By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has been aggressively working on setting up a team to lead its India operations but lacking an office space in the country. Now the company is giving further creditability to its expansion efforts in the country with plans to set up its first office in Mumbai, reports Business Standard.
The company has tried to keep the details of its India expansion under wraps for most of the last year but a speculation or two have slipped out from time to time. Like employees from the company’s China office working out of Paytm HQ and hiring for several executive positions from rival organizations. And now it has picked up a 3,000+ sq.ft. office space at Platina in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.
It is located in close proximity to its American rival Amazon, who owns a similar space in the area. Alibaba will reportedly pay as much as Rs 275 per sq ft on a monthly basis or about Rs. 1 crore for the whole space, which falls in line with other rental spaces in the area.
This is not a rumor and has already been confirmed by Girish Shah, Director at The Wadhwa Group. Talking about the same, Shah, owner of the Platina building, says,
They are one of the most exciting and thriving e-commerce companies that have come to India, and we’re glad to provide them with 3,221 sq ft of a highly professional set-up, at a competitive rental rate, here in BKC.
This also indicates that the Alibaba is stepping up its investment in the coming months to engulf Paytm’s marketplace — which has received extensive funding from the Chinese giant and compete in the growing e-commerce market of the country. The company already has nearly 6 million registered buyers and sellers in India, and with this expansion it is planning to a notch further.
Alibaba, for those unaware, is one of the largest investors in the country’s third largest e-commerce platform Snapdeal — received over $500 million for a 3% stake and digital payments giant Paytm — more than 40% stake is held by Alibaba and its financial arm. For this whole year, the company has been focused on strengthening its reseller platform by providing startups and SMEs with financial aid and extending its services to more B2B customers by partnering with logistic firms.
Also, it has roped in senior level executives such as Flipkart’s former HR director Priya Cherian and former McKinsey exec Madhur Deep as Senior VP. They both are currently reporting to Guru Gowrappan, Global MD at the Alibaba Group, who’s heading the India expansion and keeping a close check on things. Alibaba is currently placing immense focus on the Asian side of the business and has invested a massive $1 billion in Lazada, which is one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia.