Keynote Speaker

An energetic and engaging speaker, James uses his Alibaba experience to educate audiences on an alternative future for business.  He illustrates how Alibaba’s unique approach has allowed it to completely disrupt areas as diverse as ecommerce, traditional payments, cloud computing and small business loans and challenge established businesses in areas such as offline retail and logistics.

He contrasts this approach with that of Amazon and shows the lessons to be learned from their similarities, but more importantly, their differences.  He explains the environments which lead businesses to build innovative cultures and how these environments can be created in any business.  And he discusses the benefits of building an ecosystem-driven network of businesses around your core capabilities.

James uses the story of his own successful unfunded business – now the largest cross-border China-focused ecommerce business in the UK – as an example of these principles in action.

Speaking Topics


James discusses the Consumer-to-Business (C2B) model, on-demand development, automated decision-making, and exceptionally fast feedback loops. Alibaba is redefining some fundamental business concepts and James delves into Alibaba’s concept of Smart Business and what this means for the impact of emerging technologies.

Alibaba & Amazon

James discusses the radically different approaches of these two behemoths and what can be learned from each. Amazon is focused on its customers but not its suppliers, and owns most of its own capabilities. Alibaba is focused on all parties within its ecosystem and has multiple business partnerships in almost all areas it operates within. James pulls the primary learnings from each and predicts how they will fare when they compete head-to-head in countries such as India.

The future of eCommerce: Learnings from Alibaba

James explains how Alibaba’s ecosystem operates and why it has been so successful.  He focuses on how Alibaba has been able to move so fast, and disrupt so many industries, even those outside of its historical core areas.  He discusses the company structure, culture and approach to business value and relationships that has allowed it to become such a powerful force within China, and increasingly across the globe.

Ecosystems and the future of business

James explains what business ecosystems are, giving examples from multiple verticals to illustrate the speed and success derived from such an approach.  He explains why they are the future of business, and then ties this into a unified theory of business and an operating model for all businesses.