Crown Tech to find SMEs for Alibaba
Alibaba Group is exploring more e-commerce opportunities in Thailand after the appointment of Crown Tech Advance Plc, the SET-listed marketer of AJ appliances, as its local reseller.
Zhang Jun, Alibaba's general manager for overseas business-to-business operations, said Crown Tech was chosen to help recruit Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are interested in expanding globally via the well-known website.
China's Alibaba set up Alibaba.com in 1995 as a marketplace mostly for products from SMEs. The website is available in 17 languages.
"Crown Tech understands local customers and is successful in distributing and marketing its own electrical appliance brand in the Thai market," Mr Zhang said.
Crown Tech has 300 dealers to distribute its products and 600 sales teams.
Alibaba has also joined with Ready Planet, an IT company in Thailand, to recruit SMEs to become Alibaba members.
"Thailand is the sixth country in the world, along with India, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, where we have appointed resellers to help expand our business," Mr Zhang said. "We see Thailand as an important market."
Thailand has about 2.7 million SMEs and is among the top five countries in the world along with China and India where international buyers actively search to buy local products.
Thai products of high interest include jewellery, food and furniture.
Nattawat Woranopakul, deputy CEO of Crown Tech, said the move would benefit Thai SMEs facing falling export orders.
"With about 65 million people trading via Alibaba.com in nearly 200 countries, it will help create new opportunities for Thai SMEs," he said.
The company has set up a new unit, Alibaba & B2B Partner, to handle e-commerce. It will also handle recruitment of SMEs to become Alibaba members.
It aims to recruit about 5,000 SMEs in the first year of operation, doubling to 10,000 in the second year.
Crown Tech is an importer and marketer of home appliances and audio-visual products, achieving sales of about 1.8 billion baht last year.
It has three packages for SMEs who want to apply for Alibaba membership at fees from 46,000 to 200,000 baht.