Alibaba.com (HKG:1688) Launches Customer Service Operations in India
Alibaba.com's Indian arm will house a core customer service team including a dedicated staff that will focus on customer training programs. This team will eventually grow and expand to multiple offices across India to provide local, hands-on support to Alibaba.com's rapidly-growing member-base.
The announcement comes at a significant point, where Alibaba.com is witnessing strong growth in the Indian market with an average of 30,000+ new users having registered per month in the first half of 2010 (as of June 30, 2010). As of the same date, more than 1.45 million users from small businesses in India were using Alibaba.com's services to reach out to more than 13.6 million registered buyers and suppliers on its international marketplace. Since the first Indian entrepreneur joined the site in 1999, Alibaba.com has continuously strived to better understand the ever-changing needs of its Indian members.
Alibaba.com surveyed its customers in India to ensure that Alibaba.com keeps abreast and meets the changing needs of its members in this dynamic market. Alibaba.com has incorporated crucial elements of the feedback received from its members as part of its local customer service operations. To ensure that its members can best leverage the tools offered on the site, Alibaba.com aims to further supplement local training and support to its Gold Supplier members in India in the areas of setting up and managing an online business account, generation and management of leads and technical support.
Commenting on the Indian operations, David Wei, Chief Executive Officer at Alibaba.com, said, "The growth of the Indian marketplace has been impressive. Indian small businesses are savvy and they understand the advantages that the internet can bring to them both in domestic and foreign trade. India is one of Alibaba.com's largest markets and we wish to enhance our customer service and support for our Indian members in line with their evolving needs. The local customer service operations will enable Alibaba.com to work with our customers more closely, helping them grow even faster, providing new jobs and fostering economic growth."
The customer service operations in India will be headed by Sandeep Deshpande, Country General Manager, Alibaba.com, India. Sandeep has more than two decades of marketing, business development & general management experience in globally renowned organizations such as Yahoo!, AT&T and Rediff.com. Sandeep will be responsible for spearheading local operations and identifying various opportunities to implement service offerings that are relevant to Indian members.
"Given Sandeep's knowledge and expertise in the areas of MSMEs and e-commerce, he will be able to provide valuable insights about local market trends and needs. We are confident he will play an important role in the expansion of our business in India", David Wei further added.
Alibaba.com provides small businesses with a platform to explore global opportunities in various industry verticals including minerals & metallurgy, agriculture, chemicals, food & beverage, manufacturing & processing machinery, construction & building materials, apparel, textiles & leather products, packaging & printing, etc. India is currently the largest supplier market outside of mainland China and the second largest buyer market of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com's expansion in India has been supported by Infomedia18, Alibaba.com's local channel sales partner since June 2008. The new customer service team will support Infomedia18's local sales efforts.
"With the support of Infomedia18, Alibaba.com has grown significantly. And, now is the right time to enhance our customer service operations in India. By supporting the local sales effort with the extended local customer service team, we can ensure that our customers can derive the maximum value from their Alibaba.com Gold Supplier membership. That is the most important focus for us right now. We have a commitment to create a positive impact to the 26 million-strong Indian MSME community* and will do everything we can to respond to their needs and help them grow," said Brian Wong, Head of Global Sales, Alibaba.com.
About Alibaba.com Limited
Alibaba Group is a global e-commerce leader and the largest e-commerce company in China. Since it was founded in 1999, Alibaba Group has grown to include the following core businesses: Alibaba.com (HKG:1688), Alibaba Group's flagship company and the world's leading B2B e-commerce company; Taobao, China's largest Internet retail Web site and a one-stop platform for shopping, socializing and information sharing; Alipay, China's leading third-party online payment service; Alibaba Cloud Computing, a developer of advanced data-centric cloud computing services; and China Yahoo!, one of China's leading Internet portals.