Monday Morning Coffee: Meet the Cast

In this episode (MMC.001): What is The Lotus Talks? What are we trying to do? Why are we doing it in Vietnam & Southeast Asia?

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Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability.

Listen to the full episode at links below.


What is The Lotus Talks?

Granger: Well, we know it’s a Podcast and an E-magazine that we’ve started to talk about people and companies in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, but all around the region that is doing well and also giving back. Really important thing for all of us.

Cameron:The Lotus Talks is supposed to be something that is a guiding understanding. You know, something that gives people who are trying to go into Vietnam to see, to understand the culture, to understand the people and making a difference as we said. 

Granger: So, for people coming into Vietnam or…? 

Cameron: People coming in, people already here. It’s for anyone, really. It’s telling us these stories. When we talk about narratives and we talk about trying to understand how to move from one business culture to another, to move from one country to another country, you have to understand so many principles about how to do business, how people want to be treated…


Who are the hosts?

Granger: I’m from New York and 25 years on Wall Street. I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe and all around the world traveling. Pretty diverse background, in banking, finance, venture capital, helping companies start. So I mean, really, from my perspective, it’s a candy store here, right? I always say it’s a candy store. There are so many things going on. There’s so much to do. It’s so exciting for me, a guy who loves to build companies and loves to see people chasing their dreams and being able to help them actually attain those dreams. Well, it’s all I could ever ask for, quite frankly. You, well, you’re what, 23? 

Cameron: Yeah, 23. You know, as a fresh college graduate, I never really experienced much of the business aspect. I was all about reading books and understanding the cultural aspects. 

Granger: You’re an anthropologist, right? 

Cameron: Of course, what we do is we study culture. And rather than a sociologist, we study small case studies. So, you know, you could go into a business and see how they handle their corporate culture. You could go see how an individual manages people. So there’s this breadth of research in that subject as well. But I mean, understanding the Vietnamese culture and trying to understand it well. I mean that’s the difficult thing. 

Granger: I mean, are you getting that here, working with me here in Vietnam for the last five or six months? 

Cameron: Five months. You know, I’ve been working in Vietnam for five months and I get to see a wide range of different realities. I get to work with Vietnamese colleagues and then I get to work with American colleagues. So, I like to think I’m getting the best of both worlds. 


Why are we doing this in Vietnam?

Cameron: Vietnam has that potential. I mean, right now there are 80,000 expats from all over the world, centering in Vietnam. But that is the potential. 

Granger: Oh yeah. I mean, there are a lot of companies coming here. So, at The Lotus Talks, specifically, we’re going to do a couple of different things. And I want to share that with the listeners because this is the first podcast where we’re talking about what we’re doing here. 


What are we doing?

Granger: One of the big things we’re doing is One-on-One Profiles. We’re going to do profiles of individuals from Vietnam and the Asian region that are making a difference while they’re doing well. It’s not just about putting money in their pockets, but about what they’re doing to give back to the community, back to the Vietnamese country and people and also the region at large. So you will see by the interviews we have and the people that were visiting. Some amazing stories. And we hope that really adds a lot of color to your life and understanding of what it’s like to be in Vietnam. 

Granger: We’ll also be discussing topical issues every week in our Monday Morning Coffee sessions. So, grab a coffee, sit down with us and we’ll be talking about things that you can do to improve your business, things you can think about to apply to your own company and your own life here in Vietnam to help you be more satisfied, more efficient, more productive and more successful and make your employees happier, or maybe your wife or your kids. 

Granger: And Friday we’ll be sharing with you our Friday Notes. We’ll be recapping the conversation we start on Monday. And, we’ll be doing small profiles on businesses or people without interviews, but really more of who they are and what we think they’re doing in our words as opposed to their words in Vietnam and the Asian market. 

Granger: That’s why we started The Lotus Talks. We’re going to bring you a lot of interesting people in the golden age of Southeast Asia. We’re going to try to find the truth that is discovered in their stories, in the people working day to day, from the hard times they go through, the failure to the successes and all that happens in between when you’re running ahead and a fast-paced high growth environment. We’re here to take this ride with you, curves, bumps, potholes. There’s plenty of those around here and we hope you enjoy it.


Where can you find us?

Cameron: Absolutely. You can find it on our website, and you can get all of our content that we’ll be releasing in both of our Lotus Magazine and our Lotus Talks. You should also subscribe to our blog. You can also find us on Buzzsprout and you can also, of course, find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and TuneIn + Alexa along with a lot of others…

Granger: Yeah, we’re on Overcast, Pocket CastCastro, Podchaser, just about anywhere on the Internet. You can listen to this no matter where you’re traveling to. So, there’s really no excuse for anyone to miss any of our episodes, is there? 

Cameron: Get it on your morning bike ride to work. That’s what I’ll be doing.


Thought of the week

Granger: Let’s start with a thought for the week in our first podcast. Why Vietnam and why now? Why are we here? Why are we in Ho Chi Minh city, sitting in the cradle and capital at all, the fastest growth anywhere in the world, in Vietnam and Southeast Asia? Everything’s happening. The action is going on. Well, I mean that’s why right? That is really why. Why aren’t you here is really the question. 

Cameron: Yeah. I mean, I saw Vietnam for the first time around 10 years ago. And it just amazed me. You know, I was a kid back then. I had no knowledge of the world. I was still learning as I’m going along…

Granger: And you have knowledge now?

Cameron: Yeah. I like to think I have a little bit more. But the thing is that after coming to Vietnam, I have five visas in my passport. That’s not a lot compared to the people who’ve been here 16 years, 30 years, however you want to put it. But I get to see, you know, 10 years ago there were no skyscrapers… There were Saigon Financial Tower, and Sun Wah Tower. But other than that, you know, there wasn’t a lot. And now it’s amazing when I see it today…

Granger: Well everyone, thanks for joining us. We hope that you can put up with Cam and I and some of the other cast of characters and they’ll be popping their heads here once in a while. We hope we can bring you some exciting, interviews, information, something to think about, something to help you grow your business and to make your life a little happier here, in Ho Chi Minh City. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll talk to you soon. 

The Lotus Talks is produced by The Vietnam Group. This episode was produced by Granger Whitelaw, Cameron Lynch and Toan Tang.

You can subscribe to The Lotus Talks on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.