Infibeam’s Sachin Dalal to head Rakuten in India

NEW DELHI: Sachin Dalal , cofounder of BSE-listed ecommerce firm Infibeam ,
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will spearhead Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten ‘s thrust into Indian shores, two people familiar with the situation told ET.

article source: The Economic Times – June 9, 2016

The Tokyo-based Rakuten, known as Japan ‘s Alibaba , on Tuesday announced it was exiting various global markets, including the UK, Austria and Spain amid dwindling prospects there. The two sources said Dalal joined Rakuten earlier this month and will be putting together a team in India that is expected to compete with Amazon and Flipkart .
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“They, of course, have big strategic plans for India and would be hiring hundreds of people,” said a person asking not to be named. Rakuten is expected to start its marketplace here next year, joining Alibaba as the latest global online retailing titan to enter India to tap the country’s rapidly growing ecommerce market.

ET had reported in April that Japan’s largest ecommerce marketplace operator, which opened a development centre in Bengaluru in 2014, has started poaching mid-level managers from Flipkart and Amazon for its India marketplace.

“India is a vibrant growth market and a great source of talent and ideas for us at Rakuten. We are always interested in new global opportunities for growth but we don’t have any comments on developments in India at this time,” the Tokyo-based firm’s spokesperson had told ET in April. Rakuten did not respond to an emailed query on Dalal’s appointment.

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India is part of Rakuten’s latest expansion strategy, one of the sources said. In 2010, it acquired in the US in a $250-million all cash deal as part of its push into North America . In 2014, it acquired San Francisco-based online cash back company Ebates Inc for $1 billion. Ebates deals with a host of US retailers including, Best Buy , Macy’s, and Home Depot.

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A few months before that, Rakuten had bought the Viber internet messaging and calling service for $900 million. Other trophy investments by Rakuten include US ridehailing app Lyft and online scrapbooking site Pinterest. INT


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