Alibaba to invest more in India, help startups: Ma

Alibaba to invest more in India, help startups: Ma

Alibaba to invest more in India, help startups: Ma

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, China’s wealthiest man, on Wednesday said that he is keen to invest more funds in India and will work with Indian technology entrepreneurs as he believes the Internet can transform the country’s future.

On his first visit to India, the founder of the world’s biggest e-commerce firm said Alibaba is already working with many businesses in India. The Hangzhou-based firm will “invest more in India, work with Indian entrepreneurs and technology companies”, he said.

Alibaba, which in September raised $25 billion in a record initial public share offering, already has on its site a large number of small Indian businesses selling goods ranging from spices to chocolates to tea.

“I myself commit that we will invest more in India, work with Indian entrepreneurs and technologists to improve the relationship of the two nations and to improve the great lives of human beings,” Ma said at a FICCI event here.

Ma, 50, is likely to meet a number of local businesses to possibly get more Indian products on Alibaba as well as look at expanding into India’s e-commerce market, possibly through online marketplace Snapdeal. Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, Ma, 50, said it is the best time for both nations to work together.

“I have heard the Prime Minister’s speech and it is very passionate and inspiring. As a businessman, I was inspired and moved by it. Both China and India can achieve a lot working together,” he added.

Terming India a nation of mobile phones, he said, this is a nation with which China can work together and it is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs of the two countries. “There are a large number of Indian businesses on our websites. We have over 4 lakh Chinese consumers buying Indian chocolates, spices and tea. I think India has more great products that can be sold to China,” said Ma, who has a networth of nearly $30 billion.

Globally, Alibaba will continue to work with small businesses, he said. “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,” he added.

Ma said that Internet is a young business and India has a lot of young people. “I was a teacher. Internet changed my life and I absolutely agree that India can be changed by Internet too. India is a great nation with so many young people. I strongly believe that Internet is a young business and a business of young people,” he added.

Ma, the richest man in China with a fortune of about $24.4 billion, founded Alibaba in 1999 in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang province.

According to research firm IDC, Alibaba was the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company by GMV (gross merchandise value) in 2013.