Jack Ma is known for the business savvy that catapulted the company he founded to worldwide fame – and made him the richest person in Asia.

Jack Ma is known for the business savvy that catapulted the company he founded to worldwide fame – and made him the richest person in Asia.

But both his rags-to-riches life story and the insights he gleaned from his experiences make for interesting reading as well.

“When you’re 40, please do something you’re strong and good at,” he continued. “When you’re 50, please spend time on the young people, giving them chances while you’re still strong.”

And as you approach retirement, “better spend time with your grandchildren on the beaches”.

Jack Ma proved that Being rejected is not always bad

Being shorter and less handsome than his cousin cost Ma a job as a waiter decades ago at the first four-star hotel in his home city of Hangzhou.

“My cousin and I waited for 2.5 hours during a very hot summer in order to apply for a job being a hotel waiter,” jack Ma nstated

“After an interview, my cousin was accepted, I was rejected – reason is he was taller and more handsome.”

Today, Ma’s cousin still works in the hotel … “and I changed my life”.

 Hire people who are smarter than you

Ma was a teacher before he went into business, and has never forgotten one thing from that life – that a teacher always wants his students to be more successful than they are.

That goes for hiring as well. He said: “When I hire people, I always want to hire those people who are smarter than I am.”That’s why he gives colleagues this bit of advice: “When they hire people, there’s one judge. Look at the young man.

“If you think he will be your boss – be my boss – in five years, hire him.”

 Do what you have to do to get started. And big things could come.

 Jack Ma shed light on the early days of the online marketplace, saying that when it launched in 2003, he and his staff went home to each look for four things to list for sale.

“Everybody couldn’t find four things at home we could sell because we were too poor. So we gathered 21 products, we listed on the website, we waited for three days, nobody came to buy,” he recalled.

The next week, they started to buy and sell the products among themselves. And the next week, when people finally started listing items, they found ready buyers – Ma and his team.

“For almost 30 days, everything people sold, we bought them. So we have a whole house of rubbish we bought online, trying to make sure that those guys who are able to sell say, ‘Oh wow, this thing really can sell things’.”

Make your fancy ideas reality

Ma recounted how he spent two hours explaining his idea for an internet business to 24 friends in his apartment, and how 23 of them told him to forget it.

“Only one person said, ‘Jack, if you want to try it, just try it. If something goes wrong, just come back.’”

Ma slept on the idea, and upon waking, decided he still wanted to pursue that dream: “Most people have fancy ideas in the evening, but when they wake up in the morning, they go back to do the same job. We have to do something different.”

Endure hardship to reap rewards

 Jack Ma advises the people starting businesses: “As entrepreneurs, today is very difficult. Tomorrow is even more difficult.“But the day after tomorrow is very beautiful. Most people die tomorrow evening. And he told that “You have to work hard, you have to learn, you have to rely on your team.”

Successful transition at Alibaba lights the way for China firms

By handing over reins of e-commerce giant at 55, Jack Ma has shown that an orderly approach and refreshed vision of future not only benefits company but also nation’s progress

It’s not like he was applying for the Chinese equivalent of Harvard, either. Jack Ma  himself admitted his university, Hangzhou Teachers’ University, was considered the worst university in the city. However, Mr. Ma’s leadership skills didn’t take long to surface. He was elected the student chairman of his university and later on became the chairman of the city’s Student’s Federation.

He applied for a job at KFC, and was rejected.

Once he quit his teaching job he started looking for other opportunities. When KFC rejected him, he started a small-time translation and interpreting company.

Forrest Gump is his lifelong hero.

Every time he gets stressed out, he watches the movie again. What does Ma get from Forest Gump? “No matter whatever changed, you are you.” That’s deep. 

Jack Ma also goes by his nickname Feng Quinyang, a legendary swordsman who is known for his aggressive, unpredictable and reclusive character. The nickname fits his business practices .

Jack Ma didn’t see his first computer until he was 31.

In 1995, Jack Maa went on a trip to Seattle on interpreting business, saw his first computer and started surfing the World Wide Web. It would be a trip that would change his life forever. 

Ma may not have been an early adopter of computers and the internet but he sure became a true believer. He immediately saw the potential and started to look for ways to create a viable online business in mainland China.

Part of the reason he accepted the interpreting gig in the States was to help a friend collect a debt from an American businessman. When Ma asked for the cash back, the businessman wouldn’t play ball. Instead, he locked Ma in his house, got his handgun out, and tried to strong-arm him into cutting a deal.

 There’s something Ma knows how to do right, it is motivating his workforce. Even though he was the only real founder, Ma named the 18 friends who were with him in the early days co-founders and shared a big chunk of the shares in Alibaba with them when he incorporated the business.

Today we’ll talk about a story. The story of the life of a man who has impacted the entire economy and internet industry of China almost single-handedly. His life is nothing less than the story of Robert, The Bruce and the Spider, that we were taught as kindergartens. That’s is the story of Jack Ma.

