An English teacher Jack Ma, launched a company in 1999, oblivious of all the technologies that were already there in the world, only through his vision. He set up his vision to the company and along with his 17 of the friends launched Alibaba which is currently the biggest IPO in the world. It’s a Chinese company but is a biggest competitor to the world renowned companies Amazon and Ebay. Since the beginning, the company has come up with different offerings for its customers such as Taobao, Alipay, Tmall, eTao. Not only this the company has taken over Yahoo China. Currently the sales on Alibaba is more than the Ebay and Amazon combined. The company which started as an e-commerce company is now much bigger with several offerings and with its own operating system developed.
# Alibaba’s offerings in China
The company in the year 2015 developed Dingtalk, a mobile group messaging tool targeted to SMEs. It has also partnered with Ant Financial Services to capture local services market and has also ventured into the music industry. Currently, if compared to Indian e-commerce giants, Alibaba with 423 million active users is 7 times that of India’s Flipkart. The valuation of Alibaba is approximately 20 times that of Flipkart’s current valuation. The company is much bigger to the other global players such as Amazon and Ebay. However, Amazon is rapidly reducing the gap with 305 million active users globally. According to one of the valuation by Forbes, the growth in the company is expected to be in great numbers and investment as its share is going to reap great benefits.
# Alibaba’s expected entry to India
Recently, it was in news that Alibaba has started taking steps to enter the Indian market which is comparable to the size of China. Alibaba has hired Bharati Balkrishna, an ex-consultant at Bains & Company and having an experience of start-ups such as HealthSpring. The purpose is to set up the senior team in the country. However, there has been no comments recently on whether this is true or not. The company has already invested in companies which were in direct competition with its rival, Amazon. Company has already backed Snapdeal and Paytm and is in talks to invest in many other start-ups. Amazon is giving a tough fight to Alibaba by not letting it enter to the country easily. Amazon also announced a fresh investment of $3 billion in India. This will also counter Amazon’s biggest rivals in India which are Flipkart and Snapdeal.
# Future expectations of e-commerce in India
Alibaba has a big opportunity in terms of market in India. But the rivals Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are not going to make it easier for Alibaba. Amazon’s fresh investment in the market has already made it clear for Alibaba that the competition is tough. Also, the Indian market is different from the China market in many respects. The purchasing power capacity of Indians is different and the culture of shopping is also different for Indians. However, if Amazon can enter and take a big share of the market, Alibaba can definitely enter the market and give a difficult time to the existing players. Alibaba has already made the entry of Amazon in China almost impossible. It is yet to be seen how Alibaba fares in India.
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