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Alibaba takes the reseller route to boost sales in India

11 July 2015, the business-to-business (B2B) arm of China's Alibaba Group, is introducing a new reseller strategy in India to boost sales growth.

The Chinese e-commerce giant is planning to enter into strategic tie-ups with small and medium enterprise (SME)  in India to tap the huge market potential the country offers.

After five years of operations in India, the company will be partnering with resellers who have local contacts, resources and knowledge to service SMEs better.

A reseller is a domestic Indian agent who will connect a small and medium enterprise or a manufacturer or supplier in India to customers of Alibaba.

Alibaba regards India as its largest overseas market in terms of sellers, second only to its home market China and local channels are important for its success in the country. is reported to have 4.5 million registered users in India at present, which makes it the second-highest paid users on the platform after China. has launched a reseller programme in India, which aims at partnering with companies that work with SMEs to encourage their clients to join Alibaba as sellers.

Partner companies will get a commission for sales done by the SMEs they introduce.

The reseller programme is already active in China and other Asian markets, including Malaysia, Vietnam and Turkey..

Alibaba has already tied up with two companies or partners in India - Sokrati, a digital media startup focused on SMEs, and transit-focused advertising company TDI. The company also plans to hold an event, which will bring together 40-50 potential resellers next week.

"Getting SMEs listed on Alibaba with a single click is the kind of integration that we are trying to do," said Sokrati cofounder and CEO Ashish Mehta. Alibaba has already started receiving expression of interests from a number of companies in the SME sector.

Timothy Leung, head of global supplier development and sales at, who is in India, said that by going through resellers, the company would be able to tap their resources, networks and knowledge more efficiently.

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