Right at the beginning of this short documentary, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online retailer explains how learning English as a free tourist guide for visitors that came to China had helped him not only to acquire vital language skills that proved to be invaluable later in life, but also how it gave him a different view of his own country and culture.
Jack Ma is a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China. He alongside 18 people founded the Alibaba Group in 1999, with the aim to build the future infrastructure of commerce. He envisioned an internet platform that would enable small enterprises all over the world to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete in an increasingly global economy.
Alibaba Group has grown steadily into a global leader in online and mobile e-commerce. Jack Ma’s company is now among the top 10 most valuable and biggest companies in the world (as of 2018), with operations in over 200 countries.
The below documentary unveils the success behind his innovative thinking and leadership. He grew up in relatively modest means and became a teacher. He touched a keyboard of a computer for the first time when he visited America 1995 – his first ever trip to the States. He started searching on the internet, and when he searched for China, nothing came up. He thought he had to do something about it and felt this presented a wonderful business opportunity too.
Jack Ma may be one of China’s biggest success stories now – but he started from humble beginnings. Travelling, seeing his own country and culture from a different perspective as well as learning English played an essential part in his success:
Once you’ve had a chance to watch this 26 mins documentary, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.