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How can connecting rural India with online marketplace can help in improving rural economy?: Understanding from Chinese company Alibaba’s case study

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Priya Ranjan Tewary
Student of class 12

As we know, India is one of the fastest growing nations with massive amount of opportunities available in the field of Entrepreneurship and unfilled institutional voids but the rural economy of India which possess a huge potential is not being used or you can say is totally being ignored. In today’s blog we are going to talk about how connecting rural India with urban India with a common market place can turn into a massive opportunity for millions of lives.

After the Indo-China faceoff at Galwan Valley, the upsurge of nationalistic sentiments among fellow Indians is being observed and many of them started giving preference to local or ‘swadeshi’ products over Chinese ones. If we see this from a point of view of a entrepreneur then it is the best time to grab the opportunity and use the massive potential of Indian market so that the needs of the both parties (sellers and customers) can be satisfied and bring profit to both the businesses and the masses.

Here arises a question, how to use the productivity of rural India and turn it into a profitable business? To understand this we need to take a look at the ‘Taobao village model’ by Jack Ma‘s Alibaba Group and how it helped in eliminating poverty in thousands of villages of Chinese hinterlands and converting them into a national marketplace.

In 2014, Jack Ma‘s Alibaba Group started a campaign of eliminating poverty in Rural China and the Taobao village model being a part of the campaign played a major role in it. Basically, the Taobao village are the villages with hundred or more retail shops indulged in e-commerce and does a minimum transaction of 1.5 million dollars. It is observed that many people who are formerly poor made huge wealth out of it and proved to be an effective way of connecting rural and urban population through a common online marketplace where sellers can sell different items which they produced. The number of Taobao Villages rose to 4316 in 2019 from 19 and sellers now selling more than 35 millions of items in the online marketplace.

From the above example it is clear that how China connected it’s rural and urban population with a common marketplace and how much it helped in improving their rural economy.

It is clear that a model like Taobao is also needed in India as many businesses, expensive regional art craft go unnoticed in a country like India and its potential remains stagnant, many art crafts, cottage industry which are worthy of attention are dying because they can’t give the craftsmen a living and it is not limited to art plenty of such examples are available. In India we need a similar model which can milk the potential of Indian hinterlands and create a market place where Indian rural and urban businesses merge together which can create new employment opportunities which can shape the lives of rural internet using population and improve the rural economy and the much needed one step closer to Atmanirbhar Bharat.

In case you want to know more about Taobao village model here’s the link for the report of world bank on it: https://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/china-s-taobao-villages-e-commerce-one-way-bring-new-jobs-and-business-opportunities-rural-areas

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Priya Ranjan Tewary
Student of class 12

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