Jack Ma: A self made billionaire

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. Many young entrepreneurs have tried their hands in this field but very few were able to taste success. One such hugely successful eCommerce business is Alibaba.

The man behind this extremely successful ecommerce business is Jack Ma. Today Ma the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group has an estimated net worth of $25 billion. Who would have imagined that a 5 feet tall Chinese man will lead Alibaba to a record breaking $25 billion IPO and become 18th richest person in the world? Alibaba’s IPO was bigger than Google, Facebook and Twitter combined.

Determination & persistence paves the way
Ma was born in Hangzhou, China. Lack of resources was never a excuse for him to learn or do something. In Childhood Ma developed a desire to learn English, so he started to converse with foreigners. For nine years he used to guide foreigners around the city for free to learn English. This opened the door to many entrepreneurial skills; from interacting with people to knowing their thought process; this somewhere pushed him to develop his own views on capitalism and entrepreneurship. During this course he became pen pals with one of these foreigners, and she nicknamed him “Jack”, because his real Chinese name Ma Yun was too difficult to pronounce.

But before he became the richest person in China, Ma went through a lot of rejections. Can you imagine the man behind Alibaba’s success was rejected by three universities?Quote JackMa2

Today world’s top universities and business schools like Harvard take pride in inviting Jack Ma for guest lectures whom once they were not ready to give admission. He was rejected by Harvard 10 times as a student. Jack Ma learnt from failures than through the formal channels of education.

He applied for 30 jobs and got rejected. Jack Ma once said, “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job…23 people were accepted. I was the only guy who wasn’t.” His journey from a failed man to a successful tech leader & entrepreneur is exemplary .

Ma’s first date with internet and rise of Alibaba
“Beer” was the first word that Jack Ma searched for on the internet- Really? Beer? Well, during his trip to US, he searched for “Beer” and then “China”, when no results came up, he decided to set up a Chinese website. He saw the web as the future of business and even tried to register the name Internet!
In 1995 he along with his wife and a friend founded an internet company called China Yellow Pages. This company made 5,000K Chinese Yuan (US$800K).

In 1999 he started Alibaba, a B2B marketplace along with his 17 friends. He chose the name Alibaba since it was unique and easy to spell and people were able connect with this name very easily. Alibaba.com allows merchants and companies to trade products online. Within a short period of time Alibaba became one of the largest websites online.

Ma is a larger-than-life figure. Even after reaching the great heights, Jack Ma is the exceptionally optimistic and determined. His journey to success is definitely one which will inspire you even in your darkest days. Jack Ma believes that “If you are still poor at 35, you deserve it!” His journey is a perfect example of a rag-to-riches story. The most important lesson is- when the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.

Most of us indulge so much in making excuses about things that we even forget to make the best of every situation. We all give countless excuses everyday like lack of money, lack of good education and people around us always discourage us. The same was the case with Jack Ma, he had nothing to push him forward but his strong desire to excel made him the man he is today.

“We are never in lack of money. We lack people with dreams, who can die for those dreams” – Jack Ma

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Anshu Verma

Anshu Verma

Anshu Verm is a software developer by education and blogger by passion.You can call her Tech Savvy!!

Apart from blogging, she is a music lover and love to sing! She don't consider herself an expert and love to learn new things everyday.

She swear by the YOLO philosophy and believe that everyday may not be good, but there's something good in everyday!!

She is a big fan of technology and loves to write about tech founders, startups and technologies.
Anshu Verma