Jack Ma has been considered as an idol to many ambitious youngsters. He is the real icon to many entrepreneurs. He is the founder of Alibaba, one of the biggest e-commerce store of the world. The company started in China, changed the way people thought about online shopping, and ruled the people’s shopping habits. The empire slowly developed in other countries of the world. Now, Alibaba has the biggest IPO in the world which has made Jack Ma one of the richest persons in the world. Jack Ma’s story is a true inspiration for those who think only the rich can make the money. He built the empire from the scratch and turned his life from rags to riches. He faced several rejections before becoming a sensation in the industry. Let’s read his story to know more about his career and enthusiasm.
Career as an Entrepreneur
Jack Ma learned more from his failures rather than traditional education
Jack Ma was born on 10th September, 1964 in the city of Hangzhou. He is the middle child among an older brother and younger sister. He did not belong to a well to do family and he grew up with very limited resources. His journey till Alibaba is quite unique since he has faced many rejections and failure similar to any normal entrepreneur who has worked hard to achieve his successes. He has learnt more from his failures rather than his traditional education system. His failures started early in his age when he failed key primary school 2 times and middle school test 3 times. Even for the college entrance exams, he failed 2 times. His graduation even did not reap good results. He was rejected from more than 50 jobs that he applied after graduating.
Jack Ma never underestimated the value of education
However, Jack Ma never underestimated the importance of studies. His passion for English language made him to apply for Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He has remained an English teacher for a long time and has taught thousands of students. He taught English and International Trade at the Hangzhou Dianzi University. While he was building his company Alibaba, he did MBA from Cheung Kong University in 2006. He basically earned everything through his experiences which included his failures as well. He taught himself English by repeatedly working as a touring guide to foreign tourists in China. He also developed pen relationships with some of his tourists which helped him in honing his English skills.
After getting rejected by Harvard 10 times, he thought he will teach there one day
There are many stories that Jack Ma himself shared at different interviews regarding his job failures. He was the only one out of the 5 applicants who was not selected for one of the police force job. In another interview he told that he was the only person out of 24 who was not given a job as KFC manager. Even when he applied for Harvard University, he was rejected straight 10 times. Even for his business of Alibaba, he was rejected for funding several times since the model was deemed unprofitable by many investors.
Jack Ma’s first company was a web designing company which earned much profits in just 3 years
His story of building Alibaba started when in 1994, Jack Ma heard about internet. To learn more, he took help of his friends in US whom he visited in 1995. His first search on Goggle is supposed to be of beer which resulted in nothing from China. Other searches related to China also returned no information. This made him realise the opportunity in China. This led him to create a website with one if his friends which received much attention from many Chinese. His first company was thus based on building websites for enterprises. Within first three years of operation, the company successfully made USD 800,000. Jack Ma then headed an IT company in 1998 which was established by China International Electronic Commerce Center which was basically a Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation’s department. This was the time when the Alibaba was conceptualized in his brain and he quit the company in 1999. He returned to his birthplace Hangzhou and started Alibaba with 17 friends. Alibaba was targeted to work on the challenges that were being faced by several SMEs of China. Jack Ma had a vision to improve the global challenges of online shopping.
Alibaba was conceptualised when Jack Ma was working with another IT firm
Jack Ma then headed an IT company in 1998 which was established by China International Electronic Commerce Centre which was basically a Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation’s department. This was the time when the Alibaba was conceptualised in his brain and he quit the company in 1999. He returned to his birthplace Hangzhou and started Alibaba with 17 friends. Alibaba was targeted to work on the challenges that were being faced by several SMEs of China. Jack Ma had a vision to improve the global challenges of online shopping.
Success of Alibaba
Alibaba supported several Chinese exporters to connect with overseas suppliers and helped them grow their business. With the growth of their business, Alibaba also grew exponentially. SoftBank and Goldman Sachs also invested in Alibaba and made it even stronger. When Alibaba gained a stable position, Jack Ma introduced Taobao in 2003. Although it was free, Taobao gained a major market share within only 2 years of starting the operations. Now currently, Alibaba had 9 different subsidiaries where Alibaba has also ventured into state dominated and staid industries in China. Now he is going to enter a new arena of film production. This is to be seen how far Alibaba goes!
Have many questions about your career ?
Failures are the lessons that are used in building up a success story!
Alibaba and Jack Ma have become an idol for many young entrepreneurs. They have shown the path of courage to this generation. We can learn many things from Jack Ma’s life. One need not be rich or have business experience before starting a new venture. One thing that is required is the vision. One should be able to understand the needs of people and give them a face value through his venture. Another thing that is inspiring from Jack Ma’s story is that failures do not always hinder your growth rather they become a lesson and a paving stone for the success in future. Had Jack Ma been disappointed by his number of failures, the world could not have seen the growth of Alibaba!