Jack Ma's Alibaba.com says Indian gems and jewellery are selling like hot cakes across the world

  • In an interview with Business Insider India, Denny Wang, Regional Director, Global B2B Business South Asia, Alibaba.com spoke about what’s driving their India business.
  • Alibaba.com has been in India since 2008 and over the years has identified the gems and jewellery sector as one of its focus areas.
  • In India, Alibaba has over 6 million users and 15,000 merchants.
Alibaba.com has not seen an explosive growth in its B2B business in India, unlike in China. It is exhibiting a slow and steady growth instead.

The Chinese giant has six million members on its platform. And, the group’s India vertical has identified gems and jewellery, textiles and apparel, beauty and personal care, home and garden and agriculture as the top five categories of trade business.

In fact, gems and jewellery is one of the verticals that Alibaba.com has identified as the most ‘in demand’ segment. “We’ve come to find an increasing demand amongst our buyer base for Indian gems and jewellery from various regions, especially Hong Kong, UAE and the USA,” said Denny Wang, Regional Director, Global B2B Business South Asia, Alibaba.com.

The Indian Gems and Jewellery (G&J) sector is one of the largest in the world and is home to over 300,000 gems and jewellery players. “Looking at the huge potential that exists within the country, we’ve identified the gems and jewellery export as a strong growth segment for India and we plan to focus on building a large merchant base on the platform from this cluster,” said Wang.

Chinese entrepreneur and billionaire Jack Ma who hit a jackpot with Alibaba.com, made a rather silent entry into India in 2008. Ever since, it has brought as many as 15,000 SMEs onto its platform. Globally, Alibaba has 10 million active buyers spread across 190 countries.

“Our focus has always been on encouraging entrepreneurship and small businesses in China which has made us a force to reckon with and now we are bringing our expertise with Chinese and global markets to India,” said Wang.

Alibaba.com in India is leveraging its channel partner network, which supports them in customer outreach, onboarding and customer service.

One of the biggest challenges Indian SMEs face is the training required in onboarding digital growth and Alibaba.com brings its global insights to India there as well.

“To train our merchant base, we also organize training programs and workshops across key markets. These programs not only inform our merchant base about the platform’s proposition but also give them insights into the industry, buyer trends and at the same time, enables them to leverage digital economy to take their businesses to global audiences,” said Wang.

Recently, one of Alibaba’s competitors – IndiaMart in India went public. Wang believes there is still a big opportunity to capture the Indian market.

“India is in a nascent stage in terms of fully adopting to the power of digital commerce and that is exactly what we at Alibaba.com are here to enable the country’s SMEs and MSMEs with,” he said.
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