New Delhi, Sept 08: China’s richest man and Alibaba co-founder, Jack Ma, has announced his retirement at the age of 54. On Monday, which is also his birthday, he will leave the e-commerce giant that he built from the group-up to dedicate his time and resources towards education.
Jack Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and turning it into a multibillion-dollar internet company in less than two decades.
His story is that of a rags-to-riches story. Born in September 1964, Jack Ma came from a poor family, according to Chinese media.His parents were not very educated and his father supported the family with just $40 dollars he got as a retirement allowance.
Mr. Jack Ma graduated from with a major in English-language from the Hangzhou Teachers College and went on to become a teacher at another university in the city. He left his teaching job when he discovered the internet and its potential to change the world.
He recalled that once that when he used the internet for the first time and touched the keyboard for the first time he knew that it was something he believed in and it was something that was going to change the world. He saw an opportunity in buying and selling goods online and started a small company, which he ran from out of his apartment in Hangzhou city in east China.
The breakthrough came in 1999 when he, with his friends, persuaded a United States Venture Capitalist (VC) to give him $60,000 to start an e-commerce firm – which was named Alibaba. That company is now one of the few most successful companies in the world, valued at $420.8 billion.
In fact, with the success of Alibaba, Jack Ma even became the richest person in Asia before being replaced by the Reliance Industries’ Mr.Mukesh Ambani. His net worth was estimated at $36.6 billion by Forbes. Mr. Jack Ma told the New York Times that his retirement should be seen as the beginning of an era rather than an end.
His friends and colleagues say that behind Jack Ma’s success was his spirit of openness, risk-taking and innovation. He has often talked about the greater good of society and that one should make money that is not only good for oneself but for the society overall.