As we have said in previous posts – in today’s world, if you have a website, you are a global company! That is the power of e-commerce!
Today’s technology allows a buyer located anywhere in the world to use a cell phone to locate your company’s website and buy your product or service. There are over 3 billion Internet users around the world. (View live stats on global Internet use.) A significant portion of them use it to shop, making e-commerce among the fastest-growing sectors.
Jack Ma is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce company. A Chinese company, Alibaba Group provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business sales services around the world. Founded in 1989, 15 years later (2015) the Alibaba platform serves over 100 million shoppers and conducts 60 million transactions on a daily basis.
Jack Ma was interviewed by Charlie Rose at the 2015 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. Following are some highlights of this inspiring conversation, which focused on leadership, entrepreneurship, and the future of commerce:
On the company’s name:
Alibaba is a global name, recognized worldwide for the story and the phrase – “open sesame”. It also starts with the letter “A”.
On the power of e-commerce:
Today, the Internet can help small businesses to sell things across the world. Alibaba wants to eventually serve 2 billion consumers and help 10 million small businesses outside of China. In 2014, the company helped small famers in Washington State to sell 300 tons of cherries to China.
However, most of the transactions on Alibaba are small. The power of the platform is in the number of users — 10 million small businesses conducting tiny transactions.
On his business philosophy:
“Creating trust over the Internet is key for e-commerce.” In 1989, China was accustomed to dealing only face-to-face. So an initial focus was on building up trust, through the use of escrow accounts.
“Leadership is about responsibility.” Knowing that the business would fail otherwise, Jack decided to launch a payment platform even though the legal system in China did not then support this. He was prepared to go to prison if he had to.
For the first three years the company made no revenue. Jack persisted because he was excited and passionate about his business.
Like Forrest Gump, Jack believes in never giving up. “Believe in what you’re doing, whether people like it or believe in you.”
“The world has a lot of opportunities.”
“We can never win the world by talking.”
$1 billion dollars in revenue is not yours. It’s the trust that people have placed in you. Jack plans to use his money to help young people to succeed.
On women in business
Women are the secret sauce for Alibaba’s success. 47% of the company’s employees are women. 33% of the management is women. 24% of senior management is women. To win in the 21st century, you need to make other people better than you. Women think about others before themselves.
To watch the entire interview with Jack Ma, click here.
To Learn More
If you think that your business is ready to take the next step or to learn more about how you can use the three T’s — Trade Agreements, Trade Financing, and Technology — to expand your business globally, contact us.