Jack Ma is the founder of the E-commerce giant ALIBABA and is a stakeholder at ALIPAY , it’s sister company which is an e-payment portal. He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $25 Billion, on the back of the recent world record $150 Billion IPO filing of his company. Given all of this, Jack Ma only holds a 7.8% stake in Alibaba and a 50% stake in Alipay. Alibaba and Jack Ma, although are not household names out of China, you must know that Alibaba is worth more than Facebook, and processes goods more than eBay and Amazon combined!


We are all social creatures always looking for fantasy in real life to trigger our thought process and seek inspiration   from them. On a daily basis we come across a lot of strangers but we seek inspiration from only few of them and what sets them apart is the stories that they have to tell.

Jack Ma is the founder of the E-commerce giant Alibaba and is a stakeholder at Alipay, it’s sister company which is an e-payment portal. He is now officially the richest man in China with an estimated net worth of $25 Billion, on the back of the recent world record $150 Billion IPO filing of his company. Given all of this, Jack Ma only holds a 7.8% stake in Alibaba and a 50% stake in Alipay. Alibaba and Jack Ma, although are not household names out of China, you must know that Alibaba is worth more than Facebook, and processes goods more than eBay and Amazon combined!

This might be beginning to seem like the story of an arrogant and rich billionaire who hasn’t seen the dark. But don’t be mistaken by the numbers that you see above, they can fool anyone. Although as simple as it may sound, Jack Ma has had it hard in his life to get to where he is today. A true rags-to-riches story and definitely a one which will inspire you even in your darkest days. Ma – The Backstory

Ma Yun ie Jack Ma is one of those self-made billionaires with humble beginnings. Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, located in the south-eastern part of China. He was born and raised along with an elder brother and a younger sister during the rise of communist China and its isolation from the Western regions. His parents were traditional Musicians-Storytellers and they didn’t make enough to be even considered as middle class during those days.ejected, But Failure.

Jack Ma as an extremely lucky bloke who just became a billionaire in a snap. But it is safe to know that Rejections are synonymous with Jack Ma. You wouldn’t believe the number of times this man has been rejected and failed.

In his early childhood, Jack Ma Failed in his Primary School examinations, not once, but Twice!  He Failed Thrice during his Middle School exams. When applying to universities after his High school, Jack failed the entrance exams thrice, before finally joining Hangzhou Normal University. He even applied and wrote to Harvard University ten times about being admitted – and got rejected each time. This was only during his education!

During and after his Bachelor’s degree Jack tried and failed to get a job at a multitude of places. After spending three years to get into a University, Jack failed to land a job after applying to them 30 times!

He recollects in an interview that , “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job.  Twenty-three people were accepted.  I was the only guy who wasn’t.” He also one of the 5 applicants to a job in Police force and was the only one getting rejected after being told, “No, you’re no good.”

Also, on his Entrepreneurial undertakings, Jack Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But that didn’t stop him in any way of dreaming bigger.

After finally coming to terms with all of his rejections and failures, Jack Ma visited US in 1995, for a Government undertaking project related to the building of highways. It was then that Jack Ma was first introduced to the Internet and Computers. Computers were pretty rare in China then, given the high costs associated with them and Internet or E-mails were non-existent.

Finally, after persuading 17 of his other friends to invest and join him in his new e-commerce start up – Alibaba, the company began from his apartment. Initially, Alibaba didn’t had a single penny in investment from outside investors, but they later raised $20 Million from SoftBank and another $5 Million from Goldman Sachs in 1999. Building trust among the people of China that an online system of payment and package transfers is safe was the biggest challenge Jack Ma and Alibaba faced, a challenge that Jack will cherish for his lifetime.

Having started his first successful company at the age of 31 and even after never having written a single line of code or selling something to anyone, Jack Ma runs one of the biggest E-commerce networks in the world. The company went on to grow rapidly, expanding all across the world, quickly growing out of its China shell. Only second to Walmart now in terms of sales per year, Alibaba has become the E-commerce giant that Jack Ma has envisioned for it.

Alibaba started as a B2B online portal in 1999 and now, It is one of the largest internet based company in the world. Post Alibaba’s IPO launch this Thursday, It turned out to be the biggest US IPO in the history. Just to give you an idea, Alibaba’s IPO is bigger than Google, Facebook, and Twitter combined. e was almost killed by an American Businessman in 1995.

In 1995, Jack traveled to the US for helping one of the Chinese firm to recover their money from an American Businessman and there he experienced the unexpected. Instead of returning the money, the businessman threatened him by showing gun and locked him in his house for two days. Jack came out of this situation by promising him that he’d start an internet company in China in partnership with him. This is why Jack chose the name ‘Alibaba’.

Jack was always clear that he wanted to take his company to the global level and that’s why he wanted a global name. Alibaba is easy to spell, and people everywhere associate that with “Open, Sesame,” the command that Ali Baba used to open doors to hidden treasures in One Thousand and One Nights.

Although, he knew very little about Internet at that time.In an interview he mentioned the reason behind his success. I bet you want to know this.

There were three reasons why we survived. We had no money, we had no technology, and we had no plan. Every dollar, we used very carefully.

The Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine – Jack Ma


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s