Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, jetted into Nairobi Wednesday evening for a two-day visit that peaks at the University of Nairobi where he offered Kenyan youth tips on how to build successful business empires.
Billionaires looking for deals
Mr Ma is not only the founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, he is also currently Asia’s richest man. Ma’s fortune of nearly $30 billion is nearly half of Kenya’s entire economic output. He goes to Kenya accompanied by a large delegation of super-rich Chinese.
In the entourage are China’s richest billionaires among them Internet tycoon Bob Xu, Alibaba’s founding partner Lucy Peng, founder and chairman of Mengniu Dairy Niu Gensheng and real estate tycoon Huang Youlong.
The 38 men and women, from the Beijing Chamber of Commerce, will be looking to cut multi-billion shilling deals with the government and local businessmen.
Billionaire Word of Wisdom
Ma has challenged young Kenyan entrepreneurs to speed up and grab opportunities under the third revolution of the Internet.
Speaking at the University of Nairobi, Ma said his success story was not based on the achievements of other people but on learning from his failures.
“Learning MBA in universities will not make you successful. We need to be taught how to face our mistakes when in trouble. How we can survive from our failures?” he told a packed audience.
“I am what I am today because I know what people want and what they don’t want. I love to support other people so they can be better than what I am,” he said.
“You must get used to failure for you to make it. Look at boxers…they get used to getting heavy blows that finally motivate them to do better. That is a spirit any business person must put on.”
Ma said a good teacher always wants his students to be better and that there is potential to increase policy research in education and enterprise.