Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) founder and CEO Jack Ma said Wednesday that the e-commerce giant will invest more in India. Jack Ma is currently in Delhi, where he is expected to meet Kunal Bahl, the co-founder of rapidly-growing Indian e-commerce company Snapdeal. It has fueled speculations that Alibaba could buy a stake in Snapdeal.
Alibaba CEO inspired by India’s new PM
Jack Ma is visiting India just a couple of months after Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to invest another $2 billion in India to further expand its delivery network. Ma didn’t specify how much he was going to put in, but said that he would invest more in the country and work with Indian entrepreneurs.
Praising India’s new prime minister Narendra Modi, Alibaba CEO said he had heard Modi speech and was “inspired and moved by it.” Since Modi stormed to power in May, several business leaders have traveled to India. In the past few months, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son and Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa have visited India with an eye to boost investments.
Alibaba already has a presence in the Indian market. But so far it has focused only on B2B segment. After raising a record $25 billion in its IPO, the Chinese e-commerce giant is looking for multiple investment avenues with significant growth potential. Alibaba already dominates 80% of the Chinese e-commerce market.
Alibaba eyeing an investment in Snapdeal?
There have been reports that Jack Ma was considering an investment in Snapdeal. Last month, Japan’s SoftBank invested $627 million in Snapdeal’s latest round of funding. Notably, SoftBank also owns 34% stake in Alibaba. The Chinese online retailer’s entry in the Indian e-commerce market could trigger a fierce competition. While Amazon has been scaling up its presence, India’s homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart has been tripling its revenue every year. Flipkart aims to become a $100 billion company in the next 8-10 years.
Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce company with the gross merchandise value (GMV) of more than $300 billion. It has more than 307 million annual active buyers.