HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPThunderbird 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.”
Roger Li earned his Computer Science degree from the East China University of Technology and Science in Shanghai. After graduation, he started a career with Infosys in Bangalore, India. He then joined Hewlett-Packard as a service consultant and, later on, as project manager for a global service team.
In 2010, he left for the US to earn his MBA. He completed his degree at the Thunderbird School of Global Management as a scholar of the Thunderbird Assistance Fund for Asian Students (TAFAS), which is supported by the Thunderbird alumni and the Hinrich Foundation.
“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.”
Roger participated in the inauguration meeting of the Alumni Leadership Committee of the Hinrich Foundation in Manila, December 2015
After graduating in 2012, he started work as a management trainee with the Global Sources sales team and was given the opportunity to handle his own team. He later joined Global Sources Direct, responsible for developing cross-border O2O distribution channels for emerging brands and startups from the Asia-Pacific region.
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
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.”