“As entrepreneurs, if you’re not optimistic, you’re in trouble. So, the people I choose, they have to be optimistic.”Jack Ma
In 1995 Ma went to the US with his friends, who helped introduce him to the Internet. Although he found information related to beer from many countries, he was surprised to find none from China. This led him and his friend to create an “ugly” website related to China. He launched the website at 9:40 AM, and by 12:30 PM he had received emails from some Chinese investors wishing to know about him. Within three years, the company had made 5,000,000 Chinese yuan which at the time was equivalent to US$800,000. This was when Ma realized that the Internet had something great to offer.
In 1999 without any technical experience, Jack Ma founded Alibaba, which initially had a rocky start, but with investments from Yahoo found its feet in the mid-2000s. In 2014, Alibaba went public with the largest IPO in US history at $25 Billion. In 2020, Jack Ma was one of the wealthiest people in the world, leading China’s biggest digital marketplace responsible for 80% of all online sales in China.
Alibaba’s website was initially created in the year 1999 as a B2B platform with the objective of connecting Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. Today, the company’s consumer-to-consumer trading portal, Taobao, features close to a billion products that cater to every need of the customer. The website connects millions of buyers and sellers worldwide and helps small businesses find manufacturers, exporters, and wholesalers with their sourcing needs. Alibaba has become synonymous with a digital innovation factory that produces new technology ideas, services, and ventures that solve customer problems and offers a cutting-edge interface to all its customers.