Jack Ma’s wisdom for the future: The three 30’s

Ray De Villiers from Tommorrow Today reflects on a speech by Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba the worlds largest online retailer. Jack Ma spoke of three 30’s at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017.

  • Focus on the next 30 years of technology integration
  • Pay attention to people who are 30 years old
  • Pay attention to companies who have fewer that 30 employees

jackma_alibaba_alibabaChallenge #1: Focus on the next 30 years of technology integration

Your business has to integrate into the digital world, it is not an option – it is a survival imperative. Jack Ma gives a useful tip on where you focus should be.

It is not on trying to be the next big online champion like Google, Alibaba, or Facebook. As we navigate the transition into the digital age it is critical that every business, yours included, is able to contribute to making sense of this new era.

Focus on how your business will function in the digital age, and integrate with the broader digital ecosystem. Understand the benefits that will be realized to you and your market as you embrace the digital reality of your industry

Challenge #2: Pay attention to people who are 30 years old

Focus on people under-30 as both employees and customers. Rather than looking for a way to wring more money out of your existing customers it is time to focus on the new wallet.

What is your unique value proposition to people under-30? If you can’t clearly and succinctly articulate the value your business and product offer to a young person then you need to commit resources to doing so. Missing out on the under-30 market and talent pool is a clear indication of your inevitable extinction.

Challenge #3: Small, Medium, and Micro enterprises are the engine of the global economy.

Too many organisations try to get on the procurement list of large multi-nationals. This is good if you are sufficiently robust as a business, but it concentrates your risk and exposure in one or two places.Understanding how you can develop a customer group of SMME’s allows you to spread your risk and exposure across many fronts.In order to achieve this it is important that you examine your product lists and your sales processes.

Develop cost effective sales channels to markets that enable wide reach. Tweak your product suite so that you have significant economies of scale that will enable you to sell high volumes at lower margins.

These three 30’s will position your business for growth and success in 2017, as the global landscape continues to evolve and digitise.

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