Jack Ma, is the chairman of Alibaba’s record-shattering $25 billion IPO, which now sits as one of the largest companies on the market.
1. JACK MA’S LIFE IS FULL OF FAILURES -- When he applied for admission to the Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute (now Hangzhou Normal University), Ma failed the college entrance exam twice. He eventually graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
By 1995, he decided teaching wasn’t for him, so he decided to try his hand at business. Around this time, he even applied to a job at KFC in Hangzhou, only to be rejected. Ma also started a translation company, and on a trip to Seattle, he discovered the internet, inspiring him to start his first legit business, China Yellow Pages. While it is regarded as China’s first internet-based company, China Yellow Pages was also a failure.
As we all know, however, Ma’s second company, Alibaba, is doing much better.
2. His First Salary was just 12-15 USD per month -- At the University where he taught English, he was the only teacher assigned to 500 students. His pay was 100 to 120 Renminbi, which is around $12 to $15 per month. Before moving on, he taught there for 5 years.
3. He used to guide tourists for free for 8 years and that’s how he learned speaking English fluently -- When Jack was 12 years old, he grew a strong desire to learn English. He’d guide tourists from foreign countries for free and learn English by conversing with them. It went on like this for 8 years.
4. 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.
5. Forest 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.”
6. Products from China do not hold a high reputation in much of the world. Due to this among other factors, the US government had listed Ma’s website, Alibaba.com as a “notorious market” for some time. This is defined as a company that does not follow US government copyrights and business regulations.
7. In January of 2013, Jack Ma announced his unexpected resignation as CEO of Alibaba Group in May of the same year. He stated that he would still be working for the company as Executive Chairman, saying he was too old for the Internet now. His resignation has raised many questions regarding his health and the real reason he has decided to retire at the young age of 48.