About this episode
In 1995, with just $5,000 in start-up capital, Ashok Vasudevan launched Tasty Bite offering ready-to-eat Indian entrees to American consumers.
Twenty-five years later, Tasty Bite is America’s largest brand of prepared Indian food sold everywhere, from Walmart to Whole Foods. In 2017, Vasudevan announced he had sold the company to Mars, which has a portfolio of beloved brands including everything from Uncle Ben’s to Skittles.
This interview may surprise you on many levels, including:
- Why Vasudevan considered valuation “irrelevant” as he evaluated the acquisition offers generated by his investment bankers at Goldman Sachs.
- How Vasudevan financed his growth.
- Why the best products are either “pain killers” or “pleasure providers.”
- How a “call option” works for both investor and entrepreneur.
- The three things every management team needs.
- A philosophy to even out the natural highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
- How two-way reps and warranties can ensure an acquirer doesn’t ruin what you’ve built.
Vasudevan was keen to start a new organization called C-SAW, which is dedicated to farmer prosperity, consumer well-being, and the transformation of the food industry to promote affordable wellness. It’s a big goal that he’s passionate about, which is why he looks back on his decision to sell Tasty Bite without regret. The secret to a satisfying exit is to have something to do after you sell, which is one of four factors we measure when evaluating your readiness to exit. Find out how you score on all four by getting your PREScore™.
About Our Guest
Ashok Vasudevan is a corporate executive turned entrepreneur and academician with an abiding interest in food & agriculture, international entrepreneurship and a deep commitment to affordable wellness through food and nutrition.
Along with his wife Meera, he co-founded Preferred Brands International, a US-based food company that makes Tasty Bite (www.tastybite.com) and a range of other natural, ethnic and specialty foods sold in major supermarkets in North America, Australia, and the UK. Ashok is also Chairman of the Board of Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd, a public company on the Bombay and the National Stock Exchange.
He has been on the board of several non-profit organizations in the US and India and is a distinguished visiting professor of International Entrepreneurship at Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai.
Ashok Vasudevan graduated in Agricultural Sciences from Bangalore and went to business school at the Bajaj Institute of Management, Bombay and the Harvard Business School.