Despite his busy schedule, Richard Liu Qiangdong, the founder and the current chairman of JD.com attended the World Economic Forum. In the interview at the forum titled “An Insight, An Idea” the business executive shared his success story, which many are not familiar with. His is a story of inspiration, persistence, dedication, hard work, and an eye for turning challenges into opportunities. During the interview, Richard Liu Qiangdong recounted his humble beginnings and revealed that he was born to parents who were both involved in shipping coal in China. He studied Sociology at the Renmin University and later took his master’s degree China Europe International School of Business. Aside from his major subjects, Richard Liu Qiangdong also self-studied coding.
He juggles studying and earning and his expertise skills in coding allowed him to earn some money. Later, he decided to use his saving to open a restaurant. However, his schedule at school did not allow him to spend more time at his business. Eventually, he decided to close it down. But, Richard Liu Qiangdong is a man that never easily gives up on his dreams. After college, he worked in a Japanese company selling nutritional supplements. He resigned from the job after serving various positions and decided to put up his own business. This time he opened a retail store selling computer accessories. To differentiate from the competition, he decided to sell high-quality products, which the consumers patronized. Because of this, he was able to open 12 more stores across China. However, in 2003, the SARS epidemic hit China and people were afraid to go out.
Many stores were forced to shut down, and Richard Liu Qiangdong was among these business owners. He closed 12 stores but instead of sulking, he saw an opportunity. Realizing that consumers do not want to go out, he offered his products online. And, that was the start of JD.com. The company is now one of the biggest online stores in China and still continues to offer high-quality products to its increasing online and offline consumers. Today, JD.com sells a wide range of products ranging from luxurious to affordable but high-quality products that consumers love. Big names like Prada, Farfetch, and other brands have opened their own stores on the e-commerce platform of JD.com. Had Richard Liu Qiangdong decided to give up during the SARS epidemic, he would have never enjoyed the kind of success that he has today.