From Taiwan to Tampa: An Interview with Sareet Majumdar
On May 4, the Tampa Bay Business Owners hosted an event at The Centre Club featuring a special interview with Sareet Majumdar. Sareet shared his professional journey and described how it led to his present role as President at ICTC Global Manufacturing Solutions.
Because his mother was a doctor and his dad an engineer, Sareet was expected to graduate and become a doctor, engineer, or lawyer. However, in 1985 he graduated from Yale University with a major in History. Upon graduation, Sareet applied for a job as an investment banker and received a great offer. Despite all expectations that he would accept the offer, he turned it down to travel.
Sareet had saved up to $4,000 and bought a one-way ticket to Hong-Kong. With this money, he travelled for 13 months to China, India, Thailand, Burma, and ultimately ended up in Taiwan. This was a country in which Sareet could learn Mandarin and teach English a few hours a week in order to earn a living. Sareet learned a lot about business in China including when to take a risk. He quickly understood how the China manipulated its currency. When foreigners came to the country, they were given the official currency for the dollar, and if it were traded on the black market for the unofficial currency, the value would increase by 50%. Consequently, Sareet traded with the people on the streets to benefit from this practice.
Sareet completely assimilated into the Taiwanese culture and in the process, learned a great deal about himself. During this time, Sareet met with a foreign friend once a week where they could speak English with one another. His friend continuously stated that Sareet would be the perfect business partner for a German man that he knew. Sareet was initially hesitant due to his preconceptions about businessmen and because he had a plan to attend Law School and use his Mandarin to practice International Law. After a while, his friend finally convinced Sareet to meet with the German.
Initially, Sareet was wary of businessmen, however after meeting this man, his views on business were completely transformed. Sareet believed that with his knowledge of Taiwan and Asia, as well as his fluency in Mandarin, that they could be extremely successful. In 1990, they created a computer accessory distribution company, and as the technology developed, this led to the sale of digital accessories. That same year, Sareet returned to the United States with his wife. He believed it would be a great opportunity to take the computer accessory business and build it through a distribution system in the U.S. After some time, Sareet and his partner began to run into management issues in Taiwan. They felt it would be best to return to Taiwan to address some of their concerns. In 1999, after his third child was born, Sareet and his family moved to Taiwan for a couple of years before moving on to China.
After seven years in China, Sareet and his family returned to The United States where there was an opportunity to buy ICTC in Brooksville, Florida. The owner approached Sareet and his partner because the company was faced with closure. The company was struggling because they had limited themselves to manufacturing computer cables. Because the cable business was located in China, the company’s largest customer that represented 90% of their sales, wanted to relocate. Sareet and his partner, who had experience in this industry, took an interest in their company. They bought ICTC and added more components to it. ICTC then grew from $1 million to $30 million in revenues as well as doubling its work force. The strength of ICTC’s business lies in its hybrid model of partial offshore manufacturing combined with finished and final sales onshore. With Sareet’s help, ICTC has constantly expanded and optimized its efficiencies. ICTC now plans to install solar panels on their buildings, which will produce enough energy not only to satisfy their own needs, but also to generate a surplus to sell on.
Sareet has utilized his life experiences and business acumen into order to find a niche, which has led to extraordinary success. Sareet’s journey has clearly demonstrated how taking risks and thinking outside of the box can lead to great rewards both personally and professionally.
To watch the full interview, click
Visit the ICTC Global Manufacturing Solutions
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