Amid rumors that China's Alibaba is considering investing in its Indian rival, Snapdeal, the ecommerce giant's boss told CNBC the rapidly growing group was not up for sale.
Alibaba, whose shares float on the New York Stock Exchange today, is considering a possible investment in Snapdeal to access the Indian market, the Economic Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
But the CEO of India's largest online marketplace said he could not discuss investment speculation but insisted the company is not up for sale.
"I don't think we are selling to anyone yet," Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal, told CNBC in a TV interview.
"There's always a lot of speculation largely driven by the fact that our business model is very similar to Alibaba where we are essentially a marketplace for businesses to sell to consumers."
Analysts have suggested that the cash raised from Alibaba's IPO could see the company go on an acquisition spree as it looks to tap the European and U.S. markets. Investors have been rushing to get a hold of one of the most hotly anticipated stocks since the Facebook IPO. The Chinese ecommerce giant priced its shares at a range of $66 to $68.
India's e-commerce market is growing at an explosive rate. Online retail spending is expected to hit $16 billion by 2018, an eightfold increase from 2013, according to Forrester data, a fact that could be appealing to Alibaba.
But Bahl was adamant Snapdeal was focussing on growth and even suggested an IPO could be in the pipeline.
"My goal is and our team's goal is we continue building. And maybe 10 years hence we'll do an IPO. And along the way if there is a partnership opportunity that makes sense…we will take that call. But until then we are really focussed on just making sure we build the best business we can," he said.
- By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal