Partnerships & Joint Ventures

A new trend that startups and enterprises advocate is Partnerships.

Many technology leaders believe it might be better for the whole industry to co-operate with each other than to compete.

In the book, #HitRefresh, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft famously describes how they have formed a partnership with their biggest rival Apple to collectively serve the consumer and run Microsoft Software on Apple’s iPads and iPhones.

Oracle’s 12c a ‘multitenant’ database that can be used by multiple companies, and Microsoft is one of them. These partnerships never existed before, but the mindset is fundamentally changing.

Companies are moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Case in points: Amazon opened a store on Alibaba’s mall in 2015, Wal-Mart is now partnering with in China to strengthen ties in the Asian market and Gap Inc. is trying to sell on Amazon.

Serving the customer is more important than competing with the closest rival.

Another retail example: Musgrave group, leading Ireland’s retail chain will soon start exporting goods to Alibaba.

“Chinese consumers have a desire to discover high-quality brands from around the world that they can trust and enjoy. Because of Musgrave’s long history of providing quality food products, we are delighted to be working with them to bring their high-quality SuperValu range to Chinese consumers via our Tmall Global platform,” says David Lloyd, Director, UK/Ireland & Nordics for Alibaba Group.

Wall Street Journal reported a third of outside US sale comes from China for Wal-Mart clearly showing a huge unserved opportunity. Aldi, a global supermarket chain with 10,000 stores in 18 countries doing $66B in revenues is planning to enter China with their E-Commerce offering. VCs and entrepreneurs now believe in growing the eco-system of a new segment to build the consumer base before looking at returns.

Investors, VCs, and entrepreneurs believe in growing the eco-system of a new segment to build the consumer base before looking at returns.

Stripe, a Series D payments startup valued at $10Billion and a big hit in the digital payments space; currently partners with WeChat and AliPay in China. It’s incredible to observe the amount of trust Stripe has built amongst the startup community with global partnerships and joint ventures.

For long-term sustainability in the 21st century, companies must think about mutually benefitted partnerships for growth and scale.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, humorously connects Tai Chi(the martial art) and the retail business. In his interviews, he once mentioned “We don’t compete with eBay. We just go left, when they come right, we go on the top, when they go bottom”, explaining how they co-exist despite the media speculations, business synergies, and competitiveness.

Plus, the market is big enough to accommodate a lot more players. Modern-day digitally savvy companies need to develop a healthy attitude about growing the eco-system and focus on the customer than competition for the same pie.

(Featured photo by on Unsplash)