Jack Ma is the founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $25 Billion.
This might be beginning to seem like the story of an arrogant and rich billionaire who hasn’t seen the dark. Although as simple as it may sound, Jack Ma has had it hard in his life to get to where he is today. Jack Ma is one of those self-made billionaires with humble beginnings. Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, located in the south-eastern part of China. He was born and raised along with an elder brother and a younger sister during the rise of communist China and its isolation from the Western regions. His parents were traditional Musicians-Storytellers and they didn’t make enough to be even considered as a middle class during those days.
Jack, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English, worked as an English teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University with a pay of $12 a month. During and after his Bachelor’s degree Jack tried and failed to get a job at a multitude of places. After spending three years to get into a University, Jack failed to land a job after applying to them 30 times! He recollects in his interview “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job. Twenty-three people were accepted. I was the only guy who wasn’t.” He also one of the 5 applicants to a job in the Police force and was the only one getting rejected after being told, “No, you’re no good.”
Also, on his Entrepreneurial undertakings, Jack Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But that didn’t stop him in any way of dreaming bigger.
After finally coming to terms with all of his rejections and failures, Jack Ma visited the US in 1995, for a Government undertaking project related to the building of highways. It was then that Jack Ma was first introduced to the Internet and Computers. Computers were pretty rare in China then, given the high costs associated with them and the Internet or E-mails were non-existent. The first word he searched on the Mosaic browser was ‘Beer’, and it popped out results from different countries, but there were no signs of China anywhere. He then searched ‘China’ and not a single result popped out! He decided it was time for China and its people to get on the Internet.
Finally, after persuading 17 of his other friends to invest and join him in his new e-commerce startup – Alibaba, the company began from his apartment. Initially, Alibaba didn’t have a single penny in investment from outside investors, but they later raised $20 Million from SoftBank and another $5 Million from Goldman Sachs in 1999. Building trust among the people of China that an online system of payment and package transfers is safe was the biggest challenge Jack Ma and Alibaba faced, a challenge that Jack will cherish for his lifetime.
Having started his first successful company at the age of 31 and even after never having written a single line of code or selling something to anyone, Jack Ma runs one of the biggest E-commerce networks in the world. The company went on to grow rapidly, expanding all across the world, quickly growing out of its China shell. Only second to Walmart now in terms of sales per year, Alibaba has become the E-commerce giant that Jack Ma has envisioned for it.
Believing in yourself, being persistent in the face of adversities, and treating rejections and failures as opportunities to propel yourselves ahead is what Jack Ma’s extraordinary life speaks out to the world.
Have you registered with us? Please visit our website www.emcl.co.tz to register