An optimist finds an opportunity in every failure. Flip-flops are an integral part of life. But, few men stand out of the crowd to extract the optimum from the foreseen opportunity. After ten times rejection from Harvard University, he never gave up. Though he did not enter the Harvard; his accomplishments brought him a Doctorate from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is the man who gave a new dimension to “Alibaba,” the one which we all are aware of “Open Sesame.” Jack Ma alias Ma Yun, the co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), turns 55 on 10 September 2019. On this occasion, here are a few surprising yet less known facts about the entrepreneur.
Date of Birth: September 10, 1964
Net Worth: $38.4 Billion As of September 2019
- In the early age of thirteen years, he worked as a free guide for the foreigners who visited Hangzhou Hotel. His passion for learning English determined him to wake up early by 5 a.m. and after 45 minutes of the bike ride, he reached his destination. One of the Foreigners who found difficulty in pronouncing his name called him “Jack Ma.” Finally, Chinese name Ma Yun transformed into Jack Ma. Along with the English language, he also learned about Western people’s lifestyle, system, and ways.
- He was not disheartened after encountering multiple failures. Prior to getting into the college, he failed to clear entrance exam thrice. Following this, he went through 30 futile jobs hunt one of the companies including KFC.
- Jack Ma was astonished to find no results when searched for China, on the world wide web. His first keyword for search happened to be “beer.” In 1995, when he was in the US, it was his first trip to the US as well the first time to use the internet.
- Today, Alibaba is one of the well-known E-commerce portals. Interestingly, Jack Ma the co-founder of Alibaba group encounter computer for the first time when he was thirty-three. He found the box to be a mysterious device and later from one of his friends, he learned it to be the “computer.”
- He started off his career as an English teacher with a salary of $12 to $15 monthly in the late 1980s. He served as a teacher for five years. While working as a teacher his computer knowledge was minimal he was only aware of sending and receiving emails.
- After a futile attempt to find China on the World Wide Web, he along with his friend created a website related to China. He started receiving emails from the Chinese within five hours of the creation of the website, intending to know about him. This inspired the entrepreneur to come up with “China Yellow Pages.” The company was the creation of websites. He received twenty thousand dollars from his wife and a friend as an investment in 1995. China Yellow Pages failed to succeed.
- The futurist said he was tired of being rich after his company recorded a historic IPO of being valued at $25 billion in September 2014. Jack Ma found it difficult to spend money effectively and efficiently than making money. It has been an awesome traverse of the co-founder from poor school teacher to a rich man getting tired of it.
- He was called “Crazy Jack,” by the reporters owing to his animated way of speaking and the bold goals he was aiming at.
- According to Jack Ma, his huge fortune made him responsible to spend for the welfare of the society. His philanthropy contributions spanned through education, healthcare, and the environment. Further, he donated US$2.4 billion as share options. The money he is holding today is a responsibility, and it showcases the trust of the people in him. He added, “If I had another life, I would keep my company private, as it is a huge liability to own people’s money”.
- Though, his first attempt of China Yellow Pages failed his everlasting determination led to the birth of Alibaba Group in 1999. Prior to starting the venture, he consulted the group of 17 friends in his apartment as he foresaw the Internet fever to be soon hitting making online marketplace a big thing.
- He is ranked 21 on the list of World’s Most Powerful People 2018 by Forbes.
- Jack Ma, with a fortune of 38 billion, claims the title of 2nd Wealthiest Man in China and 21st Wealthiest Man in the World by Forbes.
- Jack Ma is officially stepping down as an executive chairman of the Alibaba e-commerce empire on his 55th birthday i.e. 10 September 2019. “Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time because I know from working with them that they are ready, and I have complete confidence in our next generation of leaders,” Ma wrote in a letter to Alibaba’s customers and shareholders.
The above lines of Jack Ma motivate to achieve more and rise higher. If “Failure is the stepping stone to success,” is to be personified it would have transformed to this Asian Hero. On his birth anniversary, we wish him a great year with a lot of investments flowing into his venture.
The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, Sir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.