Chavalit Frederick Tsao
Chavalit Tsao, also known as Fred in his network, is the fourth-generation steward of a family business which started in The Shanghai Bund before 1906. Fred joined his family business at the age of twenty after he graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Science in Engineering.
Fred's early business successes include starting up a highly profitable palm oil business in Thailand and turning around a bankrupt Thai national shipping line and successfully listing it. In 1995 and at the age of thirty-seven, Fred took over as Chairman of IMC Group. Under his stewardship, the traditional shipping company transformed into a multi-national conglomerate with diverse business interests in industrial, lifestyle, investments and learning sectors.
Besides family business, Fred is also passionate in cutting edge business economics and sustainability. As the Founder and the President of Family Business Network (FBN) in Asia, as well as Chairman of FBN Foundation, he also serves on FBN International Board to promote sustainable family business.
Fred believes that a business that plays its role in serving human wellbeing and creating wealth at the same time, and which continues to evolve to meet the needs of society, is a thriving and flourishing business. He advocates that evolution is the key and consciousness is the ultimate capital. Hence in his keen foresight Fred decided in 1995, more than two decades ago, to form a research center, named as East West Cultural Development Centre (today rebranded as AITIA Institute), as an extension of his own evolutionary journey.
In terms of understanding issues of human development, Fred is deeply interested in the connection between Western science and traditional Chinese philosophy. In the emerging fields of quantum physics, evolutionary biology, neurophysiology, and consciousness research, he sees evidence in the interconnectedness and essential oneness of the world.