For the month of July, we interviewed Brian Hsing, Director and Head of US Operations at Tefen USA. In this interview, Brian, who works at Tefen since 2013, told us about his entrepreneurial past, about his activites in Tefen and his work world-view, and about his fascinating activities outside of work.
Tell us about your background (education, previous work, etc):
I was born and raised in New Jersey, and over the course of my life I’ve also lived in Paris, Switzerland, Berlin, and Prague.
I graduated from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, with dual degrees in Management and Finance.
My 1st venture was founding a company focused on solar power and vertical-axis wind turbine project management and financing, for both residential and commercial-scale.
After selling that company I wanted to continue branching out in the industry, so I moved into LED and OLED lighting manufacture and distribution, working across different areas of the supply chain, and then eventually moving over to the commercial side to perform commercial-scale strategic business development.
After that I decided to broaden out of the industry and gain increased exposure to additional interesting problems and industries, so I decided to shift into consulting, with a particular emphasis and focus on Life Sciences and Healthcare.
What drew you to apply to Tefen Management Consulting?
First and foremost, the innovative and entrepreneurial environment. Having previously been an entrepreneur, and in general having a very clear vision of what I want to do and the impact that I’m seeking to make in the world, I value the ability to build an organization, as well as myself, on a path that I design, and to be able to drive at the rapid pace that I’d like. The innovative culture that is embedded in the DNA of Tefen makes that possible.
Additionally, Life Sciences and Healthcare is an area of large, challenging, and interesting problems, that are impactful to the future of our humanity, and provides an environment where excellence is demanded on a daily basis.
What do you like the most and about your consultant life?
I like that we are a client-facing industry/business, which means there is a distinctly different and ever-present push, challenge, and also fulfillment.
Additionally, the consulting work we do is almost by definition work that someone else couldn’t do, and I believe it’s important to push towards work that you are uniquely capable of doing.
What’s the main goal for a management consultant in your opinion?
First, the main goal is to find a way to solve something that someone else wasn’t able to. The three words, “find a way”, are critically important in management consulting.
Second, we must guide and mentor, to really provide those “lightbulb” moments, because people are generally caught up in their daily work, and don’t devote much time to really think about the bigger picture, break down principles, or take insights from other industries.
Lastly, management consultants should make sure to leverage their unique skills. For example, a focus on root causes, prioritization, quantitative analyses, and predictive and preventive actions. These are key skills that are unfortunately not common in most of the working world or society in general, but the application of them is definitively powerful.
Tell us about your most memorable/engaging project.
I led a project with a global generic pharmaceutical company, one of the largest in the world. They had a global network of $2 Billion+ of inventory across dozens of sites, but had a major issue with inventory visibility, tracking, and management.
Ultimately, we were able to define exactly what inventory was where, define tracking of all global inventory, and define inventory policies at an SKU level, in order to vastly improve service levels, reduce inventory levels while also reducing stockouts, and improve working capital.
This was especially memorable because of the scope, scale, and complexity of the problem, as well as the significant benefits that were possible as a result of the project.
What are your activities outside of work?
My primary obsession is building large-scale quality of life improvements. To this end I learn, write, and create products continuously.
Typically I read a book every 1-2 weeks, and run through hundreds of podcasts, articles, interviews, and videos every year. I write basically every day, and have a series of books in progress with a publisher.
I’m also building a software and application that leverages Machine Learning for real life, day-to-day applications for everything from work, to mental strength, diet, personal finances, sleep, meditation, and relationships.
I also train and teach both an armed (gun/knife) and unarmed combative system in NY.
What or who is the biggest source of influence in your life?
There’s no single source, the answer would essentially be books and the internet. Favorite authors include: Bertrand Russell, Baltasar Gracian, Marcus Aurelius, Alan Watts, and Herman Hesse.