Richard Liu- Building the largest e-commerce business
Richard Liu is the founder and CEO of JD.com, the largest retailer in China. This company has been around for about 15 years. It was formed in 2004, although Richard Liu went into business in 1998. After completing his studies in sociology from the People’s University of China, he was employed by Japanese Life, a health products company based in China. He left the company in 1998 to concentrate on his personal career growth. He started a computer accessories business by opening one store in Beijing. Five years later, he owned 12 stores all dealing with digital products. This business laid the foundation that he needed to excel in business thereafter.
Richard Liu went into online business in 2004 after he realized that the physical stores he was running were to some extent limiting his abilities. In 2003, there was an outbreak of SARS that ended up forcing him and others to close their businesses since employees and customers remained house-bound. He saw the importance of coming up with a different idea of running his business, such that he would not be left out of business again. He tested the efficiency of running an online based business and found it to be far much better than physical stores. In 2005, he closed the physical businesses completely to engage in internet business exclusively.
Richard Liu is happy with the progress that the company has made since he decided to go online fully. He has managed to go past very many businesses that joined e-commerce earlier than he did. One of the reasons he succeeded is by conducting the necessary market research that enabled him to provide what was missing from the market. There were too many things that needed to be worked on, and Liu was ready to ensure that they were corrected. For instance, many customers complained that they were getting fake items, something that affected the Chinese market negatively.
Richard Liu has continued to spot many other opportunities way earlier than competitors. It is the innovative approach that is giving them an upper hand than in the global space. Today, JD.com is delivering its products to all parts of the world.
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