- Alibaba founded by Jack Ma in 1999 is a global shopping portal, a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services . Initially founded to connect overseas buyers with Chinese entrepreneurs, the company is a global phenomenon today; the world’s biggest market place. It did sales to the tune of 1.1 trillion in 2012 and is currently valued at about US$ 231 billion.
- Jack Ma features on several Forbes Lists – he is at #30 on the global list of Powerful People, at #1 on the list of rich Chinese (with a net worth of nearly $30 billion)and at #122 on the list of global Billionaires. The company controls an estimated 80% of all e commerce in China. Another claim to fame is that fact of the record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering of the Alibaba Group on the New York Stock Exchange.
- While many Indian companies and businesses already feature on the e commerce portal, recently Jack Ma announced an interest in investing in India expanding his company’s engagement in this country. Currently about 400,000 Chinese people buy Indian products such as tea, spices and chocolates via Alibaba but according to Ma there is huge scope for more “mutual engagement” between the two countries.
- Jack Ma claims to be inspired by PM Narendra Modi and his speech about doing business in India and has said that his company will be investing more in India. In his speech at an event organized by Indian trade body FICCI, Ma said that his company would be working with Indian entrepreneurs and tech companies.
- Jack Ma’s visit to India is rendered even more significant by the fact that comes close at the heels of recent visits by other global e commerce entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Canadian investor Prem Watsa, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son.
- Something else that is making waves in Indian business circles is the much talked about propsed meeting between Jack Ma and Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl. Masayoshi Son of SoftBank has resolved to invest $10 billion in India and has already invested $627 million in Snapdeal. (Read more about hot shot Indian startups such as Snapdeal and others on India Opines).
- There is now a lot of speculation about whether or not an Indian Alibaba is in the offing. Seeing India’s ever expanding e commerce market, it is only in the natural progression of things that the Jack Ma wants a piece of the market. Amazon’s amazing success in India is probably highly persuasive too. The fact that India allows 100% FDI in Business to Business e-commerce will be another encouraging factor.
Image – Jack Ma