Alibaba, the business-to-business arm of China’s Alibaba Group, is set to offer a new reseller strategy in India to boost sales growth. A reseller is basically a domestic Indian agent who would connect an SME/manufacturer/supplier in India to the potential customers of Alibaba. This way the company would partner with local resellers who have local resources, contacts and knowledge, in order to service SMEs better.
Unlike its global rival Amazon, Alibaba preferred to keep a low profile and expanded cautiously, despite of starting out its operations in India in 2010. By adopting this reseller strategy, the company Alibaba would accelerate sales growth.
As per Timothy Leung, who is the head of sales and global supplier development of Alibaba.com, “India is an important strategic market for Alibaba.com, that’s why we are launching the reseller strategy in India. We are not going to be hidden anymore. We want to be big. We believe that by going through resellers, we are able to tap their resources, networks and knowledge in order to more efficiently serve a burgeoning Indian SME community.”
He further adds that the company is aiming to cover the entire states as well as add some more products in their portfolio.
The advent of reseller approach in India will help Alibaba.com to service the SME segment in India effectively, thereby allowing to build a wider geographic reach across India.
According to Leung, as the indian government is emphasizing on ‘Make In India’ concept, it is the right time for this strategy. The company would be facilitating the SMEs to raise finance and offer comprehensive logistics support.
Alibababe has opened virtual trade facilitation centres. These centres would help in securing loans for SMEs via tie-ups with banks, including the ICICI Bank. Further, the company also tied up with various logistics companies, in order to help ship the products to international destinations.
Indian SMEs are reported to get hotline access to the company’s partners for a range of export-import services such as forex remittances, trade financing, customs clearances, credit checks of potential trading partners, warehousing and international shipping.
Alibaba adopted a similar approach in other markets including Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam and Thailand, and became successful.