Chinese electronic commerce (e-commerce) giant Alibaba has stepped up incentives to encourage Indian entrepreneurs to be part of its site, via a deal with India’s largest private sector lender.
Alibaba and India’s ICICI Bank have secured a deal that will enable the Chinese group to help streamline the financing process for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India, so any business that is a member of Alibaba’s online marketplace can gain access to capital more quickly.
ICICI Bank said it will be offering loans, cash management options, foreign exchange transactions, bank guarantees and cross-border remittances.
“We will offer to the members of Alibaba.com special propositions across our entire spectrum of business services ranging from accounts, letter of credit (LCs), bank guarantees, remittances, forex, loans and cash management solutions,” Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director of ICICI Bank, told Indian website
“We believe this access to quick and integrated banking will enable Indian entrepreneurs to propel their business on the global platform.”
In addition to helping small business owners secure capital quicker, the Alibaba and ICICI relationship will also allow Alibaba’s entrepreneurs in India to receive better rates on services the bank offers.
Alibaba’s other recent moves in India include a 25% stake in local mobile commerce platform Paytm and investments in e-commerce portal Snapdeal. It also formed a strategic partnership with advertising agency TDI International, which will allow Alibaba to reach out to India’s growing SME population.
According to local reports, Alibaba will be use TDI’s internal and mobile ad services to sell the Alibaba.com gold membership service to local small businesses interested in selling through the digital platform.
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