Jack Ma’s Advice for Startups Empower Business Role of Women

Three key phrases emphasized frequently by Alibaba Group founder and CEO Jack Ma are “small entrepreneurs, women and the new generation”.

He thinks the future trading world needs ecosystems that can accommodate big data and maximize its benefits. Meanwhile, trading also relies on the power of women to perfect the work. Jack Ma’s statement is a manual for startups that will remain forever valuable.

Empower Women to Take More Roles in the Businesses

Everybody knows small entrepreneurs and startups are both crucial, but women remain undervalued. Jack Ma feels that in the online business, men see data and facts, but women see details and recognize the buying experience, according to an article in Forbes Thailand. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) can analyze data and facts, but for good customer experiences, AI cannot replace women,” says Ma.

In 21st century, entrepreneurs are no longer required to be big, but rather ‘small but powerful.’ Female entrepreneurs, who account for 40% of businesspeople on Alibaba’s online platform, are tending to move in this direction. Female business owners better apply their creativity into product sourcing to serve the needs of niche markets.

Of the Alibaba Group itself, six out of its 18 founders were women. Female executives account for 34% of the total, and 47% of the 50,000 staff are female. Women are clearly as smart and have the same great potential as men. “We just have to empower them and encourage them to break out from conventional roles given to them by society,” notes Ma.

“AI may be able to analyze data for sellers, but it cannot replace women for delivering a good customer experience.”

The United States Census Bureau states that the world’s population is currently 7.4 billion. Of these, 3.73 billion are male and 3.67 are female. Although the numbers of men and women are nearly equal, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank Group, points out that their access to financial resources differ by US$300 billion.

Collaborations between public and private firms are the key to minimize this gap. For example, Ant Financial Service, a financial service of Alibaba Group, has provided financial advice through technological support, loans and training for women. This has reduced the gap and empowered millions of women in business roles.

Big Data – Valuable Asset for Businesses

The goal of Alibaba over the next 7 years is to link sellers and buyers. Therefore, logistics must be conducted at high speeds. Delivery of products within China must be achieved within 24 hours, and to anywhere in the world within 72 hours. In 2036, online and offline businesses will be combined and ready to serve more than 2 billion customers and over 10 million companies. To achieve this goal, ‘big data’ will be a valuable asset that corporates can use to analyze information to make the maximum impact for their businesses.

Jack Ma views that within the next decade, Big Data and the Cloud will be even more significant. The Internet will have a huge impact on the entire production process. Trading will be C2B or customer to business, meaning that production does not have to rely on quantity. This is because customers will have a role determining production runs that specifically serve their needs.

Responding quickly to serve customers’ needs with rapid adjustment is still a powerful tool in doing business. “Maximizing the huge human potential of all ages and genders will enable us to win in a difficult business environment,” concludes Ma.


Reference: Forbes Thailand