IntraFish Media: How did you enter the seafood industry and why? What drew you to it as a career?
Ngo Quoc Tuan: The seafood industry, especially the shrimp farming and processing industry, has been my family’s business for two generations. My father started it and I was born in a house filled with shrimp during a harvesting season.
So I have seen a lot of shrimp during my whole life. I peeled the first shrimp when I was five years old. I love its taste — I can eat shrimp everyday.
The seafood industry is very interesting. It requires a lot of hard work and integrity.
There are many challenges — I learn new things everyday — and I am happy to find the solutions for them.
IFM: What do you aim to achieve in the sector?
NQT: I want to master sustainable aquaculture practices and understand market trends to help all the farmers who we have had relationships with for generations, and help our customers to find solutions to their challenges in the seafood industry.
If we develop successful businesses together, with corporate social responsibility in mind, our family business will last for many more generations.
IFM: Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
NQT: In 10 years time, I can see myself still working hard and enjoying the seafood industry.
IFM: In your view, what are the seafood industry’s biggest future challenges?
NQT: The seafood industry’s biggest future challenges are environmental pollution; existing and new diseases causing mortality and creating big losses for the farmers and supply shortages; food safety issues; rising costs; market fluctuations; bankruptcies; El Nino and slavery scandals.
IFM: What kind of people does the industry need to face these challenges and take it forward?
NQT: The kind of people the industry needs to face the challenges and take it forward are the leaders who have a strong heritage in the industry, live their life and love their career in the sector.
They are hard working and reputable people.
They also need understanding and support from the governments, NGOs, customers and consumers. Then, they need to make a long-term responsible commitment to face the challenges and yield commercial outcomes for everyone in the industry.
IFM: What could current leadership in your sector learn to be better at?
NQT: Current leadership in our sector could learn to be better at telling the risks from the challenges and facing them accordingly, building the industry for today and for the future.
IFM: What is the perception of the seafood industry as a career choice amongst younger people, do you think?
NQT: I think the perception of the seafood industry as a career choice amongst younger people is that it is not easy, sometimes hard to understand and forecast, very hard work. However, it is interesting for people who are willing to learn and face new challenges. It is also a lot of fun meeting many new people very often in the industry and enjoying delicious and healthy seafood.
IFM: What is the single best piece of career advice you have ever received?
NQT: The best piece of career advice I have ever received is from my father: “focussing on the essentials is the key for successful business and relationships”.
IFM: What would you being doing professionally if you weren’t in your current role?
NQT: If I weren’t in my current role, I would being investing in projects which can help people have better lives.