Jack Ma, the executive chairman and founder of Alibaba group is one of the most prominent Chinese figures in the global market. The billionaire is slowly but steadily working on expanding Alibaba’s business to other countries as a next step after conquering the Chinese market. However, apart from the recent public appearances on the global stage, there is not much known about Ma and the way he runs the huge group. Considering the lack of information, we tried to answer some questions about Ma Yun.
Where does Ma Yun come into the mix, you may ask? Well, Jack Ma’s real name is Ma Yun and he started off as an English teacher after learning it by watching movies and talking to tourists as reported by Fortune. Ma started the company 18 years ago back in 1998 with friends back in Hangzhou. The company was officially launched in 1999.
The interesting thing about Ma is not how he started off Alibaba Group as a huge corporate giant in China, but how he is as a person. As a leader of a global conglomerate, one has a certain assumption regarding how Ma should carry himself. He is considered as a charmer who can seduce and work the room according to Duncan Clark, an investment adviser based out of China. Jim Kim, the president of World Bank met Ma over a dinner four years ago and was taken aback by the mannerisms of the billionaire. The thing that stood out for him was the fact that Ma wore sandals while holding the Buddhist prayer bead, as he sat cross-legged on his chair.
The report points out that Ma has been meeting a lot of people right from powerful leaders, princes, or governments to businessmen while flying 800 hours last year alone. This is not out of the extraordinary as he serves as the global ambassador for Chinese business. However, he is not just working as the global ambassador but instead slowly cultivating ties with governments and businessmen all across the world for a gradual market expansion. The best thing about this is that he is aware that Alibaba has largely been unchallenged in the Chinese market.
The group needs to grow beyond the Chinese market because if that changes then it will make foreign markets important. The report points out that meeting the top brass of separate countries will make it easier for the company to expand in that country. However, the company has to fight problems like counterfeit wares for the sale on the platform. Ma has been actively trying to fight the war against counterfeit products but can’t do much about the issue without any serious action by the Chinese government. What makes the problem aggravated is that it is hard for people to break the perception that they can depend on a Chinese platform for quality and originality.
Another important thing to note here is that the company is not claiming anything outrageous like competing against Amazon or beating Amazon so soon. Even though it has entered the United States market but it is not going head on against Amazon. Instead, the company is helping small manufacturers based out of United States sell their products to the Chinese market. Ma met President Donald Trump and promised to help create about 1 million jobs in the United States of America which for obvious reason was a good thing for the newly elected president.
When compared to Amazon, Alibaba is far more profitable because of its ‘Asset-Light’ strategy as detailed in the report. According to the strategy, the company itself does not have any inventory, trucks or warehouses. Instead, the company focuses on being a platform of other companies to come together and work in a harmony. Alibaba has a 47 percent stake in Cainiao, a logistics network in China which workes on the existing postal delivery system by improving its capabilities. Other companies like Alipay work in conjunction to Alibaba and Cainiao to work effeciently while being powered by a World e-Trade Platform.
Last but not the least bit that stood out for me was his willingness or rather eagerness to retire. According to the report, he started looking forward to retiring 7 years back. However, now with the global push we can be certain that the retirement is not coming anytime soon. Ma detailed that he does not want to die in a office and instead would prefer to die on a beach making him pretty laidback in general about life.
Publish date: March 27, 2017 4:04 pm| Modified date: March 27, 2017 4:04 pm