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Jack Ma

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Submitted By vihangjain
Words 1052
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ENL 213
Vihang Jain
10.27.2014
Jack Ma’s Key to Success
It’s a common saying “Where there is a will, there is a way” and a perfect example for this is the CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, who took the business world by storm with the largest IPO, exceeding the amount of 20 Billion dollars (CNBC, 2014). Despite being born in an underprivileged family, Jack Ma’s strong will to achieve his goals lead him to become one of the richest man in the world. Jack Ma’s success story is an inspiration to young adults, as it reinforces that dedication and hard work is the key to success. Jack Ma was born on 15th October 1964, in Hangzhou, China. He grew up in communist China with two siblings and strict parents (Stone & D’onfro, 2014). According to an article in Business Insider, Jack Ma often got into fights while growing up and he was never afraid of his opponents (Stone & D’onfro, 2014). He grew up during China’s cultural revolution and did not have the privilege to learn English. However, as China was opening up to the West, he saw an opportunity to learn English from the tourists who were visiting China. Every morning Jack Ma rode his bike for Forty minutes to get to the nearest tourist spot, so that he could learn English from the foreigners in exchange for a city tour. His dedication to learn English paid off, when he finally became an English teacher, after being rejected from KFC and dozens of other jobs (Stone & D’onfro, 2014). Life after High school was not any easier for Jack Ma. He flunked twice in the entrance exam, but he had a strong will to attend college in order to become an English teacher. So, Jack Ma worked hard for his third attempt and was finally accepted by Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute (Stone & D’onfro, 2014). This was his first step to success. During his college, he was elected as the student chairman and he was later promoted to the chairman of the city’s student federation (Fannin, 2008). Although Jack Ma was not smart as far as academics were concerned, but “where there is a will, there is a way”. He successfully graduated from college with prestigious leadership positions and pursued his dream of becoming an English teacher (Stone & D’onfro, 2014). According to Fannin, from INC magazine, the idea of Alibaba started brewing in 1995, when Jack Ma was first introduced to Internet in the United States of America. The first word he typed on Google was “beer” and to his dismay, it did not give any results related to China. Here after, Jack Ma decided to start up an Internet company for China (Macleod, 2014). After returning back, his first two business ventures failed, but Jack ma was unstoppable. In 1999, he spoke to his friends about Alibaba and managed to raise $60,000 to start Alibaba. Alibaba is a business-to-business (B2B) online platform that now makes more profit than its much bigger competitors like Amazon and E-bay combined (Macleod, 2014).
In an interview with Rebecca Fannin, he explains himself as “a blind man riding on the back of a blind tiger”. He knew nothing about the Internet world when he founded Alibaba, and today, Alibaba has nine affiliated companies that provide services and products to the whole world (Fannin, 2008). . This success is not his luck, but it is the sheer result of his hard work and dedication to achieve his aim of setting up a global company (Fannin, 2008). Of course, Alibaba did not grow without problems. In the interview, Jack ma refers to Alibaba as “1,001 mistakes” and recalls the time when users were using the platform free and he had no idea how to control the user traffic and make money (Fannin, 2008). . There was a time when the firm could only sustain for 18 months with the current cash reserves. But Jack Ma had a vision to work for and a will to work with. He introduced a new platform where Chinese exporters could directly meet the US buyers online and this proved to be the game changer for Alibaba (Fannin, 2008).
In 2011, Jack Ma made headlines for fraud sellers certified as gold suppliers on his online B2B platform, Alibaba. This scandal was the biggest set back in its history of 12 years. The company suffered a loss of 2 million dollars and fired 100 employees, who were involved in the scam (Epstein, 2011). Today, Jack Ma’s worth is over 16 billion dollars and he is the richest man in China. In addition to this, Duncan Clarke, a Beijing-based technology consultant said, Jack Ma maybe a potential candidate for open elections, if China ever permits them (Macleod, 2014).
Jack Ma’s life is a good example of success through determination and hard work. He started from an underprivileged family, but today he is amongst the richest men in the world. His fearless nature and the desire to achieve his goals is the key to his success.

References

Epstein, G. (2011, March 23). Alibaba's Jack Ma Fights To Win Back Trust. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0411/features-jack-ma- alibaba-e-commerce-scandal-face-of-china.html
Fannin, R. (2008, January 1). How I did it: Jack Ma, Alibaba.com. INC.. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080101/how-i-did- it-jack-ma-alibaba.html

Leung, T. (2014). Introduction to alibaba.com. In www.alsma.org. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.alsma.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Timothy-Leung- Introduction-to-Alibaba.pdf

Macleod, C. (2014, September 19). Alibaba's Jack Ma: From 'crazy' to China's richest man. USA TODAY. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from http://www.usatoday .com/story/tech/2014/09/17/alibaba-jack-ma-profile/15406641/

Ma, J. (1999, January 1). In www.alibaba.com. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.alibabagroup.com/en/about/businesses

Stone, M., & D'onfro, J. (2014, October 2). The inspiring life story of alibaba founder jack ma, now the richest man in china. Business Insider. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the- inspiring-life-story-of-alibaba-founder-jack-ma-2014-10?op=1#ixzz3Gcw

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