Free «Alibaba Group Project Analysis Report» Essay Paper
Table of Contents
Alibaba group is one of the most famous worldwide e-commerce companies that create conditions for the customer-to-customer, business-to-customer, and business-to-business sales using web portals. The main intention of Alibaba group founder, Jack Ma, was to develop the tools that would facilitate products’ sales abroad for the Chinese exporters. Though the main focus of this project’s activity includes the provision of resources for e-commerce, the company had managed to diversify its operations and integrated such products as digital media and smart transport in its services (Alibaba Group 2016). In its current state, the Alibaba Group and its biggest department AliExpress are leaders in the world e-commerce market. The main competitors of the company are eBay and Amazon, which also intend to increase the scale of their operations. One of the key advantages of the Alibaba group is that this project has managed to complete two crucial business tasks. First, the company performs under the conditions of the rapid industrial growth of China in comparison to other countries of the world. Second, the company conducts sales throughout the world without additional expenses connected with the operations of the separate distribution net in each country. These factors can be the main reason of the current financial success of the Alibaba project.
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Analysis of the Stakeholder
The story of the project’s founder and its main shareholder can serve as a perfect example of effective business solutions made during the stages of the project’s creation and realization. The founders’ decisions can also become a useful guide for managers who seek to implement similar initiatives. The founder and the main owner of the Alibaba group is Jack Ma. Currently, he owns about 7.8 % of the company’s shares. The biography and the closest partners of Jack Ma state that the reason for success of Alibaba group stems from the unique leadership talent of this man (D’Onfro 2014). First, Ma generated the most ridiculous and unrealistic idea and persuaded others to believe in its potential. The founder of Alibaba project was never afraid to offer the most difficult decision and face the fierce competition in the industry (YoSuccess 2015). One of the factors that had also contributed to the success of the Ma’s project was the absence of fear before something new and unpredictable. When Jack Ma started Alibaba in 1999, the Internet was already popular in the West but remained unknown for China and the rest of Asian countries. Nevertheless, Ma had a clear vision of this idea’s success and was ready to face the risks of low interest to his product inside China.
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Other stakeholders of Alibaba Group are its employees, customers, and suppliers. Alibaba pays high attention to the development and provision of attractive working conditions to its employees (Alibaba Group 2017). The customers of the projects are rather demanding, so Alibaba aims at rapid development and continuous provision of new goods and services (Alibaba Group 2017). As for the suppliers, Alibaba project is one of their main tools for provision of their goods in Chinese market and abroad. Therefore, another factor of Alibaba Group success is its orientation on effective communication and satisfaction of the stakeholders’ needs.
The Process of the Project’s Management
The initial stage of the project’s realization included the definition of the company’s mission and the raising of funds from the consortium of investors in 1999. The mission of the company was “to make it easy to do business anywhere” (Social Responsibility Report 2016). Other important stages of the project’s life includ the establishment of the Taobao Marketplace, the launch of Alipay and Alimama, and the agreement about the cooperation with Yahoo (Alibaba Group 2016). The final stage of the Alibaba group project realization was the implementation of the China Smart Logistics tool that allowed the clients to monitor the process of the package delivery (Investopedia 2017).
In the process of the Alibaba project realization, the company’s culture established. A corporate culture influences the overall effectiveness of the company’s performance, so it should be considered as one of the decisive factors in the project’s implementation success. The main aspects of the company’s culture of the Alibaba project included (Appendix 1) choosing customers as the key priority, teamwork development, embracement of changes and innovations, and orientation on the improvement of the overall performance of the staff (Social Responsibility Report 2016, p.13). All of these factors have benefited the performance of the Alibaba group and should be defined as one of the basic stages of the project’s realization that influenced the following stages. In general, it is possible to say that the company’s management succeeded in the realization of the created project and managed to avoid serious mistakes and risks connected with this process.
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Taking everything into account, the Alibaba project was implemented according to the management’s plans (Alibaba 2017). The success of the project is attributed to the senior management with Jack Ma as leader. Apart from effective leadership, clear understanding of the current and future trends also contributed to the development of a realistic project implementation plan, which led to the creation of one of the most powerful e-commerce companies in the world.
Critical Analysis of the Project
The critical analysis can be based on the presentation of factors that were mentioned earlier in this report, and the discussion of the factors of the project’s realization success that are common for the industry. The effectiveness of the project largely depends on the talent of the company’s founder and the favorable conditions of the internal and the external environment of the start-up. The valuable characteristics of the leader included his ability to convince the employees of the company and clients that his ideas were correct. Jack Ma had also devoted considerable effort in discovering of the specific features and requirements of the Chinese and foreign markets.
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The favorable factors of the external environment included the significant industrial growth of China during the period of the Alibaba group establishment. This situation created the high level of demand for e-commerce services that Alibaba offered. The possibility to attract new customers from China and abroad with the help of new telecommunication technologies allowed Alibaba to establish large clientele in comparison to its competitors at the initial stage of the business’s development. In fact, the Alibaba project had managed to enter the blue market, where the level of competition was minimal in 1999, with the completely new proposition.
In the initial stages of the project’s development, the company’s management also was paying much attention to the establishment of effective cooperation with all stakeholders that were interested in the firm’s product (Social Responsibility Report 2016, p.20). In particular, the company introduced the initiatives which included construction of the customer service platform, improvement of the employee’ cooperation model, reduction of risks for the shareholders, and creation of the platforms for the business start-ups in the Chinese society (Appendix 2).
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Therefore, the experience of the Alibaba group project realization is the perfect example of effective project management aimed at the long-term competitive attractiveness and profitability.
The Main Lessons for Future Managers
The case of the Alibaba project can serve as a basis for the formation of recommendations for leaders and people who want to work in the sphere of management. In addition, it is possible to divide the recommendations in two categories – the recommendations about the personal characteristics of the manager, and the recommendations about the commercial project realization process.
First, the manager or leader should be able to critically evaluate the opportunities the potential niche offers and estimate the existing level of competition in it (AlyDropship 2017). He/she must also be sure in the rightness of his/her decisions and be able to inspire the other members of the team. An effective manager constantly monitors the market and looks for new opportunities regardless of the current success.
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Second, while developing the project further, the management should benefit from the most favorable external conditions and seek new business opportunities. In addition, it is important to provide certain value for each of the company’s stakeholders (AlyDropship 2017). For example, a company should enable easy communication with the customers, offer products and services of good quality at the most reasonable prices, etc. Offering some benefits to each stakeholder, a company increases their desire to cooperate.
In conclusion, the example of the Alibaba group project shows the importance of effective leadership and management in the process of project implementation. On the one hand, the talents of the founder, Jack Ma, were a decisive factor of success of the discussed project. On the other hand, it is the management decisions were effective, especially in the spheres of foreign trade and the corporate culture improvement.