Getting to know Timothy Li, behind the produce
9 enero 2020

Behind the Produce with Timothy Li

Timothy manages our Shanghai office. This location is unique, as they manage both the importing of fresh fruits and vegetables to China, and Chinese exports to Asian markets. It can be overwhelming to manage both of these functions under one roof, although Timothy executes with resilience. He is known to be a tenacious team player, with phenomenal performance and growth results attributed to his leadership. He provides an excellent example of customer service and serves as a brand ambassador that we can be proud of.

Let’s get to know Timothy a little more!

VG: You are originally from Hong Kong. How long has Shangai been home for you?
Timothy: I have lived in China for more than eight years. I can see how the fast development of Chinese policy and economy is increasing quality of life in China, so I decided to make Shanghai home and get married here in September 2019.

VG: You used to be a customer of Vanguard’s! Have you always been destined for produce? Where did your career start?
Timothy: The first part of my career was as a fruit buyer for a Hong Kong retailer – PARKnSHOP, where I was a customer of Vanguard’s. I was able to see that the produce industry is very interesting – you’re in touch with very diverse people and you always have something new to learn. I do not think of my job in produce as a career. I think of it as a part of my life, and enjoy it.

VG: How long have you been with Vanguard?
Timothy: I joined the Vanguard family over five years ago, but actually have been working with Vanguard including, the time in PARKnSHOP, almost 10 years.

VG: Describe a memorable moment for you during your time working for Vanguard.
Timothy: A memorable moment for me was the first time I participated in AsiaFruit Hong Kong as a Vanguard team member in 2014. I had plenty of time to chat with all my Vanguard teammates from around the globe, and was so impressed with how profesional they were. I remember thinking how much I could learn from them on how to be a sales person of excellence, which was a new skill set that I needed in contrast from my previous job at PARKnSHOP.

VGWho’s day do you impact on a regular basis? Who hears from you the most?
Timothy: My position serves as a connection between different vendors, including our procurement team and customers. My friends in the markets give me the most support through information sharing and opinions on market trends. My team gives me support through information sharing on the crop and grower’s level, assisting greatly with the buying side of the business. I work closely with all of these parties, and it’s very important for me as it gives me a clear interpretation of the situation. As a result, I am able to provide professional suggestions to my customers on their order decisions. I like to think this is why most of our customers value the time spent listening to my comments and offers on how to make an order plan.

VG: What does your free time look like? Spending time with family, friends? Hobbies?
Timothy: I am pleased to now be living with my wife in Shanghai, so we can spend more time together. Most of my customers are also good friends, so we will often get together for dinner and drinks when we are free. Sometimes I also join them for family activities. I do enjoy running and soccer, although I’m not currently a part of a soccer team in Shanghai because I’m traveling a lot between Shanghai and Guangzhou.

VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If so, how do you prefer to eat it?
Timothy: My favorite produce item is melon, especially the Seedless Malaysian Watermelon and Xinjiang Hami Melon. I love to eat it by just cutting it up as a snack, and for making juice – especially in the summertime.