Richard Liu, China’s First Fortune 500 CEO

From humble beginnings as a child of coal shipping parents, Richard Liu has worked himself into becoming the CEO of China’s largest online direct sales company. Such great fortune did not come so easily for him. Richard’s company started at the bottom just like every other ordinary business.

Originally, the company started in 1998 distributing magneto-optical products in brick and mortar stores. By 2003, the company had quickly spread out to Beijing, Shenyang, and Shanghai.

After the company struggled through the SARS epidemic in 2004, were less and less people went out to go shopping, Richard Liu decided to diversify his approach. The company began sending out orders to customers who made purchases online instead of focusing on buying more physical store fronts. In the end, this idea would revolutionize the company for the better.

By 2007, the company had become so massive that logistics was starting to become an issue. To respond to the issue, Richard built a national logistics system that would reduce the loss of deliveries en route to customers, avoid the damaging of packages, and quicken the overall process of order to doorstep. This system would help the company reach new astronomical heights within a fairly short amount of time.

Fast forward to 2016 and was listed as the first Chinese company to make the Fortune 500 list. From initiatives that bring organic meat from rural communities to the city all the way to the use of drones to deliver packages, continues to be innovative in how it serves its over one billion loyal customer base.

Despite becoming such a powerhouse of a company, Richard Liu still doesn’t forget his humble beginnings. Once a year, Liu spends a day as a delivery person to help keep himself grounded. His ambition and humility is what has allowed to become the enormous success that it is today.

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