Jack Ma: Defied the odds and rose as a king

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Alibaba-The Internet Business Entity is now world-famous and the brain behind this venture is known by the name of Jack Ma. Jack Ma is the kind of exceptional and talented leaders who redefine the path of success. Defying the odds Jack Ma spearheaded e-commerce in China. Jack Ma deviated from conventional methods to give his country the benefits of Internet based commerce. He lacked any technology and computing background and that makes his success even more astounding. As the Executive Chairman and founder of Alibaba Group, China’s leading Internet business entity has its name amongst topmost Chinese entrepreneurs.

Here is the story.


Jack Ma was born and raised in Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang Province. His zeal to enhance his aptitude and acquire new skills was evident from childhood. As a teenager, he started communicating with foreign tourists to enhance his English skills.


Ma struggled academically, especially throughout his early years in primary and secondary schools, where he failed repeatedly. He entered the Hangzhou Normal University and completed graduation in English. Later he attended Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing.


Jack Ma excelled in the things that he was passionate about, for example, teaching himself English. During these formative years, Ma thought that, as long as he kept his resolve and worked to achieve his objectives, he had a chance to succeed. He also worked as an English teacher.

Introduction to Internet

Upon his first visit to US, Jack Ma got introduced to the Internet, and to his shock after looking up beer from various countries, he learned that there was none from China (a country of about a Billion people) on the World Wide Web.

The potential of Internet

Jack Ma saw the potential business opportunities of the internet and how it could facilitate the way small and medium Chinese enterprises could do business with the rest of the world. Then, he and his friends decided to lunch a site about China and Chinese products online, known as “Chinapage.”


For a while, Jack Ma worked in the commerce ministry and then he returned to Hangzhou where he  set up Alibaba as a B2B marketplace site.Alibaba.com enabled Chinese exporters to connect with overseas buyers.

Consumer to consumer platform

After consolidating the position of Alibaba, Ma shifted focus to consumer-to-consumer platform, Taobao was formed. His strategy to keep it free affected the profits and drew widespread criticism, but Ma was unruffled. Taobao gained a majority of market share in two years and this led to a wide expansion of Jack Ma venture.

Expansion of ventures

Alibaba group has diversified into nine major subsidiaries- including Alipay and Alibaba Cloud Computing. Alibaba ventured into the state-dominated and staid industries in China including finance and retail. A visionary, Jack Ma is an inspiration to an entire generation.

Bottom line

Jack Ma grew up poor in communist China, failed his college entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at KFC, before finding success with his third internet company, Alibaba.

Life lesson

Jack Ma want to change history, do something important in his life, and influence individuals like with millions of small businesses on Alibaba and this where all the love and respect is gained.

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