Born in poor family 50 years ago and now become a richest man in China? He’s Jack Ma, founder of a giant online marketplace company, Alibaba.
Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, China in 1964. He grew up in a poor community that grows his fighting spirit. He was not good at math and failed in college entrance test twice. Fortunately, with a strong determination, he succeeded in the third test. After graduated from Hangzhou Teacher Institute, he tried to apply for jobs and failed. He got more than a dozen rejections, including from KFC. Finally, he was hired as an English teacher and got only $12 a month fo salary.
In 1995, he made a trip to US. At that time, he had just started a translation business and go to US for helping a Chinese firm recover a payment. That was the time he started to be interested in internet. He searched keyword ‘beer’ and didn’t find any information about Chinese beers in the result. It inspired him to found an internet company for China.
When he go back to China, he gathered 17 of his friends and convinced them to invest in his vision fo an online marketplace he called ‘Alibaba’. With this site, exporters were able to post product listings that customer could easily see and buy directly. Alibaba then started to attract member from all over the world. In October 1999, it gain $20 million from SoftBank & $5 million from Goldman Sachs.
With his excellent leadership, Ma has always maintained a positive spirit in his team so that they become solid and resilient. In the early 2000s, the company decided to deal with another business unit. They started Taobao, that design to compete with eBay.
In 2005, Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba for 40% share. It was a huge amount for Alibaba. They became more optimistic to won the competition with eBay in China. If it is succesful, it would be an enoemous win for Yahoo with projected profit of $10 billion.
On September 2014, Alibaba claim the record for the largest initial public stock offering in U.S. history, when it shares go on sale and raised $21.8 billion in its initial offering. Shares were priced at $68 for each piece. It got a market value of $168 billion. That’s bigger than Facebook and Twitter.
When he spoke at a panel discussion at Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Ma explained how he achieve his success and become richest man in China. He emphasize on thinking visionary, keeping people trust, and investing in young generation.