Startup to Success: Lessons on How to Successfully Build Businesses Overseas with CEO Tobias Briffa

Make Things, Make Sense Podcast
Episode 32
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In today’s episode, Tobias Briffa, a Maltese serial entrepreneur, shares his inspiring story of how he went from volunteering in India to starting his own businesses, including Te Te Brew Company and Kashew Cheese.

Tobias’ volunteer experience in India changed his perspective on life, as he witnessed people living in poverty but still being happy and optimistic. He stayed in India for two years, working in advertising for Lenovo and then as a strategic planner for a company in Ho Chi Minh City before moving on to work for several global corporations. However, he soon realized that he wanted to start his own agency and founded Astro with some friends. Tobias believes that working in a corporation teaches you valuable skills that can be applied to your own startup, such as how to work on a large scale and deal with large amounts of data.

Toby started Te Te Brew Company after running into the same problem of clients being too afraid to be bold and different in their marketing campaigns. He wanted to build his own product to prove to himself that he could, and after brainstorming various ideas, he and his partners settled on starting a craft beer company in Vietnam. They started from scratch, brewing beer in their laundry room with basic equipment and developing the recipe batch by batch. They also worked with artists and writers to come up with the name “Te Te,” which means to be a little bit tipsy or high in Vietnamese and is a nod to the most trafficked animal in the world, the pangolin.

Tobias’ other business venture is Kashew Cheese, which he started with his partner after realizing that there were few vegan cheese options in Vietnam. They experimented with different flavors and ingredients before launching their own line of cashew cheese, which has been well-received by customers.

Tobias’ story is a testament to the power of perseverance and following your passions. He went from volunteering in India to working in advertising for major corporations before finally starting his own businesses. His experience has taught him the importance of learning from others and taking their ideas and methodologies with you when starting your own venture. Tobias’ businesses, Te Te Brew Company and Kashew cheese, showcase his creativity and willingness to take risks, and are a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit.

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