Alibaba seems beady-eyed on India's rapidly growing economy. After investing in Snapdeal and Paytm, juggling to tie-up with Flipkart and Tatas, the Chinese online retail giant has now moved towards setting up its core team for India.

According to a report published in Economic Times, Bharati Balakrishnan, an ex-consultant with stints at Bain & Company and startups like Healthspring, is the first senior-level hire for the local team of Alibaba’s soon-to-be-launched Indian unit.

The development comes at a time when the e-commerce giant, that competes with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft at world forum, has expressed a keen desire in establishing a direct presence in the country after backing online marketplace Snapdeal and wallet and commerce firm Paytm.

Soumitra Sharma, former associate at IDG Ventures India, who recently joined Alibaba, is working with Balakrishnan to chalk out an initial blueprint for Alibaba's India strategy while the company is looking to hire more senior-level executives for the India team, told TOI.

Soumitra will be leading global strategy for Asia and the US to grease the skids for Alibaba's direct presence in India.

Alibaba is looking to building a prominent consumer-facing online commerce business in India. Earlier this year, Alibaba Group president Michael Evans and global managing director K Guru Gowrappan met telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad  in a bid to expand its presence in the country.