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Jack Yun Ma, Founder & Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group

Leadership Insights Never too late to start!

Mar 26, 2018

"Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine." — Jack Yun Ma, Founder & Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group

Founder of the E-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has undoubtedly been one of the most enlightened entrepreneurs till date for thinking beyond the tangible gains of business imperatives. In spite of a number of failures during his early days of education and career, Ma has always been an epitome of believing in oneself, being persistent in the face of adversities and treating rejections & failures as opportunities to propel oneself ahead.

Upon his failures, the tycoon started a translation service business, and on his first visit to the US in 1995 as a translator, Ma became aware of the internet and was stunned to learn that there were no representatives from China online. Immediately seeing the potential business opportunities of the internet and how it could facilitate Chinese enterprises to do business, the risk-taker along with his friends, decided to launch the Chinapage that listed Chinese businesses and their products.

However, after the failure of this endeavour, he tried his hand at another internet-based business venture and gathered a group of potential investors at his home and sold them on his dream to launch Alibaba with the goal of facilitating international trade for small & medium ventures based in China.

Ma’s vision for Alibaba is to make it survive for 102 years. As such, he has always made his purpose to create a clear, lengthy and purposeful vision. He entrails to have an obsessive focus on customer, not revenue or share price and encourages people to learn the tactics and skills from others, but not change one’s dream. His success mantras amalgamate the importance of team work in the attitude and passion of the people, rather than theoretical business skills. He also envisions the concept of acceptance and believes that changing one’s approach shall be the key to the success of his greatness. Instead of including all targets under the vision of one person, he collects the entire common goal that everyone has in common—“Vision is more important than leadership skills!”.

On developing and mentoring a team, Ma believes that a leader is only successful with a rightful team. “Focusing on the skills of employees, and employing people who can perform anything according to your vision is the cornerstone of a company’s success!” Also, he believes that this role is extended to a company’s culture wherein it’s the company’s responsibility to train an employee better. In addition to the foresight, Ma considers that a good leader should be extremely stubborn so as to know exactly what he wants to achieve.

Currently, Alibaba has created jobs for around 30 million people globally and has an ambition of creating another 100 million jobs, thus, reaching the 2 billion mark.

The feature compiles the leadership lessons from industry experts analysing their journey towards success

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