Alibaba’s Jack Ma to lift the lid on steps to success

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Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma (left) together with UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi (centre) and President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi
Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma (left) together with UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi (centre) and President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi

The founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma is in Kenya on a two-day trip after jetting into the country on Wednesday evening, and he is set to give inspirational talks on business related points and tips on business growth among other issues. The business mogul, who is billed as the richest person in Asia and 14th richest in the world, has set his sights on inspiring interested business minded Kenyans, especially the youth, with talks at NaiLab in Nairobi, and the University of Nairobi.

While addressing listeners at NaiLab in Nairobi, Jack Ma outlined how he started the internet based businesses under the umbrella Alibaba Group, “I started Alibaba.com in my apartment,” he said, adding that one needs to have a great dream for his or her company’s future, “If you don’t have a great future for your company’s future, you will not have a lot of people following you.” The business magnate said it’s essential to spend enough time with customers, employees, “That’s the best way to compete with your competitors,” he said. He also pointed out the role CEOs have to play, “As a CEO, care for your colleagues and they will in turn care for you,” he said, adding that when profits are gained, both the employer and employee benefit.

Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma at Nailab (CREDIT.Nailab)
Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma at Nailab (CREDIT.Nailab)

It’s well documented that Jack Ma faced rejection more than once in his fledgeling years. He applied for 30 different jobs and he was rejected by all, he went to look for a slot at KFC when a branch was opened in his home city in China and out of the 24 who went, including him, he was the only one who was turned away and despite applying 10 times for Havard University, he was also rejected. Thus, having experienced tough constraints, he had to start his empire with innovativeness and at Nailab while delivering his talk, he said one can make it in life without money, “If you have hopes, dreams and a plan, you can make it even without money and resources,” he said.

Jack Ma has been accompanied by 38 men and women from the Beijing Chamber of Commerce, who will be looking to strike deals with the government and businessmen. Among the people who have accompanied him include Alibaba’s founding partner Lucy Peng and real estate tycoon Huang Youlong.