With a surprise, Alibaba- the Chinese tech giant, broadened its footprints in Bangladesh after acquiring Daraz-one of the most popular marketplaces in South Asia. This is totally a game changer for the online retailing landscape of Bangladesh.
Launched in 2012, Daraz has become one of the most popular selling and shopping platform in Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh. Till now, Daraz is working with approximately 500 brands, 30,000 sellers, and more than 5 million consumers.
The acquiring of Daraz is the second wave of international expansions of Alibaba. Through this deal, Alibaba aims to enter into the online retaining field if South Asia.
The company was initially focused on India. There, Alibaba financed (Ant Financial) Paytm and Southeast Asia with Lazada. However, this year they spread their wing to the countries with a vast population but increasing use of internet use and shopping.
Daraz started its journey with Pakistan. This country has a total population of over 190 million. This purchase of Daraz trails a fintech invest from Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba. Ant Finance runs Alipay as well as other financial services of Alibaba.
Just like Pakistan, Bangladesh has a high potential for e-commerce and online retailing. Therefore, it was expected for Alibaba to eye on Bangladesh.
With this addition, now Daraz can leverage the leadership of Alibaba and experience in logistics, technology, mobile payment, and online commerce to grow further in the five countries of South Asia.
Alipay first bought 20 percent stakes of bKash on April of this year. According to Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, and Douglas Feagin, “The investment of Alipay on bKash opens many opportunities, and it also demonstrates the confidence a world-class e-commerce site is placing on Bangladesh.” With the rising use of the internet, the 160 million population of Bangladesh has piqued the interest of the Chinese e-commerce-commerce titan.
Right now, the worth of the e-commerce market of Bangladesh is about Tk. 2000 crore. The prediction of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh indicates that it will be a billion dollar by 2021. The e-CAB leaders on a conversation with the Daily Star said with the entry of the largest online trading platform of the world, Alibaba, the target of 2021 might be reached a lot earlier. The former president of e-CAB, Razib Ahmed says, “The arrival of Alibaba proves that the e-commerce of Bangladesh has a huge potential.”
Through the online survey of the market experts, more than two million online customers are active in Bangladesh. All thanks to this deal, may be now- these Bangladeshi clients of Daraz and Alibaba would be able to buy the products directly from the massive marketplace of Alibaba without paying the high customs duty and shipment charges.
Razib Ahmed- one of the main e-commerce expert personal in Bangladesh, advised the other existing online entities not to feel discouraged or threatened by the arrival of this Chinese e-commerce giant. He told them to be united and work together in improving the internet marketplace.
This is a massive opportunity for Bangladesh. The outlook of the online retailing of Bangladesh will be revolutionized with the help of Alibaba.
Of course, the total merchant and customer number will expand significantly from the existing number, said by the public relation and communication manager of Daraz Bangladesh, Shayantani Twisha.
Let’s hope the online retailing opportunities and the economy of Bangladesh will be elevated in the future with the side-by-side business of these two big companies.