The world’s biggest business to business portal, China-based Alibaba.com, is aggressively wooing its fastest growing region – India. OnJune 28 and 29 it organised an offline sourcing event in Delhi, connecting its Indian members with one of the largest retail buyers, Hong Kong-based EUROGROUP which represents some of the largest European retailers in Central Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
And last week it came to the southern state of Kerala for the first time, joining with the InfoPark in Kochi and the state-based association of small industries, to host a half day workshop to highlight the “Internet Edge” that b2b trading can provide to small and medium sized industries.
“This is the first time that Alibaba.com has held an offline sourcing event in India after we recognised the need of Indian suppliers to interact with prospective customers globally,” said Vincent Wong, Senior Director of Buyer Service and Development, Alibaba.com about the Delhi Eurogroup event. “These buyers are looking for high-quality and competitively priced products. We believe that Indian small businesses have the capabilities to meet the exacting global standards and we are keen to provide our Indian members with the ideal platform to network and conduct business with large buyers from around the world.
Added Robert Kronhofer, Deputy Managing Director, EUROGROUP Far East Ltd. “I am delighted to be invited by Alibaba.com to India to meet with so many quality Indian suppliers. Our first sourcing event here has proved to be well organized, thanks to the months of hard work and effective supplier pre-selection by both EUROGROUP and Alibaba.com teams
Imran Shamsi, one of the participating suppliers from New Direction Inc, Moradabad, said: “The face-to-face meeting with the buyer also gave us a valuable opportunity to showcase our samples and understand our buyer’s requirements better. We would not have been able to do that had we not been an Alibaba.com member”.
The Kochi workshop was held to showcase technology benefits to small and medium enterprises and to present case studies of businesses on their success in using an online B2B platform. '
“KSSIA has worked on the needs of small scale industries, and help them solve the various problems facing in their business with the aim for overall growth of SSI sector in this state.”, explained Damodar Avanoor, Vice President Kerala Small Scale Industries Association (KSSIA), setting the scenario, a day prior to the event, "It is imperative that the SSIs embrace the latest technology trends to ensure the growth of their business and e-commerce today is a critical tool to enhance one’s business. He also assured that the association will do everything in its capacity to enable successful e-commerce for SSIs in Kerala.”
“ E-commerce in India is gradually but steadily increasing in its reach and importance -- and is providing exciting prospects for Indian businesses especially micro, small and medium scale industries. IT SMEs are a major component of the growth in the state and this event in Infopark will focus on discussing some best of breed practices across the world..” said Infopark CEO Siddhartha Bhattacharya.
To brief the 50-plus gathering of seasoned SMEs as well as a number of young aspiring traders, at the Kochi event were Alison Lam and Bharadwaj Pudupeddi from Alibaba’s Hong Kong and Hangzhou centres respectively as well as Nayan Thakkar who anchors Alibaba’s India sales efforts. Representatives from KSSIA and Alibaba’s banking partner HSBC (Shuvanil Mukherjee, VP Regional Head PCM Sales South, HSBC) , provided additional perspectives to help participants understand the full scope and promise of b2b trading. Shine Balachandra Menon, Managing Director of the Kochi based Skazio Impex and a leading Alibaba member based in Kerala, provided valuable insights into the nitty gritty of doling business through portals like Alibaba. D. Shylajan of the KSSIA, gave a lively presentation on the challenges and the opportunity for SMEs in Kerala. Anand Parthasarathy,Editor of the IndiaTechOnline.com portal, gave a technology backgrounder to e-commerce and online business
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July 7 2010