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Alibaba.com identified the gems and jewellery export as a strong growth segment

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In an email interview, Denny Wang, Regional Director, Global B2B Business South Asia, Alibaba.com gives detailed insights into the emerging opportunities for the gem and jewellery industry on its platform.

–Soma Bhatta

 

The Retail Jeweller: Please tell us the opportunities Alibaba.com creates for the Indian Gem and Jewellery industry

DW: Alibaba.com established its India operations in 2008 and has since served millions of buyers and sellers. Currently, it operates with a network of 6 million members, connecting Indian SMEs with buyers across the world. For India, Alibaba.com has identified the gems and jewellery export as a strong growth segment and is planning to focus on building a merchant base on the platform from this cluster.

 

TRJ: Who are the potential buyers on the platform?

DW: Gems and Jewellery buyers on Alibaba.com are located in more than 200 countries and regions all over the world. Gemstones buyers’ products are most popular in North America, the Middle East, and Central America.

Major export destinations for the sector include Hong Kong, the UAE and the US. In FY18, the three countries accounted for over 80 percent of India’s total exports of gems and jewellery.

 

TRJ: How is the Indian Jewellery industry viewed as a sourcing base by international markets? And which are the other competitive markets?

DW: India is one of the most preferred country in terms of gems and jewellery export. Today, China has the largest market share with 12.9% of total jewellery export in the world being narrowly ahead of India which holds 12% of the share. Among the other competitive markets in the space are Switzerland (11.4%), US (9.6%) and UAE (8.3%).

 

TRJ: What are the various membership features for suppliers?

DW: The Global Gold Supplier membership is the highest and the most premium level of paid membership that allows sellers to gain the trust of potential buyers who prefer to do business with verified suppliers only. As a Gold Supplier Member, you can generate more inquiries than a free member and it also benefits your business by providing you with easy-to-use online tools, exclusive training and customer support.  The Trade Manager is another user-friendly feature on Alibaba.com, which allows sellers to quickly connect with buyers via audio/video calls whenever they are online or share files and is one of the features that distinguish Alibaba from other B2B platforms.

 

TRJ: Besides creating a platform, how does Alibaba.com enable the business of its vendor partners?

DW: Apart from enabling the local businesses to reach out to the global audience, we drive various local initiatives to raise the competitiveness of our members. Because of the Verified Membership initiative, non-paying supplier members in India can now establish trust with potential buyers. Another initiative would be that of The India Leading Supplier programme that trains and educates active members on Alibaba.com helping them to further enhance their online profiles. We also train our vendor partners to design templates or mini-sites which make it easier for them to highlight their expertise and top-selling merchandise. We also do online trainings and events such as Open Sesame (monthly events) for suppliers to understand how the platform works.

Additionally, we prioritize creating workshops and training programs across key markets to train our merchant base. These programs, apart from educating them about the platform’s proposition, give the merchants insights into the industry, buyer trends, etc. enabling them to take their businesses to global audiences by leveraging the power of a digital economy.

 

TRJ: Besides the inventory cost, what are the other investments required to create an eco-system within an organization to start operating on the platform?

DW: Like in any other e-commerce platform, there is an initial subscription fee for onboarding manufacturers. We also offer a host of value-added packages to the sellers on our platform, such as posting a premium listing or pinning a particular product on the homepage. These services are aimed at aiding our sellers in terms of creating the best buyer outreach and depending on their requirements, they can choose to avail the services as and when required.

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