Episode 1: Intern to CEO
Don't have time to listen to our podcast? No worries, here is a brief summary of the discussion with Bryan Lee
Intern to CEO
In today's episode, we are in conversation with Bryan Lee, Founder & CEO, Krishi Star. Bryan studied Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University intending to become a rocket scientist, however, over some time he realised that he did not enjoy Aerospace and then moved into working with Asian American artists. He also worked with a record label where such artists were promoted in New York, after which he pursued entrepreneurial activities which included teaching Taekwondo.
He was interested in international development which is when he went to Kellogg School of Management and completed his MBA. Bryan enjoyed volunteer work which included raising money for an orphanage in India and while he was here he understood the large scale of poverty in agriculture and also learned about farmers which is when he chose to form Krishi Star.
The conversation begins with Bryan talking about why Aerospace engineering was not something he realised he enjoyed versus getting into the business. Even though he started working on a satellite which was his dream come true, he felt that his work was not creating any change in the world. He strongly believed that he wanted to create an impact and make the world a better place, so getting into business was more likely to help him achieve that goal. He also had a passion for Asian American artists because he felt that they were not given enough media representation. He wanted to create a diverse set of role models for the generations to come as well. He was also quite passionate about studying interpersonal and leadership skills which were around the theme of empowerment for the Asian American community, which is when he started creating events so that people could connect better and it is because of events like these, he started coaching and training people. Bryan explains how everybody has this notion, that "the boss is always right and has the answers to everything" but this is just a stereotype that has been formed and how he says that, sometimes when he's put on a spot with a question, there is a high chance he does not know the answer. You just need to have the confidence to figure it out and come out with a solid answer and that is when you win half the battle already.
He talks about how going to Kellogg school was the best decision he made because it was like a place full of opportunities and that made him do projects all over the world. This school allowed him to intern with farmers, it is then that he realised that his heart went out to farmers and he wanted to create an impact for them especially since agriculture is the foundation for many upcoming economies.
Bryan talks about how he started forming Krishi Star, where he would talk to farmers and their families to get details about the business model he wanted to create. He shares how his experience was bitter-sweet considering the various aspects that had to be covered, from manufacturing to selling to what people are going to think about this product, etc. He talks about how he gained customers and lost them and what was his thought process at that time.
Bryan explains and talks about how the Redemptive Framework resonated with him and how he felt that he needed to incorporate that to create a better workspace for his employees keeping in mind the redemptive framework. He always wanted to impact the lives of the farmers, and is making sure that even today Krishi Star revolves around that. Bryan truly believes that to achieve your goal, you have to be a hustler and never stop learning, even leaders or top most people still should continue learning to get to the final goal. Bryan's message is genuinely inspirational and encouraging and we hope that you have some points to take away from this conversation.