HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPChinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR
Master of Business Administration, Class of 2016
Co-sponsor: Global Sources
CURRENT EMPLOYMENTAssistant General Manager
Eureka Nova, Hong Kong SAR
“I had a childhood that had a kind of self-made mentality, so everything did not come into a silver spoon. It was more of hey, we have very little in our pockets and we have to make things happen, so having that chip on the shoulder, really helped us to always strive for something better, always strive to exceed the status quo.”
As the former head of Global Sources Direct, responsible for developing cross-border 020 distribution channels for emerging brands and startups from the Asia Pacific region and Startup Launchpad, Ben helped connect hardware startups find distribution channels through B2B trade shows and tech conferences, showcasing at least 300 startups to more than 63,000 global buyers.
Ben talks about how corporations can better help startups scale up during a panel discussion at an event in Hong Kong in 2016
But everything did not come easy for him.
He took risks to come to China fresh out of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a BA degree in International Business and Management.
“After I graduated, I took a small risk and go to China, and the only way for a recent graduate to get a job there was to be an English teacher so I took the job, and about 4-5 months later, I found a job with Global Sources and that’s when I basically started my career.”
Raised in New Jersey, he recalled how at an early age, they were taught to be responsible for making things happen for themselves.
“I had a childhood that had a kind of self-made mentality so everything did not come into a silver spoon. It was more of hey, we have very little in our pockets and we have to make things happen, so having that chip on the shoulder, really helped us to always strive for something better, always strive to exceed the status quo.”
Ben’s continued pursuit of excellence led him to aim higher. About five years into Global Sources, he started looking for opportunities to support further studies, and that’s how the Hinrich Foundation, helped changed his life.
“I can’t thank the Hinrich Foundation enough for helping me through that process. I was the first Chinese University MBA scholar at that time. At my MBA, I met so many people that were just like me, who also strive to do great things in life, and we were able to sit in rooms, work together, solve problems, come up with business ideas, travel around the world to pitch our business ideas.”
Ben’s experience while in the MBA program of the Chinese University of Hong Kong includes a visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to compete for the Hult Prize award in 2014
Success for Ben is about family.
“When I was young and aspiring, I would say I want to be a multi-millionaire, I want to run a big company, but I started realizing that what’s most important to me is my family. And I think being able to provide for my family a comfortable lifestyle, that is success for me.”
Eventually, he sees himself starting his own business “that actually helps people.”
“I want to help the elderly. I think that the elderly are forgotten around the world. I do want to find a way to help them so once I take care of my family, I want to take care of other people’s families.”