Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thunderbirds are go...

For anybody of my vintage who grew up in the UK, Thunderbirds was a children's TV series featuring puppets, spaceships and derring-do adventure, spiced up with the lovely Lady Penelope are her chauffeur Parker.

For those interested in international business, however, it's a business school located at a former US air force training base in Arizona. Founded in 1946, it describes itself as "the oldest and largest graduate management school in the United States focused solely on preparing international business leaders".

What's all this got to do with Asia business media? Well, one of Thunderbird's most successful alumni is Merle Hinrichs, founder and CEO of Global Sources. Over the years, a series of eager T-bird alumni has rattled their way up in the tatty cargo lifts of Vita Tower in Aberdeen, Global Sources' HQ, to start their careers in Asian business.

What put this in my mind? Yesterday's press release on Vietnam is the answer. As companies try to diversify their sources of supply away from the increasingly expensive south China factories, Vietnam is an obvious alternative. The press release quotes GS's Sarah Benecke saying "
Buyers are always looking for new products and competitive suppliers. Vietnam has proven to be highly competitive in numerous sectors – including furniture and home décor".

And the Thunderbird connection? Andrew Vuong has just been appointed as Country Manager for Vietnam of Asian Sources Publications Limited, Global Sources' Hong Kong sales representative. Vuong has a T-bird MBA. His resume also includes periods at Positec Industrial and Smith Barney in the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The educational background of Global Sources' executives is definitely very impressive.

Do business schools introduce students to managing electronic business? These days, people talk about being gentle to customers. Perhaps, I am not a native-English speaker and don't have 20/20 eye sight. Text on Global Sources looks so small and there is so much to read.