Spearheading a company during a crisis gives a noteworthy achievement, yet for others, it might lead to their downfall. It can be a great avenue to position the business from the rest for those that get it right.
The Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group experienced this situation, Alibaba entrepreneur fund’s executive vice-chairman and director, Jose Tsai, mentioned in the latest interview.
In 2003, Alibaba, now a well-known e-commerce company with about $678 billion value, was supposed to release Taobao, a consumer’s online or cyber marketplace, but a crisis happened. China experienced a health crisis known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that demanded the closure of businesses and individuals to stay at home.
Leadership In The Middle Of A Crisis
Instead of giving up on the developing company’s unfavorable situation, Tsai, together with his other 17 co-founders and Jack Ma, made a turn. To make sure the launch went early, they administered what was then a new and clunky work-from-home system.
“We wanted to make sure that when customers emailed or called us, we could serve them,” Tsai stated. “Obviously, the first thing you want to do is make sure your employees are safe and working in conditions where things continue to function. As long as that’s in place, they can continue to serve their customers.”
Taobao was introduced as planned on May 10, 2003. The voluntary quarantine became a turning point for China’s economy because domestic consumers started to order goods online.
“Fast forward to today, and our focus on the customer is still an absolute priority,” Tsai said, which means that a genuine commitment to the mission was significant to its success and still exists in today’s time.
A Tip For Business Owners
During the discussion with Tony Wong, Shopline’s CEO and co-founder, the entrepreneur continued that the experience offers an essential lesson for starters struggling with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
Distinctively, entrepreneurs should concentrate on their core goals. If that prevails amidst the setback, it is worth continuing.
Tsai said, “As an entrepreneur, I don’t think you should chase ideas. I think you have to go back to why you founded the business in the first place.”
“Look at what the mission was and the problem you were trying to solve. And if the same problems still exist and the same customers are still there, then it makes sense to continue your business,” he added.
The circumstances may mean generating new ways and innovating to achieve the business’ goals despite the present limitations, just what happened with Alibaba.