Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten has unveiled plans to foray into India's fast growing online market segment.
Rather than taking an investment-based route of Alibaba, the Japanese firm intends to make a direct entry into the country.
As part of its strategy to set up online platform in India, Rakuten has already commenced its groundwork, reported Techportal.in.
It had opened a development facility in Bengaluru in 2014, as well as established a business office.
The Economic Times reported that it has also been hiring managers from other online retailers operating in India.
A company spokesperson in an e-mail to The Economic Times said: "India is a vibrant growth market and a great source of talent and ideas for us at Rakuten.
"We are always interested in new global opportunities for growth but we don't have any comments on developments in India at this time."
Among all other countries in Asia Pacific, online retail growth has been the fastest in India, which is dominated by Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Alibaba plans to make a direct entry into India this year. It has so far been investing in local online retail firms.
Established in 1997, Rakuten currently employs more than 12,000 people and has sales of more than $5bn. It holds a share of more than 25% in the Japanese online retail segment and in 2010, it purchased US-based Buy.com for $250m as part of its strategy to expand into North America.