Before Alibaba, Jack Ma Got Rejected for 30 Different Jobs

Jack Ma says that he chose the name Alibaba for he wanted to start a global e-commerce company and almost everyone was familiar with Alibaba and the 40 thieves

Jack Ma, one of the wisest, most charismatic, grounded, visionary and humble businessmen in the world, today announced his retirement from Alibaba. The Alibaba co-founder is all set to retire on 10 September 2018, which is also his 54th birthday. The news, which was first reported by the New York Times is now creating ripples across the industry.

Jack Ma never attempted to hide the fact that he ultimately wanted to go in the philanthropic direction and do something in the field of education, save the environment and fight poverty. However, the fact that he decided to do it early has surprised but has also garnered respect from business tycoons across the world. “Jack Ma, China’s richest man & founder of #Alibaba @AlibabaGroup to retire on his birthday. He will pursue philanthropy in education! #Respect I hope more entrepreneurs give back to society & help development of future generations” tweeted Manu Kumar Jain, Global VP and Managing Director of Xiaomi India.

Jack Ma, who started his career as an English teacher, said that he does not consider himself a very successful business person, but he was more successful in life as he saw a lot of tough days and took tough decisions. He hinted that he wanted to impart this knowledge to entrepreneurs and wanted to pursue philanthropy in education, in an interview to Bloomberg. “I can never be as rich as Bill Gates, but one thing I can do better than him is retire earlier than him,” said Jack Ma in the interview.

Jack Ma who co-founded Alibaba in 1999, did not have an easy journey. Jack Ma said in an interview to Charlie Rose at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015 that he was rejected for 30 different jobs. “I failed three times in examinations (to get into Universities). Funny thing is failed a key primary test in school two times and failed three times in middle school,” said Jack Ma in the interview. Jack Ma says that one must get used to rejections. “30 times I got rejected, I went for job with the police and they said no you are not good. When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job and 23 got accepted. I was the only one to get rejected,” added the Alibaba co-founder. He also shared that he had applied to Harvard Business School but was rejected 10 times.

Jack Ma was introduced to the Internet in 1995, when he went to the US. He searched for beer on the Internet for it was easy to spell and found that there was no data from his country China. So he set-up a website with the help of his friend on information on China. He launched the website at 9:40 AM, and by 12:30 PM he had received about five emails from Chinese investors wishing to know more about him. This is when Jack Ma realized the power of Internet, and how it was a phenomenon that was going to change the world. He started his company ‘China Pages’, which dealt with creating websites for companies in 1995.

In 1999, Jack Ma co-founded Alibaba with his friends. Jack Ma says that he chose the name Alibaba for he wanted to start a global e-commerce company and almost everyone was familiar with Alibaba and the 40 thieves and the popular phrase ‘Open Sesame’. Today the company is one of the largest retailers in the world, and has revenue of over 39 billion dollars. Alibaba has over 66,000 employees as of today, and has over 100 million buyers visiting the site every day. Jack Ma says that Alibaba has created over 14 million jobs for China alone. Alibaba raised over 25 billion dollars in its initial public offering in 2014, which is the world’s highest in history. As of June 2018, Alibaba’s market value stood at 542 billion dollars.

5 Remarkable Quotes of Jack Ma

Whoever has heard Jack Ma speak will agree on the fact that he effuses profound wisdom and has unique beliefs, which is what probably made him tick. Some of his mantras for success are as follows:

  1. “Technology should be used for people. I believe 80 percent of the people in the world are like me, we love technology but are scared of technology.”
  2. “The money you make isn’t yours. You have a few million, you are a rich guy. You have ten million, you have a capital. You have 100 million that is society’s resources.”
  3. “I’ve seen people making fortune by catching shrimps, but I’ve never seen people making a fortune by catching sharks and whales. It’s what Forrest Gump told me.”
  4. “Alibaba believes that customer is number one, employees are number two and shareholder is number three. It’s my culture and religion.”
  5. “To run a business you have to run the value first. To serve people and help people is the key. Think about how you can help people, get value for the others and you will make money.”


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