The Inspiring Story of the Richest Man in China – Jack Ma
Success stories like those of self-made billionaires like Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant – Alibaba makes one believe in the concept of rags to riches! He was born in a family that didn’t even make enough and was rejected 30 times before landing a job including a job at KFC!
“When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job. Twenty-three people were accepted. I was the only guy who wasn’t.”
Ma Yun aka Jack Ma, was born on 16th September, 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China to musician storytellers and has two siblings. He completed his Bachelors in English from Hangzhou Normal University after failing his university entrance exam thrice, middle school exams thrice and primary school exams twice! Thereafter, he worked as an English teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University at a meager pay of US$12/ month after being rejected from a multitude of jobs including the Police Force and KFC. Two of his initial entrepreneurial undertakings also faced failure.
Jack Ma’s first introduction to computers and the internet was at the age of 31 when he visited The USA for a Government undertaking project for building highways. His first-word search was “beer” and then “China” which showed no result. This inspired him to put China on the internet map!
He along with 17 of his friends started his first successful e-commerce company – Alibaba at the age of 31 in 2000 which had investors like SoftBank and Goldman Sachs.
Alibaba platform was expected to provide a Chinese e-commerce market to small/ medium enterprises to addressing world trade challenges.
In 2003, Ma founded Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx; during which time he declined a purchase offer from eBay and accepted financial support from Yahoo promoter – Jerry Yang for US$1 billion.
Currently, Alibaba is one of the most renowned tech companies worldwide and raised approx. US$25 billion in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in November, 2014.
Today, Jack Ma is the Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group which holds 9 subsidiaries including Alibaba.com, , Tmall, eTao, Taobao Marketplace, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan, 1688.com, AliExpress and Alipay.
Due to his inspiring success, Ma has often been recognized and awarded for his accomplishments. Some of them include being honoured with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Asian Awards (2015), ranked as the 30th most powerful person in the world by Forbes (2014), appointed by the Board of SoftBank and Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, awarded honorary doctoral degrees by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2013). He is also invited to speak at universities like Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and Peking University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As on November, 2014, Jack Ma reported a net worth of US$29.7 billion making him the richest man in China and 18th richest person in the world.