Business parties can be eccentric too
If you don’t believe me, ask Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and the richest man in Asia.
Jack Ma, is not only a retail tycoon. The founder of Chinese retail empire Alibaba danced mimicking pop artist Michael Jackson in front of 40.000 people during his company’s anniversary party.
The owner of the E- Commerce giant that has become one the most important global technology firms in the world, showed up with a mask covering his face, riding a harley davidson motorcycle. After taking off his mask, the billionaire – with a total networth that surrounds the 39 billion dollars according to Forbes magazine — started to dance to the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, making it clear that business is his thing and not the dance moves from the king of pop.
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However, this is not the first time that Jack Ma shows off his interest in stage performance. During a party in 2009, he wore a long blonde wig and sang The Lion King’s main theme song. In 2014, he also participated in a massive wedding ceremony between his employees.
Although most people criticize his antics and label him his appearances narcissistic, others celebrate his good sense of humor and recall times such as the occasion in which Bill Gates got dressed up like Austin Powers and Steve Ballmer as Doctor Evil in an internal video for the Microsoft employees that ended up going viral.
Ma has lots of reasons to celebrate his company’s success since his shares have almost duplicated their value since the beginning of this year. Additionally, his company reported an annualized increase of 58% of income, during this year’s last trimester
This retail tycoon is often referred to as the Chinese Forrest Gump. He went through various academic and business failures, as in the Forrest Gump movie. In fact, he’s stated before that he watched the movie more than 10 times, and every time he has to deal with any problems he watches the Tom Hanks film again.
“I love Forest Gump is a simple person that doesn’t give up. People think he’s dumb, but he knows what he’s doing, people should take him as an example. When I saw him, I thought this is the man i will learn from” said Ma.
The 52 year-old billionaire is known by his stories not having been very good at school, being rejected from Harvard and being kicked out of Mcdonald’s. With a Literature degree from the Hangzhou, he started to teach English at a 20 USD monthly fee. And after a few years, he noticed a market hole in the E-Commerce space. In 1994, he founded China Yellow Pages, a company dedicated to create websites for other companies, which made profits of nearly 1 million USD in around 3 years.
Later, during a trip to the United States, when he couldn’t found his favorite brand of beer, it occurred to him to build an internet business to link Chinese manufacturers with international companies under a seller’s qualification method. Although at first it didn’t worked, after 3 years the startup Alibaba started to get bigger until it became the global E-Commerce giant it is today, so perhaps eccentricity might be just another trait of being a genius.