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“Fifty per cent of our power sell­ers are women, be­cause on the In­ter­net, gender does not mat­ter.

“It is your ser­vice to the cus­tomer that mat­ters,” said Ma.

The abil­ity to bring out the best in em­ploy­ees will pro­pel the com­pany much fur­ther than in­tel­li­gence or any other “cor­po­rate smarts”.

“The best peo­ple are not out­side the com­pany. They are in­side. A lot of com­pa­nies pre­fer to spend money on ma­chines, but you should spend it on your peo­ple,” he said.

“It is also im­por­tant that when you set up your com­pany, you do not aim to be­come fa­mous or rich, but aim on what you can con­trib­ute to your com­mu­nity and coun­try.

“This is how you will even­tu­ally be­come suc­cess­ful.”

Ma, who is trained as a teacher, said it was im­por­tant to teach chil­dren to be op­ti­mistic and yet re­al­is­tic about the fu­ture.

“I find that those who are suc­cess­ful are op­ti­mistic. They never com­plain,” he said.

“Ed­u­ca­tion should fo­cus on imag­i­na­tion, cre­ativ­ity and team­work. We should teach chil­dren sports, and make them un­der­stand what is team­work. If we do not change the way we teach our kids, we are in trou­ble. Our kids will al­ways com­plain. had un­der­gone in­tense train­ing for years.”

When he was on the track, the speed king said he kept his mind oc­cu­pied with ran­dom things such as “what do I wear to­mor­row or where am I go­ing to party?” and does not think about his com­peti­tors.

On his re­tire­ment plans af­ter

“The world is full of op­por­tu­ni­ties on the back of peo­ple who are com­plain­ing; if you can solve their com­plaints, you will suc­ceed. Stop be­ing those who com­plain and start do­ing.”

Ul­ti­mately, Ma said, as­pir­ing en­trepreneurs should al­ways rely on them­selves over the ad­vice of oth­ers.

“Al­ways use your own mind and rules. Ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent back­grounds, ed­u­ca­tions and up­bring­ing, and what works for oth­ers doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily work for you.”

Held over two days, GTF2017 saw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than 3,000 del­e­gates from 76 coun­tries. the next World Cham­pi­onships, the Manch­ester United fan said, be­sides par­tic­i­pat­ing in char­ity work, spend­ing time re­lax­ing and trav­el­ling, he as­pired to be a pro­fes­sional foot­ball player. Bolt’s message to Malaysian youth was to con­tinue push­ing them­selves and to work hard, but added that “it won’t be an easy jour­ney”.


Founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Ali Baba Group Jack Ma at the Global Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum at the Kuala Lumpur Con­ven­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day.


Usain Bolt tak­ing the stage at the Global Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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