When Richard Liu Qiangdong looks back at the journey that he has been through on his way to the top of the entrepreneurship chain, he remembers the lessons that emanated from his childhood. Many people think that he has always had it easy, but Liu says that he has been through some of the most challenging situations. His story started when he was growing up in a small town in the province of Jiangsu, China. During those days, he was dependent on his parents who were nothing more than ordinary workers in a coal company. They spent so many hours at work, but they did not miss an opportunity to spend time with their son.
It takes a lot of hard work
One of the lessons that Richard Liu took from his parents was the need for hard work. Just the same way they used to spend a lot of time trying to earn a living at the coal mine, they wanted their son to know that nothing in this world comes easy. He took their advice seriously and so; he worked hard in everything he did. Richard Liuremained focused both in and out of school and by the time he was joining the People’s University of China, he already knew that he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Starting a career
Richard Liu Qiangdong began his career by working for a company from Japan which was selling health supplements and other products in China. This was after he had taken several courses in computer. At the company, he also worked at the computers department where he even became a manager. Therefore, he had gathered a lot of experience about the use of technology and therefore, when he finally ventured into business, he knew how to create an e-commerce website that would make it bigger.
After creating JD.com, Richard Liu became one of the most innovative entrepreneurs in China and therefore, he got a lot of offers from bigger companies. That is the way he ended up partnering with many of them to list their quality products on his website. Today, his business is valued at more than 12 billion dollars.
About Richard Liu: www.jonesday.com/rliu/
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By the time Peter Briger left Goldman, Sachs & Co he had already spent 15 years with them. He had had a very successful career that had seen him rise to the position of partner in 1996 having been first employed in 1986 the same year he graduated from Princeton University with a B.A.
Peter Briger would be molded by his experience at Goldman, Sachs & Co especially in his later years when he became a partner as he was able to gain more prudent experience in more areas of leadership. His interest in distressed debt was sparked at this time when he went to work for the Asian Distressed debt fund within the bank. These distressed debts entail debts that seem to become gradually toxic for the bank, and as time goes by, they may need to be written off. At the time he became so good at managing them that he was called upon by the International Finance Corporation as an advisor considering his experience with the same in the country and outside.
Peter Briger would also gain a lot of experience in the Asian market. His rise within the ranks of Goldman, Sachs & Co had coincided with a time when that market was showing real potential. Its growth was being primarily driven by a renewed manufacturing base in Asian with countries like Japan and China becoming international manufacturing hubs. This meant that the bank created special investment vehicles to cater to these new-found opportunities. Peter Briger would familiarize himself with the market environment with something that he is very grateful today that he did.
In 2002 he moved to Fortress Investment Group. This opportunity presented him a chance to establish a new division from scratch and grow it into what it is today. His determination would see the Credit division at Fortress come to life and has continued to grow and is today one of the best performing within the group. Briger has been very instrumental in the growth of Fortress having overseen their Initial Public Offering and later becoming the Co-CEO. His rise tops the top had been driven by personal success as well as his ability to drive the group in the right direction.
He is also very passionate about entrepreneurship and is very keen on developing it. His contribution has been especially felt at Princeton, where he helped establish the Alumni Entrepreneurship fund. This fund is today a key pillar supporting entrepreneurs at the university.