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Top 10 Inspiring Facts About Jack Ma

Smruthi Kishore

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Imagine an online e commerce platform that is more valuable than Facebook and combines all the benefits of E Bay and Amazon, while giving us products more than both the platforms combined. Yes. You guessed right. The platform in question here is Alibaba, one of the largest e commerce platforms not just in China, but the whole world.

While so much is known about Alibaba, how much is really known about Jack Ma, the founder behind this giant? Today, we are here to give you ten facts you may not know about the brilliant founder.

 1. The time he was kidnapped

In 1995, Jack Ma was travelling to the United States for the first time business, functioning as an entrepreneur. Part of his business included trying to collect a debt for a friend from an American businessman in Malibu, California. Turns out, the businessman did not want to pay Jack Ma and instead, locked him up in his house out at gunpoint! Jack Ma barely escaped with his life intact.

2. An English teacher to an entrepreneur

Jack Ma began his career as an English teacher. In fact, when he was thirteen years old, he started learning English by waking up at 5.00 A.M. every day and travelling around on his bike to speak to foreigners. This practice helped him learn English the right way and also helped in increasing his people skills. He started his career as an English teacher!

3. When he first discovered the internet 

Jack Ma discovered the internet in the year 1995, when he laid his eyes on a computer. When he discovered the internet, it inspired him to start his business, China Yellow Pages. He started this company with 7000 yuan ($1140) and a loan from a family member.

4. The inspiration behind the name Alibaba

Jack Ma came upon the name Alibaba at a coffee shop. He asked the waitress what she thought about the name and she said it sounded like “Open Sesame.” According to Jack, this is exactly what the point of the e commerce platform was and that is how the name came to being.

5. His hero 

Did you know that Jack Ma’s real life hero is not even a real human being? It is Forest Grump! Explaining his love for the character, Jack said, “I watched the movie again, telling me that no matter whatever changed, you are you. I’m still the guy 15 years ago, you know, I only earned like $20 a month. Today I can do that much.” Now you can see why he is Jack’s hero!

6. The first Chinese to appear on the Forbes cover 

Did you know that while Forbes celebrates entrepreneurs and ground breaking philosophers, Jack Ma was the first Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes!

7. His true love 

The man behind Alibaba has one true love and it is not the world of technology. He loves showbiz and dogs! He has a gorgeous husky named Apollo who is always by his side.

8. His parents were illegal performers 

While Jack Ma is the founder of a very legal business, his parents worked in an illegal practice. They practiced the art of “pingtan”, a Chinese tradition of musical storytelling that was banned during Mao’s Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976.

9. His alter ego 

Did you know that Jack Ma has an alter ego? Apart from his given name, he also goes by the name of Feng Quinyang, a legendary swordsman who is known for his aggressive, unpredictable and reclusive character. The nickname fits his business practices but not his public life. Jack Ma is no recluse.

10. His wife thinks he is ugly! 

Clearly, looks are not important for Jack Ma’s wife. She fell for the brilliantly hard working man behind the very ordinary face that is Jack Ma. Quite an adorable love story, this one!

Ma was brought up in a communist country. He saw his first computer at the age of 31 and barely graduated from University. Despite all odds, he has now become one of the most successful entrepreneurs. Jack Ma may have had many failures in his life but his tale to success is one a lot of us aspire towards. Start now and if you work hard enough, you can get to where he is without writing a single line of code in your life!

 

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Entrepreneur Stories

Major Startup Acquisitions In 2018

Smruthi Kishore

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While the last year saw a host of interesting acquisitions in the startup world and the tech world, this year saw some major players in the industry taking over startups to help boost their positions in the world. From Amazon acquiring Tapzo to the much talked about Walmart and Flipkart deal, here are all the major acquisitions which took place in the tech world in the last year.

1. Walmart and Flipkart deal

Touted as one of the largest tech acquisitions in India in recent times, the Flipkart take over by Walmart was done with a lot of public speculations and comments! Big in terms of size and investment, Walmart acquired 77 % stake in Flipkart with a whopping investment of $ 16 billion! While the initial reaction to the deal was one of elation and excitement, the consequent exit of Flipkart’s initial founders (Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal,) came as a tale of caution for future startups looking at foreign investment! Despite all the negativity surrounding this takeover, this acquisition remains one of the biggest ones of the year.

2. IBM acquires Red Hat

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat with an investment to the tune of approximately $ 34 billion is marked as one of the largest acquisitions of an open source company. Touted to be a game changer in this field, IBM acquired Red Hat by paying a premium of 63 %. Through this deal, Red Hat is being positioned as the first company to hit and break the billion dollar per quarter ceiling, making this take over an extremely lucrative one for the North Carolina based software providing companies.

3. Zomato takes in TongueStun

While the year 2017 saw Zomato being sidelined by Swiggy, this last year saw Zomato grow by leaps and bounds. Post securing investments to the tune of $ 410 million in two rounds, the food based app expanded its services by acquiring TongueStun. One of the primary reasons for Zomato to do this was to help users order food from cafeterias via the app. Furthermore, in an attempt to squash its constantly growing competition in the form of Swiggy, Zomato also acquired TechEagle, a service which drastically increased its delivery options!

4. Amazon buys Tapzo

Another company which is positioning itself for a productive 2019, Amazon acquired Tapzo in an attempt to improve its overall performance. This acquisition reportedly saved Amazon at least two years of time to build the kind of user base and services currently offered by Tapzo. Post this takeover, Amazon is going to integrate Tapzo into Amazon Pay, which will help in improving Amazon’s existing payment strategies.

