Why is Jack Ma Investing in Indian Entrepreneurs?
Jack Ma and his bandwagon have arrived. What could be more auspicious than celebrating dreams with a true visionary? Some of the leading entrepreneurs of the country would agree. Jack Ma has come to our country not just to invest, but to develop. He has developed Alibaba into a world record holding company. When Alibaba debuted as an IPO in the United States, it turned out to be the world’s biggest public offering. Only time will tell what kind of impact Jack Ma would have on one of the world’s biggest telecommunication markets.
Jack ma’s persona and his work at Alibaba can be broken down into three dimensions.
Jack Ma believes in integrity and principles. He frequently collaborates with people who share his vision. Jack Ma has led Alibaba forward with frequent innovation and a resilient ambition. His vision is, predominantly, one of the big picture.
He has recognized his core competency as being a marketplace. Now, as some prudent and shrewd entrepreneurs do, he has aligned his business plan to excel at his strengths. For everything else, he has set up strategic partnerships.
Jack Ma comes across as a dreamer and an achiever. He believes in a conglomerate of opportunities where he invests in companies as well as people. One of his first strategic alliances was Paytm.
Alibaba is no stranger to payment gateways and mobile wallets (Alipay), but Jack Ma chose to invest in Vijay Shekhar Sharma and his dream. Jack Ma had a meeting with Vijay Shekhar Sharma that stretched from a pre-scheduled 20 minutes to a good 2 hours.
Without getting into their heads, we can safely assume that something clicked between them. Maybe it has something to do with the PayTM founders vision “to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity”.
Jack Ma has always maintained that the customers make the companies. The success of Alibaba as a marketplace has become a guiding light for many Indian entrepreneurs. Some of these entrepreneurs have tried to replicate the business model of Alibaba. But they still find it difficult to match the level of customer orientation depicted at Alibaba.
Jack Ma often points out, “Never ever compete on prices. Instead compete on services and innovation”. This is antithesis to what we see around us. It seems like Jack Ma and his endeavors in the country would come as a breath of fresh air for the customers.
Jack Ma tends to look for this level of customer centric thought process and commitment to innovate in his partnerships. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of PayTm states his company’s vision as “to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity”.
We have seen the three signature points that Jack Ma looks for in an investment. Let’s look at an example of such an alliance.
LogiNext is a logistics management solutions provider, a market leader in the making. Our expertise lies not just in superior software capabilities, but also in our application of big data analytics. LogiNext has managed to carve a respectful identity in the logistics management solutions industry within a very short period.
Jack Ma has a vision, as it has been mentioned before, but has to be reiterated now. He stands by his strategy in all aspects. He once stated, “You need the right people with you, not the best people”. He tends to seek out ambition and talent and may very well be willing to invest in the entrepreneurs and startups that are committed to excellence.
One such prospect is a young entrepreneur Dhurvil Sanghvi, co-founder and C.E.O. of ‘LogiNext’. In an interview, Dhruvil once said, “We look for partners and not for employees while hiring”. No wonder Dhruvil finds himself under the radar of Alibaba as a preferred logistics management solutions provider.
LogiNext has received $10 million Series A funding from PayTM. This seems more than just a coincidence.
There is an underlying, and often understated, value system within the three entrepreneurs mentioned here.
Entrepreneurs often misplace this simple idea. They want to do too much too soon. Their startups grow too big for the entrepreneurs to handle and then they run through their funding too soon. Patience requires a clear mind and belief in your own original plan. Patience requires entrepreneurs to stick to their driving principles and hence maintain their unique selling points. It also sets up a sustained commitment to innovation.
Entrepreneurs set up their startups in a very competitive world. They have to get ahead or get out. But this doesn’t have to be at the expense of honor and values. Entrepreneurs who inculcate a sense of honor in their startups stand to earn goodwill and loyalty among customers and vendors.
Many entrepreneurs claim to have ambitious plans for their startups. But they sometimes lack the conviction to achieve their goals. To be self-driven to reach a faraway target requires a whole some belief and patience, and some honor and trust among partners.
Jack Ma has shown the way to do business the right way. Let’s see if the entrepreneurs follow suit with their own startups.