- Services & Benefits
- Alumni Stories
- Donate to HKUST
- About Us
Founder & CEO
Gengyi E-commerce Ltd.
Founder & CEO
Gengyi E-commerce Ltd.
Twelve years ago, after her first master’s degree in New Media from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Melissa began her career in the media industry as a management trainee with Hearst Media Group. For seven years she worked as a digital marketing and strategy consultant, partnering with P&G, L’Oreal Paris, and Sephora to develop their digital and new media strategies and helping them expand their online business in the Asia Pacific region.
After having gained a deep understanding of the power of new media and digital marketing, Melissa returned to Hong Kong to pursue an MBA at HKUST to gain in-depth knowledge about starting and running a sustainable business. During this time, she joined APM Monaco, a fine jewelry brand, and was one of the founders of the APM Monaco China team where she was responsible for marketing, digital, and e-commerce matters.
“The most interesting experience in the HKUST MBA program,” Melissa recalls fondly, “was with the Time to Lead course, where we went through a personality assessment and my results turned out to be a person who likes to always take on new challenges and never settle. HKUST also broadened my perspectives and equipped me with a global vision as well as well-grounded business know-how in value chain strategy, corporate finance, marketing strategy, and negotiation.” These skills and knowledge greatly facilitated Melissa’s growth at APM Monaco and had a strong impact on her next role at Richemont Group.
In the midst of global pandemic, Melissa realized that beauty needs were changing rapidly. Consumers were no longer able to visit beauty salon for facials or spas due to social distancing, and demand for home facial products boomed. Moreover, because of city lockdowns and companies implementing work from home policies, many consumers began staying up later and later which contributed to problematic skin.
Based on these insights, Melissa wrote a business plan for a skincare brand called “Night Plans,” which offered nightly beauty routine solutions to young Chinese users. Riding on an R&D solution conducted by her partner – a phytochemistry researcher from Harvard Medical School – Melissa then came up with a brand strategy and brand identity, including packaging, social media and other digital presence. Her experience and know how enabled her to gain a huge following of fans and grow the business quickly via both online and offline sales.
Searching for a higher purpose for both herself and her business, in 2021 Melissa decided to take some time to continue broadening her global horizons. She was admitted to Yale University on a merit scholarship, where she would pursue a Master of Advanced Management alongside a diverse cohort of classmates coming from world-class business schools around the world.
“Looking back on the positive changes that HKUST inspired in me,” says Melissa, “I believe that education is all about opportunities. I had opportunities to meet people with cross functional skills at HKUST which motivated me to keep moving forward. Through the MBA program, I got opportunities to develop my business ability and ethics at a global stage through interactions with students coming from around the world, and I even got opportunities to know and understand myself well.”
Melissa aspires to continue to contribute to society, whether that takes the form of launching a business that can refashion the market, advancing far-reaching and rigorously considered policy initiatives, or steering a multinational corporation with keen awareness of and respect for its impact on people, communities, and the world.