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James Hardy

James Hardy is an international speaker and voice of expertise on retail globalisation, ecommerce and online growth strategies. Working with brands to make sure that businesses’ online expansions are ‘future proof’ for whatever is round the corner. His clients include small boutique marketplaces to multiple FTSE 250 companies.


About James Hardy

James Hardy is an expert at identifying how brands can maximise their value to external, private, and public markets. He explores what the largest global conglomerates can learn from start-up methodology, and what smaller companies can learn from brands such as Alibaba about scaling their business.


James Hardy has a background in legal mergers & acquisitions, and previously served as Head of Europe for Alibaba.  He then co-founded the UK’s largest China-ecommerce exporter – an award winning, high growth platform that helped brands throughout Europe build market share in mainland China.

As a highly regarded international thought-leader, James’ expertise has appeared in The Financial Times, The Huffington Post, The Journal du Net, The BBC and China Daily News.

Speech Topics

The future of eCommerce: Learnings from Alibaba: James explains how Alibaba’s ecosystem operates and why it has been so successful.  He focuses on how Alibaba has been able to move so fast, and disrupt so many industries, even those outside of its historical core areas.  He discusses the company structure, culture and approach to business value and relationships that has allowed it to become such a powerful force within China, and increasingly across the globe.

Ecosystems and the future of business: James explains what business ecosystems are, giving examples from multiple verticals to illustrate the speed and success derived from such an approach.  He explains why they are the future of business, and then ties this into a unified theory of business and an operating model for all businesses.

Alibaba: James discusses the Consumer-to-Business (C2B) model, on-demand development, automated decision-making, and exceptionally fast feedback loops. Alibaba is redefining some fundamental business concepts and James delves into Alibaba’s concept of Smart Business and what this means for the impact of emerging technologies.

Alibaba & Amazon: James discusses the radically different approaches of these two behemoths and what can be learned from each. Amazon is focused on its customers but not its suppliers, and owns most of its own capabilities. Alibaba is focused on all parties within its ecosystem and has multiple business partnerships in almost all areas it operates within. James pulls the primary learnings from each and predicts how they will fare when they compete head-to-head in countries such as India.

Booking Information


"The feedback we received from our clients was immensely positive."


"A fascinating and original thinker on business strategy, we gained immense value."

Will Butler-Admans, CEO, Brompton Bicycle

"James Hardy was the star of the show! His keynote on ecosystems and the parallels within our industry hit the spot with all our publishers and with our CEO who was super impressed."

Ranj Begley, Readly

James Hardy News

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