Richard Liu Qiangdong embarked on an entrepreneurial journey in 1998. He started a restaurant but the business failed for lack of good management. At the time, he was juggling between studies and business. It became difficult for him to focus on studies while running the business and consequently, it closed down. He narrates how he became the owner of JD.COM, the largest e-commerce platform in China, and one of China’s richest individuals with a net worth of about $11 billion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting last year.
Richard Liu Qiangdong revealed at his family was facing financial problems when he decided to give it a try again in business. He could have wanted to go abroad and pursue higher studies but he couldn’t because of the financial challenges. He started a computer business in Beijing. The business grew rapidly to expand into twelve brick-and-mortar locations. However, the SARS epidemic forced the entrepreneur to close down the businesses. He transitioned into e-commerce swiftly leveraging tech skills he had taught himself.
He launched JD.COM officially in 2004 and started providing IT equipment, digital electronics and mobile phones online. Today, the platform is valued at about $57 billion. Richard Liu is the CEO and the owner of the company and the company’s directors cannot form a quorum without him. Today, the platform boasts more than one billion products, making it a go-to shopping platform which enables shoppers to buy everything they need ‘under one roof’. The company has managed to stay ahead of competition because of its fast-delivery system and a wide variety of products. If you order a product from Jingdong at Beijing, the product will be delivered to you within three hours. It takes up to six hours to deliver products to customers in the rest of the world.
Richard Liu was raised in a hardworking family who taught him how to be self-reliant. Growing up, he had friends who studied with him and it turns out, they are all successful today. According to the e-commerce entrepreneur, they were all a hard working lot. Richard Liu Qiangdong values his family so much that he considers his greatest achievement.
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