-commerce marketplace in India with over 3000 products which can be bought from different countries.

Tiens Group already has its presence in the country,through its direct selling business of personal care and healthcare products. It claims to have a user base of 2 million at present and aims to further expand this business to reach 10 million users in the next five years.

The company also plans to manufacture 70% of these products in India and is in talks with local manufacturing facilities to produce personal care and healthcare products.

Recently, the firm opened its South Asian headquarters in New Delhi from where it will conduct its operations in the whole region.

Speaking on the launch,  Kevin Hou, President of Tiens South Asia Region said,

“India is a huge market with a 300 million strong middle class hungry for a variety of world class goods and services. At Tiens, we plan to tap the huge Indian market in a big way over the next five years. Having a headquarters in New Delhi gives us a direct presence in India and allows us to take a more aggressive expansion approach across the South Asian region.”

The company also has nine branches in the country at places such as Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. It is planning to open two more branches in Chandigarh and North East region during this year.

Tiens Group has a global presence across 190 countries in various business segments such as international trade, biotech, retail, e-business, education, tourism, finance, etc.

Its entry in the e-commerce segment of India will further intensify the ongoing battle among Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm, Snapdeal, etc.

Since Amazon has no dearth of money to invest in India and so is the case with these new business powerhouses who are entering e-commerce, things may prove tricky and difficult for VC-backed Flipkart and Snapdeal who are experiencing difficulties in raising fresh funds at their current valuations because of a lack of investor interest.

Meanwhile, Tiens Group is also looking to hire local people for leadership positions across its operations of Indian unit. Speaking about the same, Hou  said,

“We want to look out for people from here for senior management roles in the company. India has very good professionals in the field of accounting, human resources, IT. Some of them can also work at our Chinese headquarters.”

Tiens Group was founded in 1995 by  Li Jinyuan who is also the 24th richest person in China with an estimated wealth of USD 1.2 billion according to Forbes.

He made headlines last year for organizing a unique all-expenses paid trip for more than 6,000 of the company’s employees on the occasion of completion of 20 years of the company. The gesture had earned him the title of ‘world’s most generous boss’ by several media houses.

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