Connect with us


Jack Ma | Incredible success story of the founder of Alibaba



Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, is one of the wealthiest people in the world. He is also a Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Alibaba is one of the biggest multinational technology companies on the planet. In 2017, Fortune magazine ranked Ma second in the annual “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list. As of May 2022, Ma’s net worth is $50.3 billion, making him the third-wealthiest person in China. His success story is perhaps one of the most significant examples of success through failure.

Early life

Born in Hangzhou in China, Jack Ma grew up in a low-income family during the Cultural Revolution. When President Richard Nixon visited Hangzhou in 1972, the Western world captivated Jack Ma. As a young child, he saw the hotels where US tourists stayed to learn English. In exchange, he gave them tours around the city. He got his English name ‘Jack’ through befriending one of the tourists.

Jack Ma failed his university entrance exam twice, scoring less than 1% in maths. Eventually, he passed and started studying English at Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute. After graduating successfully, he applied for 30 different jobs and was rejected. He also applied for a position in the police force but was denied and told he was “no good.” Finally, he found a job as an English teacher, earning a meager salary of $US12 each month.

His determination to succeed

Despite facing these hurdles and rejections, Ma was determined to succeed. He started a translation service business and visited the US as a translator. Here, Ma was introduced to the Internet for the first time. Ma became interested in this new phenomenon at the time without any technical knowledge of computers.

While discovering the lack of Chinese beer in online search results, the idea of creating an online store came to his mind. This led him to create an online venture called ‘China page.’ ‘Chinapage’ listed various Chinese businesses and products. This caused a flood of emails from people worldwide seeking to form partnerships. To expand and get more funding, Ma decided to partner with a government company. Unfortunately, that company gained majority control over its venture. Ma decided to leave the company as it stifled his vision for the business.

Next, he took up a government job at the Ministry for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. Through this, he built connections with influential people, such as one of the founders of Yahoo!, Jerry Yang.

His path to success

In 1999, he left the government job. After that, Ma gathered his close friends and pitched an online marketplace for small and medium-sized ventures. Ma traveled to Silicon Valley in the US to secure funding for the business and pitched his idea. Unfortunately, his idea was rejected and criticized for being unprofitable and unsustainable. Through perseverance, Ma eventually secured funding of $US 5 million from Goldman Sachs and $US 20 million from Softbank.

However, in 2003, the future didn’t look bright for Alibaba, as the company failed to make revenue within the first three years. It faced bankruptcy within eighteen months. Chinese businesses and government authorities were skeptical about an online marketplace. Ma also faced internal issues within Alibaba. A part of his vision for the company to grow and attract young, outside talent required limiting his venture partners’ promotions to ranks above manager roles. This resulted in a disagreement among his colleagues, who walked out on him.

Reaching the top

Jack Ma recovered from this and unified his remaining team to take Alibaba forward. They challenged established online businesses like eBay etc. Ma and Alibaba managed to drive eBay out of business in China in five years. With the help of further funding, Alibaba expanded and grew into the foreign market.

In 2014, Alibaba made history through the world’s largest IPO to date. The company continued to grow, scaling its operations into various industries. Today, Alibaba is one of the world’s largest conglomerates. The story of Jack Ma teaches us that an ordinary person can rise above expectations and achieve their dreams. This story shows us that anything is possible through persistence and hard work.

Recent Update:

In May 2022, Jack sold off his stake from Paytm Mall for 42 crores. Since 2017, Paytm Mall has been struggling with its business plans, and Jack Ma’s company Alibaba and Antfin witnessed operational losses despite investing a significant amount of capital. Moreover, in July 2022, Jack Ma declared he would give up control of the fintech powerhouse Ant Group. Ant Group is closely associated with Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba. Earlier, in November 2020, Ant Group was about to go public. At the time, it was one of the most anticipated IPOs. However, the Chinese authorities forced Ant Group to undergo a modification process to be subject to the country’s financial regulations. In 2011, Ant Group partnered with Jack Ma’s Alibaba as a payment processor. However, the event led to many controversies. As a result, a decade ago, Jack Ma started making crucial changes in Alibaba. By 2018, Jack acquired 33% shares of Ant Group. Presently, he is the largest shareholder of the fintech powerhouse.

Also read: Elizabeth Blackwell | The success story of the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US

What is Jack Ma's net worth?

$588 billion

When was Alibaba Group founded?

4 April 1999

Where was Jack Ma born?

Hangzhou, China

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2021 Failure Before Success Protection Status