5. Mettl gets bought over by Mercer

The acquisition of Mettl (an online HR automation service) by Mercer was important for not one, but two reasons. Firstly, it was the first takeover of this kind happening in this area and secondly, this acquisition saw an increase in the investment by 7 times of that which Mettl initially secured in the first round.

Looking at this last year, these acquisitions were quite extraordinary to say the least. If you think we missed out on any others which need to be mentioned on this list, comment and let us know!

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Technological Trends To Look Out For In 2019

Smruthi Kishore

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The growing presence of the digital world is impacting not just our lives, but also the major trends in the world. While this past year saw an evolving of artificial intelligence and robotics, the coming year is going to see the presence of brand new trends not just on the digital front, but on the technological side of the world as well.

1. Edge Computing

What started off as cloud computing has now given way to something really exciting in the form of edge computing. Edge computing is here to help solve all the glitches that cloud computing initially had. With faster processing, edge computing can be used in time sensitive situations, with no particular necessity of being connected to a centralized connection. Furthermore, with the increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things, edge computing will have a stronger presence in the world.

2. Artificial and Machine Learning

Artificial learning and machine learning, while a strong part of this year, will be quite worth the watch even in 2019. Although AI has been around since 1956, the last year saw an increase in the number of people around the world connected to devices through AI. Through the increasing usage of AI, technology and digitization evolved to give way to machine learning. Apart from reducing the amount of time spent on work, machine learning is going to be one of the most sought after jobs in 2019!

3. Digital Twins

A digital representation that replicates real life objects, processes or systems, digital twins can be linked to create twins of larger systems such as power plants, or even an entire city. While the concept of digital twins has been around for a some time now, the year 2019 is going to see a stronger, especially with the increasing usage of the Internet of Things. One of the major technological trends in the coming year, Digital twins are going to help in reducing the amount time spent on getting the work done.

4. Blockchain

A system that allows companies to simplify the process of online transactions with one another without relying on a centralized third party, blockchain is a trend that has quickly picked up in the last year and is going to be one of the forebearers of the change in technology in 2019. Drastically cutting down the amount of time and friction between transactions, the coming year is going to see blockchain being used in various fields like administration, healthcare and manufacturing.

5. Smart Spaces

Designed to give humans and technological systems the chance to interact with one another in open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems, smart spaces are going to be one of the major breakthroughs in 2019. With technology playing such a massive role in everyday life, smart spaces are going to help in reducing the amount of time which goes into getting the final deliverables out, thereby increasing the time spent on perfecting the already existing processes. With smart spaces, there will be an evolution in technology with a focus on multiple areas like healthcare and real estate!

With this year already seeing a growth of technology toward a different direction, the coming year looks quite exciting. What other trends do you think are going to be there in 2019? Comment and let us know!

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Influencer Marketing And Its Relevance In Today’s Marketing World

Smruthi Kishore

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At the very basic sense of the term, influencer marketing is a phrase that came from old and new forms of marketing. While digital marketing in itself has come a long way from the initial days, this field has now branched into a new form of marketing, influencer marketing. With more than 1.2 billion people always scrolling through the different social media platforms, influencers and influencer marketing has grown to become an important marketing technique. In the present world of digitization, this is why influencer marketing has become such a necessary tool.

1. Targeted development of brands

One of the major advantages of influencer marketing is that it is targeted toward specific brands and specific audiences. Every time you see an influencer endorsing a product you do not necessarily know about, your interest in the said brand is instantly piqued and through that, your desire for finding out more. With specific endorsements, influencer marketing helps in spreading the word to a larger audience and in attracting more people with similar interests.

2. Transparent and effective

By using dynamic influencers and engaging stories, brands are constantly increasing the kind of effect this content has. Furthermore, by using social media to the most of its abilities, influencers use these platforms to redirect customers to their websites. With a unique collaboration of the old and the new, existing and emerging brands are constantly reinventing themselves as a source for new material on a regular basis.

3. Making direct measurement

Instagram recently introduced a new analytics features. This new analytics feature lets brands track performances on a weekly basis and lets owners track data according to very specific KPIs. Also, guided measurements like these help brands and agencies in creating a streamlined process for delivering their content to the world. Further, influencers can also track the kind of response they are getting from the brands as well.

4. Influencer marketing adds credibility to the brand

How many times have you looked at an influencer endorsing a product and realised that the brand they are promoting could actually be of value to you? Time and time again, when you see new faces on the internet clubbed with already known faces, your faith in the credibility of these brands increases. As a user, you are subconsciously drawn into looking at what they are, even if you don’t invest in them.

5. Your brand is introduced to the world as a leader

While this may not be from the perspective of a consumer, when you connect your brand with an established and innovative celebrity, it gives your company an edge over others in the market. Celebrity and influencer endorsement like this says you, as a company, are a trendsetter even before you make it big in the world. Further, consumer studies show that more than 85 % of the world finds new brands through social media and through the celebrities they follow.

Digital marketing is no longer just restricted to one form of getting the word out about your brand on the internet. With influencer marketing becoming increasingly popular, there are now different methods to promote the visibility of your brand. If you think we missed out on any other reasons as to why influencer marketing is important, comment and let us know!

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