Vision is the most important thing in Business: Jack Ma

In this interview with Jerry Yang, Jack Ma shares the secret behind the success of Alibaba. Not only has this secret propelled his company to supreme success but also differentiates it from other E-commerce giants such as Amazon.

Ma talks about Alibaba’s vision to do business across 3 centuries, spanning a total of 102 years. In his life time, he vows to protect the mission of the company to make it easier for Small Business to do business anywhere in the world. Keeping in line with its goal, the company now helps small businesses manage finance, marketing and logistics.

I agree with Ma’s contention that it is the vision that allows the company to develop its culture, business model and systems to achieve sustainability in the long term. He mentions, at Alibaba, people don’t talk about short-term successes but have an enduring attitude towards being successful in the long term. I feel if there is one thing you should take away from this video, it is this

It would have been impossible without laser like focus on achieving the long term goals of the company and the ability to overcome short term failures

How does its vision make Alibaba’s business different

Alibaba doesn’t buy or sell goods, yet is probably the world’s largest E-commerce company. It differentiates from other e-commerce behemoths by its ability to create traditional E-commerce businesses like Amazon, by enabling entrepreneurs from China to sell online.

On its last singles day, 11/11/2015, Alibaba enabled trade worth over $9 Billion and delivered 30 Million packages. In China, 80% of all mobile phones are sold on Alibaba. When Jerry pointed out China’s slowing growth in recent years, Jack commented, “With such massive operations, failures happen. Growth will slow down at times, for years.”

Jack believes it is important that the company continues to leverage the collective power of millions of Small Businesses across China to achieve sustainability. SMBs make 99.5% of China’s enterprises, contributing almost 60% of total industrial output. By betting on this huge group of businesses, Alibaba ensures that the business has built-in longevity.

The vision of any company is the basic fabric of its success. An inspiring and well defined vision serves as the guiding light around which the company can build its product, shape process and nurture talent. The vision binds people, process and product into one, allowing them to adapt with changing times and competition necessary for companies to stay relevant.

If you’re an entrepreneur, I’d love to hear your vision and how you see it playing an important role in your business. Write to me or start a conversation in the comments below. I promise to keep it going! :)