Indian PM, Jack Ma see entrepreneurship driving force for growth
2015-03-31 13:58:00

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba Group of China, visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and the two discussed in depth the significance of the spirit of entrepreneurship for growth in both India and China, as well as the whole world.

Both Modi and Ma were just back from attending the state funeral of Singapore's late leader Lee Kuan Yew. The two highly admired Lee for transforming a backward port city in 1950s into a big economic success.

After Modi came to power in May last year, one of the first things he did was to create a new Ministry of Entrepreneurship which will help produce more entrepreneurs and busineemen in the country.

They are aiming to produce 500 million skilled personals by 2022, who are capable enough to start their own business, thus producing an avalanche of new jobs in every sector all over the country.

More prominently, both Modi and Ma believed the entrepreneurship Singapore had shown and showcased in its growth is good reference for the two largest Asian giants.

In their 50-minute meeting, Modi and Ma exchanged views on the meaning for development and application of internet technology and other information and digital technologies in India's economic growth.

Ma, who made a success story of electronic commerce and internet-related financing and banking, told Modi that e-commerce, internet banking and financing, digitizing the infrastructure for delivering and shopping, among others will greatly help the small- and-medium-sized enterprises to grow in India, and consequently create millions of jobs.

They agreed that India urgently needs innovative moves to improve the performance of its financing, banking, transporting, delivering, mailing and retailing systems. Through the establishment of a sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure and online-shopping, paying and banking framework like Alipay, as well as internet banking and investing, many small and medium business opportunities will be created and jobs will come.

"Had a very good meeting with Jack Ma," Modi twitted after the meeting. "In today's world, globalization is no longer monopolized by big companies. Small and medium sized companies are playing a more prominent role. E-commerce and internet financing can help create new enterprises," said Ma in an interview with Xinhua.

He said Alibaba group is interested in helping India enable and empower millions to start business and get jobs. But the key to realize this is to help encourage and create the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country.

Describing India's a country with one of the longest histories in the world but at the same time also one of the youngest nation in terms of average age of its population, Ma said every ambitious businessman should come to the country and closely follow the development of the country. "Nowadays, to invest in another country is not purely to transplant the business to that country, but is to bring the core values of the company to that country," said Ma.

He said Alibaba group is now focused on bringing its entrepreneurship values to India, share its experiences, help train qualified personnel and create a credit value environment here through internet paying and financing practices. "Once the credit value is established, there will be a sound banking system, and innumerable small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from it," said Ma. "In a way, it can be regarded as an altruistic move," he said. "Whether or not we can strike gold in 15 to 20 years here, we are not in a hurry."

He said due to the complexity of the Indian society, it is impossible for foreign companies not to localize their operation through building a strong local basis in management, personnel and infrastructure.

Alibaba is already hiring Indian talents and sending them to China to get vocational training. Meanwhile, the group has invested some 570 million U.S. dollars in local e-commerce projects.

Ma expressed his confidence that when Modi visits China later this year, some of the ideas on setting up bilateral collaboration in e-commerce and internet financing will be concretized through substantial agreements and projects. "India should soon have its own Alipay, because it is already ready for it," he said.

Source:Xinhua Editor:Angela