In the early 1900s, Mr Tsao Wa Chang, the grandfather of IMC’s founder Mr Frank Tsao, started a successful transportation business along the banks of the Huangpu River in Pudong, Shanghai. Subsequently, Mr Frank Tsao’s father, Mr Tsao Ying Yung, began his career at a major chemical company in Shanghai and later established a moderate-sized bank. By the early 1930s, the Tsao family could be said to be a family of means owning several promising business entities.

However, with the outbreak of World War II and subsequent civil war, China fell into turmoil. The Tsao family lost everything and had to move to Hong Kong to start afresh. Following the Chinese tradition, Mr Frank Tsao , being the eldest son, assumed his leadership role of providing for the family.