Richard Liu Qiangdong has humble beginnings although today he is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of JD.com. In an interview during the World Economic Forum entitled “An Insight, An Idea with Richard Liu”, he opens up about growing up and his path to entrepreneurial success. Richard Liu’s parents ran the transport business but it was not very successful so they were poor. When he was studying in Beijing he started a restaurant business which unfortunately did not do well. After graduating with a degree in sociology he could not like other graduates travel abroad for further studies due to lack of money.
His grandmother who had brought him up was ill and needed medicine which his parents could not afford to provide. Richard Liu needed to make money in order to help her. University graduates in China at the time were going for civil service jobs but he did not want to work for the government and so he decided to go into business for himself. He opened retail stores where people could buy computer accessories and the business was successful as he had 12 stores. See Related Link for additional information.
In 2002 Richard Liu Qiangdong was faced with a new problem when the SARS epidemic struck. SARS is an airborne disease and therefore one can get infected when talking to someone who has the illness. This was not good for offline retail business and since Richard Liu Qiangdong wanted to protect his workers he closed down the shops and held a meeting with managers to come with a way to keep the business afloat. It was during one of the meetings that one of the managers suggested online retail and JD.com was born.
JD.com or Jingdong has the best logistics network in China covering even the remote parts of China. The company only sells genuine products as Richard Liu emphasized that when they started out he wanted to change the Chinese online business which was flooded with counterfeits. The company also has made a commitment to deliver products on the day they are ordered on the day after depending on location.
About Richard Liu Qiangdong
Richard Liu is the CEO and the founder of JD.com. He was born in 1973 and is married with two children.