Open Sesame!

the VP of Alibaba meets NUS MBA students

Srikanth and his team never dreamed they would be discussing their Marketing Strategy case with the Alibaba Vice President himself!

When we got this case allotted for our marketing strategy analysis, little did we expect to meet with a person of such ranking from the company. It was an immensely valuable hour that we spent with Mr Porter Erisman, Vice President, International Marketing at Alibaba.com.

Our appointment was fixed at 04.00 PM and he was there on the dot– talk about punctuality and professionalism! His excitement to meet with the NUS MBA Team and his interest in discussing about the marketing concepts used at Alibaba.com was infectious. For a person of such caliber, he was extremely down to earth and he began by asking us to suggest an approach for the discussion as he came in. We preferred to have it as a group discussion where he could also share his thoughts as we put forth our analysis that we had done in the last few weeks.

For the next hour, he shared his experiences on various business aspects at Alibaba.com. He informed us about their business focus, expansion plans, targeting tactics, customer relation approaches, social responsibility activities and many other innovative ideas that they have put into practice in building their robust online business. He was also keen to listen to our ideas to tackle various challenges ahead for Alibaba.com. He listened to our analysis and answered our numerous questions with patience and poise.

As we ended this insightful interaction, he commended us on the work that we had done related to their company. We thanked him for his valuable time and precious ideas and saw him off with a small gift on behalf of the NUS Business School appreciating his involvement. And to add to the excitement, we could possibly have Mr Jack Ma visiting us at the NUS Business School in the future.

Srikanth Sridharan
Class of 2008