E-Commerce to Multinational Conglomerate: Journey of Alibaba Group – A Case Study
Keywords:e-commerce, Alibaba, Jack Ma, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence
The late 20th century witnessed a massive growth in the usage of Internet worldwide. Many eCommerce companies blossomed during this era. Realizing the need of having e-commercebusiness in China, Alibaba.com got established by former English teacher Ma Yun, popularlyknown as Jack Ma, along with 17 other partners. During the dot com bubble burst, many of theUS based e-commerce companies’ either had to shut down or went bankrupts except Chinesebased Alibaba.com as Chinese market was immune to the recession. Clear vision and intelligentleadership quality of Jack Ma turned e-commerce Company into a largest online commercecompany of China within a short span of time. Alibaba continued its journey of growth bothorganically and inorganically by acquiring other companies. Later in 2009 Alibaba groupentered into cloud computing business, and started to develop artificial intelligence solutionsto support its own platform and to solve complex real-world problems. Alibaba diversified itsrevenue sources by expanding business to different domains within two decades of its inceptionto reach US $72 billion. Presently, the Alibaba group has pioneered in consulting, e-commerce,finance, technology, artificial intelligence and many more. The study in this paper describeshow the Alibaba group continued its journey towards success along with business model, majorbusinesses, financial status and corporate social responsibility. To understand the strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of the Alibaba group, a methodical SWOC analysiswas conducted. Based on the SWOC analysis, some recommendations are also provided.