Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jack Ma Wants to Father Many India Investments

Nov 27 2014 : The Economic Times (Kolkata)
Jack Ma Wants to Father Many India Investments
New Delhi:
Our Bureau

Fresh from fund-raising success, Jack Ma says he wants to globalise and help more small firms use his company's services to do business
Jack Ma, founder & executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, the world's biggest online commerce company pledged to invest more in India, during a short visit to Asia's third-largest economy.Speaking at an industry event on Wednesday, China's richest man called upon both countries to step up efforts to work together and improve the lives of their billion-strong populace.
"We will invest more in India and work with Indian entrepreneurs and technologists to improve the relationship of the two nations and to improve the lives of human beings," the 50year-old billionaire said.
Ma, in a separate interaction with ET, confirmed that he was meeting a number of entrepreneurs in the country.
"Yes, I am meeting some businessmen, and will be back in India soon," he said, a statement that broadly indicates future long-term financial and strategic partnerships with the country's mobile and consumer Internet companies that have now begun to consistently crack valuations of Rs 1,000 crore and more. "A company that brought ecommerce to doorsteps of Chi nese consumers holds many lessons for Indian ecommerce ventures which are relatively new to the game and have a long way to go," said R Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom, India's apex information technology and services association.
While Ma stopped short of actually naming ventures of interest, the statement comes at a time Amazon, the Jeff Bezosled online retailing behemoth, has also targeted India as one of its key markets outside the US, and committed a spend of $2 billion on its Indian unit, as it looks to dominate the country's ecommerce industry that is expected to touch $9 billion over the next two years, according to industry estimates. "They (Alibaba) will disrupt the market.Look at what Amazon, and later, Uber did. That is exactly what Alibaba will do. Lot of noise and immensely deep pockets," pointed out Avinash Raghava, co-founder and fellow at technology think-tank iSpirt.
This is Ma's first official visit to India, apart from a personal trip undertaken a few years ago, and comes two months after the founder steered the company through the world's biggest initial public offering, raising a staggering $25 billion in the process, making it the largest public market debut in history. The diminutive Ma, who wore a simple black blazer but did not sport a tie, stood apart from his fellow Chinese delegates, who were more formally dressed for the occasion.He also pointed out the large volume of transactions conducted by small and medium sellers from India, who were participating on Alibaba's platforms. "Sellers from India are ranked just behind Chinese traders. Our platform was never designed for them (Indian SMEs), but their capabilities in taking advantage of opportunities is fantastic, and we have to build platforms to ensure more of them use it," Ma said.
The Alibaba executive chairman, who has a net worth of over $24 billion post the September IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, also said there were 4.3 lakh Chinese consumers currently buying products, varying from chocolates to tea and spices, from Indian sellers on the platform.
"Over the next three years, one of the key strategies for Alibaba is to globalise and to make sure that we can help more small businesses around the globe, use our services to do businesses," Ma, a former English language teacher, said.

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