Alibaba heads to India with Paytm Mall deal

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Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba will be teaming up with Paytm in India as it seeks to get its share of ecommerce in the second most populous country in the world.

Paytm have spun off their ecommerce operations into an app billed as Paytm Mall. Key staff from Paytm have moved in senior roles and Alibaba has taken a 40% stake in the new operation that will look to raise a billion dollars shortly to assist with growth and development. The play very much resembles Tmall in China and the idea is to be a credible competitor to the likes of Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal in India. Sellers will have access to 17 fulfilment centres Paytm Mall will undertake fulfilment.

Saurabh Vashishtha, VP at Paytm says: “Paytm Mall will focus on structured categories and brand authorized stores. It will also focus on electronics, top fashion brands and FMCG products. We will also focus on fashion, home furnishing and SMEs with key focus on small sellers looking to leverage mobile commerce to enhance their business.”

“We have defined quality criteria for sellers and are building strict controls over warehousing and shipping for products sold on Paytm Mall.”

The so-called Paytm Bazaar will continue to offer a more flexible marketplace for general sellers and that will also be available on the app.

This is further evidence that India is a key ecommerce battleground for the big global players and by taking such a partnership onto mobile speaks volumes. Watch this space.

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