Alibaba India office
Alibaba is likely to set up its India office in Bengaluru. Pictured: The logo of the Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province November 11, 2014.Reuters

Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba is likely to set up its Indian headquarters in Bengaluru. The online company is on the lookout for a 20,000 sqft corporate office space in the IT capital of the country and aims to start its operations by the end of the present calendar year or early next year.

Senior Alibaba officials, including its managing director K Guru Gowrappan have been involved in finalising the office space even though no final decision has been taken. Sources familiar with the matter told the Times of India that the initial office space requirement is for 150-200 people.

Bengaluru is also the headquarters for other e-commerce firms such as Amazon and India's Flipkart. According to media reports, Rakuten, which is an e-commerce company, referred to as Japan's Alibaba, opened its office in Bengaluru in April 2016.

The Chinese e-commerce major had announced earlier this year, that it would set up a technology development centre in India by 2016 end. During that time, it had said that the talks between Alibaba, the Indian government and other countries were in early stages.

"Alibaba is aware of the fact that India has a growing pool of engineers who have specialised in new-age retail and e-commerce and that is something the company wants to leverage-similar to how Amazon did," a source told a leading publication.

Alibaba, which was founded by Jack Ma, plans to launch its e-commerce operations in India by the end of 2016. The company has its indirect presence in India through Paytm and Snapdeal.

Alibaba eyeing ShopClues

The Jack Ma founded company has held initial rounds of talks with online marketplace firm ShopClues for an acquisition deal, the Economic Times reported on Thursday. ShopClues is valued at $1 billion.

Alibaba wants to merge the marketplace of Paytm (in which it holds a stake) with ShopClues. It is exploring other acquisitions to gain a foothold in one of the world's fast growing economies. With this deal, Alibaba also aims to target its market rival Amazon, people familiar with the matter told the publication.