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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Jack Ma of Alibaba : A Dream On Story

Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes. Did you know that this richest man in China, was rejected from 30 jobs, ridiculed, and termed as stupid...Yes, he had his share of setbacks, but every setback was a little nudge from the almighty, for him to Dream On.
This is a peculiar Dream On story where setbacks in his life showed him the way...Read on..

As of November 2014, Jack Ma is the richest man in China and 18th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $29.7 billion. He is ranked as the 30th most powerful person in the world in an annual ranking published by Forbes.
In 2015 he was honoured with the Entrepreneur of the Year award at The Asian Awards.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. His e-commerce company, Alibaba, attracts 100 million shoppers a day.

But of course, this is the end result that you see. What you do not see is the struggle beneath all this. What you do not comprehend is the resilient attitude with which he faced one setback after another. He was never rich or had an ambition to be an entrepreneur. He was a simple honest man - no money, no connections, no clout.

Without money or connections, the only way Ma could get ahead was through education. After high school, he applied to go to college — but failed the entrance exam - not once but twice. After a great deal of studying, he finally passed on the third attempt, going on to attend Hangzhou Teacher's Institute. He graduated in 1988 and started applying to as many jobs as he could. Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected - in every single one of them.

They said, 'You're no good,'" says Ma. "I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy...", says Ma, in one of the interviews.

Do you think it is easy to handle rejection after rejection for 30 times? No, i bet you not. Get rejected in 5 jobs at a stretch and you will find it difficult to apply for the 6th one. But all these setbacks come for a reason in our life. These setbacks are the only ways the almighty helps us find the right path for us. There is no other way HE can help us.

Ma decided to go of his own. He decided to start a business of his own, as if he had any other choice. HE was driving.

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. That was 1998.

The brand didn't turn a profit for the first three years, and Ma had to get creative. One of the company's main challenges was that it had no way to do payments and no banks would work with him. Ma decided to start his own payment program called Alipay. The program transfers payments of different currencies between international buyers and sellers.
"So many people I talked to at that time about Alipay, they said, 'this is the stupidest idea you've ever had,'" he said. "I didn't care if it was stupid as long as people could use it." Today, 800 million people use Alipay.

Soon, the service started to attract members from all over the world. By October 1999, the company had raised $5 million from Goldman Sachs and $20 million from SoftBank, a Japanese telecom company that also invests in technology companies. The team remained close-knit and scrappy — "We will make it because we are young and we never, never give up," Ma said to a gathering of employees.

What a typical trademark of a person dreaming on in life. Never ever give up.

In 2005, Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba in exchange for about a 40% stake in the company. This was huge for Alibaba — at the time it was trying to beat eBay in China — and it would eventually be an enormous win for Yahoo too, netting it ~$10 billion in Alibaba's IPO alone.

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.

Ma told employees at a press conference that he hopes they use their newfound wealth to become "a batch of genuinely noble people, a batch of people who are able to help others, and who are kind and happy."

This is another key attribute of a dreamer who is on a mission. A mission is never complete unless there is value addition to the lives of others around you. In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.

Ma developed an interest in environmentalism when a member of his wife's family became sick with an illness that Ma suspected was caused by pollution. He sits on the global board of The Nature Conservancy, and spoke during a session of the Clinton Global Initiative this September. He's also been instrumental in funding a 27,000-acre nature reserve in China.

From struggling to study, to his struggles to find a job to setting up his own business, Ma had to face enormous setbacks - each telling him, guiding him to a better him. God was guiding him, and continues to do so - as he learns to chase his mission of life. Without all those setbacks, we may never had the opportunity to talk about such a simple person becoming such a great philanthropist.

As Jack Ma says, "We are never in short of money. We lack people with dreams, and who are ready to die for those dreams."

Are you ready to Dream On in life, and get set to lead an extraordinary life? Then read this epic story of a dreamer, catch hold of the book.. Dream On.

Like it? Share it then. You may make someone's day or life.


Manoj Arora
Stay happy.... always !! 

More on "Dream On"


  1. Such an inspiring story. In fact I have read a few things here and there but going through the consolidated theme is quite good :)

  2. Very inspiring story. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks buddy !! :)
      You may read other inspiring stories at the link :

      You may also read the ultimate story of a Dreamer in the book "Dream On".
      Details at www.manoj-arora.com


      Manoj Arora