Teaching activity

Meet Jack Ma - From Poor English Teacher & KFC Reject to Asia's Richest Man

Jim Riley

4th February 2018

Meet Jack Ma, the former English teacher now the richest man in Asia!

This fascinating Bloomberg video profile tells the story of how Ma started as a poor child in China's countryside, learned English, got rejected from a job at KFC but then went on to found Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce site.

Alibaba was formed with $80,000 of investment. By 2000 the business had raised a further $25million of investment, despite having no formal business plan.

By 2014 Alibaba had listed its shares in New York, raising $25 billion - the world’s biggest flotation at the time.

Subsequently, Alibaba has adopted a strategy of diversification away from e-commerce, including buying a newspaper and investing in movie production, retailing and sports management.

Now the business is worth around $500 billion. Not a bad rate of return on that initial $80k investment.

Jack Ma: From KFC Reject to Asia's Richest Man (Bloomberg)

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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