At the first National University of Singapore (NUS) Greater Good Series event conducted in Chinese titled “My journey with Alibaba”, Mr James Sheng, Co-founder and Senior Vice President of the Alibaba Group, shared his personal story with guests and friends of the NUS community.
Moderated by Associate Professor Chong Juin-Kuan, Vice Dean (PhD and Research) and Deputy Director of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, the dialogue focused on Mr Sheng’s experience through the progress of Alibaba from an e-commerce start-up to a multimillion-dollar company that provides technology infrastructure and marketing reach for many merchants, brands and businesses.
The man behind the Alibaba’s “smile logo” reveals, “Having started learning traditional art since young, I turned to commercial art and started working as a designer. I met Jack Ma when he hired my company for web design and that’s how it all started. I found myself in a 18-member team who founded Alibaba. At the time, we were not seeking money or fame but were aligned towards a common goal of building a company that we believed in.”
Mr Sheng recounted how the team worked together comfortably like family members, respecting one another professionally under the leadership of Jack Ma, who is the Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group.
As the company grew rapidly, Mr Sheng faced the challenge of maintaining design integrity as well as taking up a management role, a departure from focusing on aesthetics as the chief designer. Over the past 17 years, he has overseen the Group’s efforts in areas of product design and user experience innovation. He also played a leading role at the start-up phase of Alipay, now the world’s largest third-party payment platform operated by the Ant Financial Services Group. Today, he is the Managing Director of Alibaba Singapore.
Read the Chinese story here.
The NUS Greater Good Series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well-being and mental resilience. The Series aims to raise awareness of philanthropy and its impact on society. The Series was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd.
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