Richard Liu has become a household name in China. He is one of the country’s most influential businessmen,recognized for having one of the most successful e-commerce businesses in Asian and the world. Richard Liu is the founder and owner of JD.com.
Contrary, to many billionaires, Richard Liu’s life is relatively simple. He was born into a poor family, and this has helped him keep his life real. In a recent interview with David Rubinstein he said, “ All of this started because I wanted to find a way to pay for my grandmother’s medicine. I needed to help, after all, she was the one who brought me up.”
JD.com was not Mr. Liu’s first business venture. He started in the business world even before graduating from Beijing University. In his last year, he started a restaurant which was a total failure. However, he did not let the business failing discourage him. Upon graduating, he opened a very small computer accessory shop which developed into twelve shops. He was happy with his success until the SARS epidemic hit in 2004. Because he did not want his employees to get sick and die, he sent them home. Faced with revenue loss, the high cost of expenses and business maintenance without being able to sell products, led to the founding of JD.com.
Today, JD.com is the largest, privately held e-commerce store in China and all of Asia. Many business analysts say that JD.com may even be bigger than Amazon (except that its client base is China).
Richard Liu attributes his success to his innovative logistics model. He says that any purchase made in Beijing is delivered within 6 hours. Purchases in other parts of China take a day or two, and purchases in the USA or other countries takes anywhere from 5 to 10 days. With more than 500 different distribution centers and 100,000 employees, there is something to be said by this model. In fact, the management team of Amazon has modeled their own distribution system after that of Richard Liu.
Richard Liu is still relatively young. At 45 he still has a number of years to continue working and plans on expanding JD.com to a worldwide enterprise. Even so, he says that the thing that motivates him the most is his family. He remains close with his parents and dedicates time and energy to his wife and children.
About Richard Liu: richardliu.wikidot.com/