Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder and the CEO of JD.com, the largest retailer in China. The company opened doors in 2004 although it was a rebrand of JingDong, a brick and mortar business that he had started in 1998. Ever since starting this business, his journey in entrepreneurship has been exceptional. He one of a kind business person who possesses skills that cannot be matched by many. His ability to spot opportunities and to make decisions that lead to instant success is unique. By the time he was establishing JD.com. He was already in charge of 12 physical stores that dealt with computer accessories.
Richard Liu Qiangdong in an interview at the World Economic Forum revealed exclusive information about his entrepreneurial journey. He started by stating that the name JD.com comes from a combination of his name and that of his girlfriend. JD.com is currently worth over $6o billion and employs over 167,000 employees. Last year, the company added more than 30,000 workers, an indication of the thorough expansion of the business operations. Richard Liu who was born in a humble family, where his parents owned a small coal shipping business, was interested in going into business. While in college, he started his first business which was a restaurant, but it failed. However, he learned the reason it failed and decided to rectify in the next business. While other students were looking for opportunities to work with the government, Liu was interested in starting a business.
The success of Richard Liu Qiangdong came in 2004 when China was experiencing a SARS outbreak. Since he did not want his staff to be exposed to the epidemic, he offered them leave. While his business remained closed, he convened a meeting with the senior managers in his retail business. He wanted to know how they would address the situation. One of the managers suggested that they should try doing internet business where they would not need to see the customer in order to serve them. This is the magical idea that Richard Liu embraced and the business has never been the same before. They tested the idea by closing the physical doors for a year and realized that it was indeed profitable and easier to manage an internet based business.