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Hinrich Foundation Alumni Roger Li Thunderbird

Roger Li




Thunderbird School of Global Management
Arizona, United States
Master of Business Administration, Class of 2011
Co-sponsor: Global Sources


Gadget Labs, Shenzhen, China

“It is my responsibility to improve my circumstances and myself, and then support family, society and community to improve their circumstances.”

Alumni background

Roger Li is the Founder of Gadget Labs and General Manager of Pledge Box, a premium crowdfunding agency that specializes in bringing innovative hardware from the Greater China region to the global market.

Li's journey began with a Computer Science degree from the East China University of Technology and Science in Shanghai. He then embarked on a successful tech career in India, starting as a software engineer at Infosys in Bangalore. After that, he transitioned to Hewlett-Packard, where he excelled as a service consultant and later as a project manager leading a global service team.

In 2010, Roger relocated to the US to pursue an MBA at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Awarded a scholarship from the Thunderbird Assistance Fund for Asian Students (TAFAS) and the Hinrich Foundation, he graduated in 2012.

Leveraging his global experience, Li began his post-MBA career as a management trainee for the Global Sources sales team, where he quickly rose to lead his own team. He then joined Global Sources Direct, where he spearheaded the development of cross-border O2O (online to offline) distribution channels for emerging brands and startups across the Asia-Pacific region.

Roger participated in the inauguration meeting of the Alumni Leadership Committee of the Hinrich Foundation in Manila, December 2015

Threading his own path

Roger discovered his strengths and interests while working at Global Sources Direct, where he also got the exposure and experience that eventually led him to start his own company.

In 2015, he started Gadget Labs, a digital marketing strategy company in Shenzhen, China, that specializes in market culture awareness and international product operations.

The company has helped at least 30 Chinese brands enter the US and European markets in its first four years of operations. The work involves creating brand identities, designing communication plans and digital strategies, and executing successful launches.

“We work closely with our clients and analyze the smart hardware product by comparing it with the international electronic consumption market share, based on critical market research. We ensure that the product has a successful launch and would continue to see increase in sale, and finally that the product will have a potential in the global market,” he said.

Work hard and be grateful

Roger (far left) and other members of  the Alumni Leadership Committee toured historical spots in Manila, Philippines, December 2015

“I am extremely grateful to Mr. Merle Hinrich, who supported 50 percent of my scholarship; and Jean Shen, another Hinrich scholar; Kevin Rohrer, a Thunderbird alumnus; and Alex Boome; who were all key players in my selection as they interviewed me for the scholarship.”

Looking at his own journey, Roger believes that the only way forward for scholars to achieve success is to work hard. “Scholars need to realize that a lot of people help them to get to the next step, to be where you are, so always be grateful for all the challenges that come your way and convert them into opportunities with hard work.”

He also believes that financial gain without improving the welfare of others is meaningless. A valuable advice from someone, who, time and again proved how hard work and ambition honed with the right values can change the landscape of one’s life.

“Success for me is to make a better world. I believe that we can touch and transform many lives through individual contributions within the environments we inhabit. So it is my responsibility to improve my circumstances and myself, and then support family, society and community to improve their circumstances.”

Read Roger's full profile here.