Increased e-Commerce Activity Despite Economic Slowdown
HONG KONG, June 20 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Alibaba.com today hosted the award ceremony announcing the five Asia-Pacific winners of the annual e-Business Champions of the Year program. Held in partnership with the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the University of Hong Kong, the awards recognize credibility, achievement and innovation among entrepreneurs who use the Internet as a tool for business.
Online tools and marketplaces like Alibaba.com are becoming a preferred sourcing and marketing tool for many SMEs due to their advantages over traditional sourcing channels, such as trade shows. Online marketplaces help companies to bridge geographies and time zones, communicate in real time and tap into a large database of buyers and suppliers, which enables them to work more efficiently and maximize their profit margins.
Porter Erisman, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Alibaba Group, said, "The Internet continues to be an important tool for SMEs in the current economic environment. Despite the credit crunch and the slowing US economy, Alibaba.com has seen an increase in member activity on its international marketplace since the beginning of the year. The overwhelming response we have received from participants all over Asia Pacific shows that e-commerce continues to flourish in the region and helps SMEs become more competitive in the global marketplace."
Now in its fifth year, the awards program is aimed at promoting e-commerce internationally and encouraging its adoption by SMEs around the world. The five winners of the Asia-Pacific e-Business Champions of the Year 2008 will compete against contestants from the US, Europe and China at the Global e-Business Champions of the Year award ceremony in Hangzhou in August.
Ansif Asharaf (India)
In 2003 and at the age of 20, Ansif Asharaf, who was a photographer then, founded his own company, Paradise Group, with only US$100. From humble beginnings as a small rubber dealer, the company has grown into one of the biggest domestic suppliers and exporters of natural rubber in India. Paradise Group has grown tremendously through Alibaba.com. By leveraging on the global trading platform, it has extended its reach to buyers and suppliers worldwide and formed long-term business relationships at a much faster pace and at a lower cost. Alibaba.com has created an e-business legend by transforming a young man into a successful e-business entrepreneur.
Paul Greenberg (Australia)
In 2004, Paul Greenberg and his partner started DealsDirect.com.au as an online store offering a small range of discounted products in a fixed price format. With Alibaba.com, the company is able to source a wide variety of quality products at low prices and has been able to expand its portfolio to cover more than 4,000 products. Today, the company is one of the fastest growing online shopping destinations in Australia and has been ranked, for the third consecutive year, the No. 1 most visited Australian online 'Department Store' in the Shopping and Classifieds category by Hitwise in 2007.
Pramechai Prasertsawat (Thailand)
Pramechai Prasertsewat founded Dokkaeworchid Cooperative Limited (DCL) with her business partner in 1998, offering handicraft products such as handmade artificial clay flowers and candles. Since venturing into e-commerce in 2004, and by posting products on its website and Alibaba.com, the company has recorded 60% growth in revenue to date. Currently, 100% of DCL's sales come from e-commerce, of which 95% is from Alibaba.com and the remaining 5% from its website and other online platforms.
Stanley Hwang (Taiwan)
Founded by Stanley Hwang, Tecpel Co., Ltd. (Tecpel) is one of the leading Taiwanese manufacturers of high-quality test and measuring instruments with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Hwang used to participate in global exhibitions every year for business expansion, but the exposure gained was disappointing. Since he joined Alibaba.com in 2000, his company has secured new customers from overseas markets and substantially boosted its export business. The sales turnover of Tecpel jumped from US$10,000 in 1999 to US$1.43 million in 2007.
Stephen Ngan (Hong Kong)
Stephen Ngan leveraged on Alibaba.com to establish an online business for Sun Bowen Metal Products Co. (Sun Bowen), a designer and producer of competitively priced gifts and premium products with smart designs and excellent quality. With Alibaba.com, he has successfully established an online business platform generating multiple customer enquiries each day, and opened the Japanese market by securing new customers and substantial orders through the platform. Last year, Sun Bowen experienced 40% growth in its customer base and 100% growth in revenue.
Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688), a member of the Alibaba Group of companies, is the world's leading B2B e-commerce company. We provide an efficient, trusted platform connecting small and medium-size buyers and suppliers from around the world. Our international marketplace ( http://www.alibaba.com ) focuses on global importers and exporters and our China marketplace ( http://www.alibaba.com.cn ) focuses on suppliers and buyers trading domestically in China. Together our marketplaces form a community of close to 30 million registered users from over 240 countries and regions.