eCommerce platform Alibaba’s executive chairman recently revealed the company expects its revenue to grow by 45 to 48 percent in its fiscal year — which began in April — as more small businesses join its online community in search of sales.
According to Reuters, Alibaba grossed revenue of $22.99 billion last fiscal year.
“Our revenue this year, we will still have 45 to 48 percent growth, [and] the money comes from solving problems for others,” said executive chairman Jack Ma.
The message was delivered in front of hundreds of senior executives, all of whom had gathered in a five-star hotel’s large ballroom to see Ma on his first visit to Africa.
Earlier in 2017, the company missed its earnings mark for its fourth fiscal quarter. The eCommerce platform reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63 which came in below expectations of $0.66. Yet, for the quarter that ended March 31, Alibaba reported total revenue up 60 percent year-over-year to 38.58 billion yuan ($5.6 billion USD), well above analysts’ forecast of 36 billion yuan. This growth rate was the highest the company had achieved since its IPO.
Ma, who founded the Chinese eCommerce firm, said he would consider investing in Kenya after meeting with young entrepreneurs in Africa — and after seeing the East African nation’s broadband infrastructure.
“I was surprised by the speed of the Internet,” said Ma, noting the speed was faster than in some developed nations.
Additionally, Ma said he would consider investment opportunities he had seen in the country, and make a firm announcement at a later date. He added that dozens of other Chinese entrepreneurs on the trip had also been impressed by locals’ drive to build businesses.
“They say it is very difficult to find another Jack Ma in China, but today we found a lot of Jack Mas in Africa,” Ma said.