Businesses today won’t succeed if they focus solely on generating profits, according to Jack Ma, CEO and Founder of Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba.
Instead of chasing the money, they should prioritise consumer satisfaction, making their workers happy, and finding out why other businesses fail, he said at Chicago’s Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel.
Ma said that he started Alibaba in 1999 to help businesses link with other companies. Now, around ten million small enterprises use the platform.
“Why are we still surviving?,” he asked. “At first, it was the passion. Now, it’s more like responsibility and love” for small businesses, said China’s second-richest man.
He also advised businesses to respect and listen to young people and also to train them to take over the reins of the company.
Ma visited Chicago in a bid to lure more American small businesses onto his e-commerce platform. He also reiterated that Alibaba does not intend to compete with Amazon. Rather, it plans to connect entrepreneurs from the United States to China’s rising middle class.
“They need good products, good services,” he explained, noting that Chinese consumers are very fond of American products.
The demand from this group is set to rise sharply as the Chinese middle class is forecasted to surge from 300 million to more than 600 million over the next ten years, he added.
Furthermore, Ma believes that Alibaba’s sales in the United States could surpass $1 trillion in just five years. Currently, the e-commerce giant is valued at $220 billion.