In this episode of the Intersections Podcast, hosted by Gaëlle Beltran-Grémaud, an INSEAD classmate now based in Philadelphia, we listen to the story of Minh Tsai the co-founder and CEO of Hodo Foods. Minh shares how he arrived from Vietnam to the US as a child, speaking no English; and that with luck, the support of one woman and hard work, he went on to study at Columbia University. After a stint in investment banking and management consulting, he took the risk to follow his passion for food and started Hodo to bring the tofu he grew up with in Vietnam to the US. Initially only available at the San Francisco Terminal Farmer’s Market, Hodo products are now sold in numerous supermarkets across the US as well as at Chipotle.
Minh reflects on the highs and lows of his experience starting and leading Hodo, acknowledging that his success is grounded in his hard work and the culture he built in his company. By truly focusing on his employees, fostering honest conversations and being vulnerable, he has been able to face some of the toughest challenges any CEO can face. “Bringing people along” is how he operates and pays forward what he received early in his career.