Jack Ma – a life story

He failed the entrance exam for college twice and could not find a job for a long time. He tried to enroll at Harvard ten times and was rejected all ten times. Then he founded the internet company “Alibaba” with which he became one of the most successful and most powerful people in the world.

Jack Ma, a life story, his real name is Ma Jun, grew up in poverty, and today he owns a business worth 460 billion dollars. His personal fortune is estimated at 40 billion dollars.

How did it all start?

He was born on October 10, 1964, in the city of Hangzhou, in the eastern part of China, at a time when communist China was isolated from the Western world. Given the unfavorable conditions in the country, he grew up in poverty.

As a boy, Ma was small, but that didn’t stop him from fighting with his schoolmates. “I was never afraid to stand on the line of those older and stronger than myself,” Ma explained in his biographical book. That fearlessness determined his path to success in the business world.

He repeated the class four times in elementary and high school!

After being rejected at Harvard, he tried to get a job in the police. Of the five who applied, only Jack was rejected, telling him that he was “not good”! He applied, along with twenty-four other candidates, for a job at KFC, but again, only he was not accepted!

But what he had, and many others did not, was an entrepreneurial spirit, helpfulness and a desire to learn! Namely, after US President Richard Nixon visited Hangzhou in 1972., that city became a tourist Mecca, which was visited by tourists from all over the world. As a teenager, Ma figured out how to take advantage of the favorable position he found himself in. He got up early every day and went to the main city hotel, which was a favorite place to accommodate foreign tourists and offered visitors a tour of the city, in exchange for English lessons. One of the tourists, with whom he became friends, gave him the nickname “Jack”.

Without money and acquaintances with influential people, the only thing left for him to do, in order to succeed, was to dedicate himself to education. However, after finishing high school, he tried to enroll in studies twice, both times without success. Finally, for the third time, he managed to enroll in the Hangzhou Teachers’ Training Institute, where he graduated in 1988, and immediately after graduating, he started looking for a job. After being rejected several times, as I mentioned, he finally got a job as an English professor at a local university, where he earned only $12 a month!

Arrival in the USA

The moment that determined his future was his stay in the USA, in 1995, where Ma discovered the internet that enchanted him! The first word he typed into the internet search was the word ‘beer’ and he was surprised to see that no Chinese beer appeared in the search results. Then he decided to establish an internet company, specially intended for China and Chinese products.

Although the first two attempts to found the company were unsuccessful, Ma was adamant in his intention to start his own internet company. He gathered a group of friends (seventeen of them) and convinced them to invest their money in realizing his idea – creating an online store, which he called “Alibaba”. The idea was that this new site would allow exporters to publish product lists, which customers could then order directly, online. The very name “Alibaba” refers to the story of “Alibaba” and 40 bandits, in which a special password opens the door to a cave in which there are immeasurable wealth and thus refers to the symbolism in which his web store opened the door to endless opportunities in the global market.

This service soon began to attract users from all over the world. By October 1999, the company had raised five million dollars from Goldman Sachs and twenty million from Softbank. Despite the rapid and growing success, the company “Alibaba” has maintained the image of a youth startup, which was driven by ideas, enthusiasm and desire for change.

As the “dot com” expansion marked the end of 2000, the company faced serious challenges in the international market. Ma has successfully reorganized the company’s operations, which includes the loss of many of the company’s international branches, and has focused on strengthening “Alibaba”s position in the Chinese market.

“We will succeed, because we are young and never, BUT we NEVER give up”, are the words that Jack Ma said to his employees at every meeting (this is confirmed by the fact that in the first three years of business, “”Alibaba”” had no profit)!

Innovation and a huge desire to stand out were the main drivers of the team, which stood behind this internet giant. Soon the results came; In 2005, Yahoo invested $1 billion in the company in exchange for a 40 percent stake, which was a huge deal for the Chinese company, which sought to oust US eBay from the top spot in online stores in China.

“If you want to succeed, you have to learn from a competitor, but not copy it. Copying is death at work “- is one of the famous thoughts of Jack Ma.

“Our philosophy is to build an ecosystem and encourage others to produce, change, sell and thrive. With our technology, innovation and partners, our customers (10 million re sellers on the site) can even compete with Microsoft and IBM. ”

In addition to becoming one of the most successful companies in the world, “Alibaba” aims to rank among the largest powers in the world economy by 2036. Namely, the Chinese company is already economically stronger than countries such as Sweden, Poland, Iran, Norway and Austria.

“If a company can serve two billion consumers, that’s one-third of the world’s total population. If it can create 100 million jobs, that’s probably more than most governments can achieve. And if it can support its businesses with 10 million… it’s called the economy, “said Jack Ma.

The goal set by Jack Ma for his company can be achieved, especially if we take into account that “Alibaba” plans to earn a billion dollars by 2020, which would make it the 16th economy in the world, bigger than Turkey or Saudi Arabia. At that pace, in 2036, “Alibaba” would be the world’s fifth largest economy, just behind the United States, China, the EU and Japan.

I will end this instructive story with the motto of Jack Ma himself, who leads him through life:

“It is cruel today. More cruel tomorrow. It will be nice the day after tomorrow! ”

I hope you enjoyed the biography of the Richest Chinese and one of the richest people in the world!

“Never defeat, only lessons”!



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