On Adjust’s most recent company trip to Mauritius, we sat down (by the pool, cocktail in hand) with Hsin-Jou, Managing Director, China. Hsin has been one of our longest serving overseas members of Adjust, and one of the first to set up Adjust in China. We had a chat about her history with the company, what it looks like to leave and return, and what the future could hold for her rapidly growing team.
I’d always been in the mobile industry, in some way – before Adjust I was working for (local network) Glispa. Before then, I was working for Trademob. I’d embraced the challenge of working in mobile – it’s changed so much (and continues to do so) and each new venture means more to do, and more of a chance to grow.
That said, Adjust for me is a tale of two halves. Between my time now, and when I first started, I left the company to work in an entirely different industry – but let’s talk about that a little later.
I joined Adjust in 2015 – starting as a senior sales manager in APAC. I was the second person on the ground in China (first in Beijing!). It was a great journey to where we are now. From when I started, we’ve built out with about five functions including sales, partnerships, marketing. But at that time, it was just me and Chris [Rupp, Head of Sales China] opening a market together, and it was one tough market to crack.
But mobile wasn’t the only area I was interested in. I felt then that I’d been working in mobile for a long time, and, in 2017, the big thing was (and still is, to an extent) AI. And, though I knew what I was leaving behind, I took a risk and left Adjust to join a new, very early stage startup that was working on artificial intelligence, speech recognition and NLP - Natural Language Processing, those kinds of things. It was a completely different field, and another industry, basically - I was very excited by the opportunity. I really wanted to see what was going on in the space, and what I could learn in a new industry.
But the excitement didn’t last long. In the ten months I was there I didn’t see the progress the company had expected. There were other problems too, I felt that I was staying at one point and not improving or growing. And when you see other people getting better and better, and you're just kind of stuck in one place, it's a really scary feeling. So, for me, I’d set a goal - give it a year, or change. I said, okay, it's almost a year, and I haven’t seen anything coming out of this, so I think it's time to move on.
And by that time, Adjust’s team in China had totally changed. We’d grown from two to ten on the ground. The team had a more developed sales function, a stronger presence, and even its own office space in Beijing. We'd added a number of products to support the market and we had transformed from this small startup to a bigger corporation, that’s the size we have now. So, returning to Adjust felt more natural – to be a part of a big energetic movement that wasn’t as static as the company I’d just finished working for.
One of the reasons I also wanted to come back was that there's still a lot of things to do with this company, and with the whole team. I definitely feel that working for Adjust meets the challenge of my personal goals: to keep developing and pushing myself. Now it’s all about getting to achieve something with the team and growing the whole China market for Adjust. It’s still an exciting challenge, but this time with more support on the field.