Alibaba partners with Capitaland to develop its omnichannel strategy
Real estate company Capitaland’s new partnership with Alibaba highlights the company’s ambitions to expand its presence through its omnichannel strategy. It will see Capitaland manage Alibaba’s new headquarters in Shanghai, and also create an online mall through Lazada Singapore.
"Shanghai is one of the important platforms to Alibaba and our new headquarters here will serve as our strategic nerve centre for rolling out our new retail strategy,” explained Mr Wang Tao, Head of Intelligent Building at Alibaba Group.
Alibaba is one of the Lazada’s largest investors in e-commerce platform, Lazada, enabling it to grow significantly across southeast Asia. The partnership will provide the scalability for the platform, overhaul traditional retail business models by integrating both physical and digital channels to appeal to consumers.
Mr Alexis Lanternier, CEO of Lazada Singapore, said: “Shoppers not only have the option of click-and-collect but benefit from free delivery and have 14 days to return their products. This partnership is an important step for Lazada to expand our network of partners as we evolve the e-commerce ecosystem in Singapore.”
Jason Leow, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Asia explained: “As more and more shoppers make purchases both offline and online, we recognise that omni-channel retailing is the way to go for our retailers to maximise their reach and market share. We have thus embarked on creating a digital channel that supports our mall tenants in tapping the growth potential of e-commerce.
By leveraging our extensive physical network as a competitive advantage, shoppers will enjoy an additional option of collecting their online purchases in our malls. This unique feature will draw shoppers to our malls and reduce last-mile delivery costs for retailers in the long run.
The partnership will see Capitaland managing Alibaba’s shopping podium, as well as four office towers in Alibaba Shanghai Centre. The partnership has also seen Capitaland sign an agreement to therefore launch an exclusive online mall on Lazada Singapore, which will position CapitaLand as Singapore’s first omni-channel retail landlord, connecting retailers to shoppers both offline and online, which will be complemented by a unique in-mall collection service for shoppers.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said: “We continue to leverage digital tools and partner disruptors to strengthen our customer engagement, embrace smart building technologies to uplift the quality of our built environment, and harness data to enhance customer experience at our properties.
Neither an offline-only nor online-only business model will work; it is in the combination of O&O where long-term success can be found.”
Tao added: “We believe our collaboration will chart new frontiers in integrating online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain to meet the needs of consumers.”
Business Review Asia Magazine - August issue
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.