Jack Ma is an inspiration to an entire generation. Who has widely impacted the entire economy and internet industry of China in  almost single-handedly. His life is nothing less than a Inspiration. This is the story of Jack Ma. a Small Height, Very Common Body, Defying the odds Jack Ma spearheaded e-commerce in China. As the Executive Chairman and founder of Alibaba, China’s leading Internet business entity, he is among the topmost Chinese entrepreneurs, who made it to the coveted Forbes list in recent years.

If few things can characterize Jack Ma’s background, education and path to success, they are  failure, rejection, fighting, resolve, hard work, agility and vision. All throughout Jack Ma’s life, from childhood till building a multibillion-dollar global E-commerce technology giant, he has failed many times, been rejected and called crazy, even by his father who warned him about his unique “dangerous” ideas that could have resulted in his imprisonment in an earlier generation.

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Jack Ma deviated from conventional methods to give his country the benefits of Internet based commerce. He lacked any technology and computing background and that makes his success. Jack Ma has learned more from his and others’ failures than through the traditional channels of education. Ma, a man of incredible resolve, has learned to fail better and fail forward.

Early Life & Education :

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Jack Ma (Ma Yun) was born on October 15, 1964, in Hangzhou, located in the south eastern part of China. Jack Ma’s parents were traditional musicians from China, who also did some story telling in order to support their family. The family had limited means of income and Ma grew up in a poor household but a happy one. He has an older brother and a younger sister.

Jack is married to Zhang Ying, who he met while studying together at the Hangzhou Normal University, and wed right after graduation. She is Chinese and has constantly supported him in all his business related ventures. It was with the help of Zhang that Jack established his first company by investing in USD 20,000 and later on Alibaba. They have a son and a daughter.

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Ma started to study English at a young age and practiced English daily by conversing with English speaker’s. Chinese entrance exams are held only once a year and it took Ma four years to pass. Ma attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute & graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in English. graduation, he became a lecturer of English and International Trade at Hangzhou Dianzi University . He later enrolled at Beijing-based Cheung Kong School of Business and graduated in 2006.

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He failed in multiple subjects in school and even failed the university exam twice before being accepted into an obscure college. Fortunately for him, he possessed an insight that reassured him that topping a class doesn’t equate to being intelligent or driven. Ma even applied to Harvard University 10 different times and faced rejection all 10 times. This goes to show that more than securing a seat, his goal was to keep taking up a seemingly impossible challenge and try to work it out in different ways.

Early Career & Opportunity :

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This is when he happened to become good friends with a foreigner found his real Chinese name difficult to pronounce and gave him the name “Jack”. You wouldn’t believe the number of times this man has been rejected and failed. After graduated in 1988 and started applying to as many jobs as he could but he has been Rejected more than 30 times in his life. He was rejected for most jobs He applied for out of college.

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.”

It would have possibly led to a breakdown of some kind. But for Jack Ma, the challenge had become a part and parcel of life. He managed to procure a small gig as a teacher in English and International Trade from the university he graduated from. While his pockets were practically empty, his heart was full of hope for the next step in his career. Even though at that point, he didn’t have a semblance of a clue to what it would be.

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Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But that didn’t stop him in any way of dreaming bigger. Ma had no experience with computers or coding, but he was captivated by the internet when he used it for the first time during a trip to the 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. The first word he searched on the Mosaic browser was ‘Beer’, and it popped out results from different countries, but signs of China anywhere. He then searched ‘China’ and not a single result popped out! He decided it was time for China and its people to get on the Internet.

Start up Of Alibaba :

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Though his first two ventures failed, four years later he gathered 17 of his friends in his apartment and convinced them to invest in him and his vision for an online marketplace he called “Alibaba.” The site allowed exporters to post product listings that customers could buy directly. the company began from his apartment. Together with his wife and a friend, Jack collected $20,000 and started an Internet company in April 1995. The company was called “China Yellow Pages” which was mainly dedicated to creating websites for companies. It was even said that it was the first internet business in China.

“China Yellow Pages.” Within three years, his company had made 5,000,000 Chinese Yuan which was equivalent to USD 800,000. From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an information technology company & in 1999, he quit the company to establish the Alibaba with an investment of with 500,000 Yuan from his pocket. Alibaba was born out of Ma’s unfulfilled dream of using the internet to facilitate business activities for Chinese SMEs and frustration with the bureaucrats he worked with in the preceding joint venture.

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Ma tried to raise funds in Silicon Valley but business model was criticized to be unprofitable and unsustainable by many at the time.  Eventually, Ma succeeded in getting Goldman Sachs and Softbank to invest USD 5 Million and USD 20 Million in Alibaba, respectively. He did this so that a group of new hires would be attracted enough to occupy the open high managerial positions. This proved to be a fatal miscalculation on Ma’s part, since it led to the segmentation of the company into many unproductive layers and led some of his best people to walk out and take their resources with them.

After the period of next few years, Jack went on to fix & glorify the Chinese Internet market with his newly found products like Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. After Ma and Alibaba reorganized their operations and made their Mark by driving eBay out of China after just few years in business, with the help of Jerry Young of Yahoo, Ma succeed in getting Yahoo to invest a sizable USD 1 Billion for a 40% stake in Alibaba in 2005.

In May 2013, Jack who till now had served as CEO of the company, decided to step down and took over the role of the Executive Chairman & The company’s $150-billion IPO was the largest offering for a US-listed company in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. It also made Ma the richest man in China, with an estimated worth of $25 billion. Alibaba along with its Some major subsidiaries –

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  • Alibaba.com
  • Taobao Marketplace
  • Tmall
  • eTao
  • Alibaba Cloud Computing
  • Juhuasuan
  • 1688.com
  • AliExpress.com 
  • Alipay 
  • Cainiao logistics
  • Ant financial services
  • Aliyun.com
  • Alimama.com

Alibaba Market :


Group Currently serves to members from more than 240 countries and territories. Unlike its competitors, Alibaba does not buy or sell products by itself, instead, leverages the small businesses to buy and sell their own goods. In November 2012, Alibaba’s online transaction volume exceeded one trillion yuan.

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Investors  :–

  • Blisce
  • DST Global
  • Temasek Holdings
  • Yahoo

Partner :-

  • Jerry Yang
  • Soft Bank Capital
  • Fidelity Growth Partners Asia
  • Goldman Sachs

Market Value & Ma Net Worth :-

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Net Worth Of Jack Ma Is $47.8 Billion. Jack Ma owns 6.4% of the Alibaba Group, roughly 160 million shares. As of this writing, those shares alone are worth $14.6 billion. He also controls an additional 35 million shares, worth $3.2 billion, that have been set aside for a non profit organization called the SymAsia Foundation. Alibaba Captures more than $160 Billion Market Worth.

Achievements & Awards :

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  • “Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year” (2004)
  • “Young Global Leader” (2005)
  • “World’s 100 most powerful people” & “China’s Most Powerful People” (2009)
  •  “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” (2010)
  • “30th most powerful person in the world” (2014)
  • “Entrepreneur of the Year award” (2015)
  • “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list” (2017)

He Is the exceptionally optimistic and determined Entrepreneur who has changed the face of business and Internet in China and across the world. Ma is something of a celebrity in China, and crowds of people show up to listen to him speak.

Never Give Up. Today Is Hard, Tomorrow Will Be Worse, but The Day After Tomorrow Will Be Sunshine…

                                 – Jack Ma

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