“The GDP has had good growth but the economic structure is adjusting too slowly to adapt to significant changes in the global economy,” Tran Dinh Thien, head of the Vietnam Economic Institute, said.
“The economy needs a breakthrough in every aspect, from administrative reform to business models, to catch up with the rest of the world,” he said.
Nguyen Thanh Nam, co-founder of the FPT Group and FUNiX University, said that to achieve success, “we must spend a lot of investment for a long journey to discover, learn, fail and stand up again to do business patiently.”
Nam said that since innovative attitudes could lead to mistakes, companies should have their own mentors.
“We have over 2,000 mentors in our university to guide our students on what they should learn and do,” he said.
He mentioned a new university model in US that has no lecture halls, no campus, and no lecturers and staff.
“It has 10,000 students and they learn and take self-examinations, with guidelines from the internet. And many of the graduate from the university can be recruited at big companies in Silicon Valley,” he said.
Do Anh Tu, former general director of Diana Unicharm and deputy chairman of management board of TP Bank, said that his “breakthrough” was to do the opposite of what people often do.
“When people want to immigrate to another country, I returned to Vietnam. When all people focus on real estate, I chose business production. When people want to produce big products, I chose products with normal and daily usage. That’s why I developed Diana products for women, children and seniors,” Tu said.
But he stressed that each enterprise should develop its own way.
“All successful enterprises must learn by heart the four core values: what is their product, what is their price, how can they launch promotions, and how can they bring their products to customers. A breakthrough should be applied for each core value,” he said.
Tu also noted that enterprises would gain success if they appeal to the emotions of customers.
“For Diana products, instead of solving the ‘monthly problem’ of women, we made a slogan ‘be proud to be a woman’,” he added.
After selling Diana Unicharm and buying TP Bank, Tu continued applying his “opposite” thinking. To reduce the number of bad loans, his bank promotes retail for individual customers instead of focusing on enterprises.
To reduce expenditures, instead of opening more branch offices, TP Bank launched its “live bank” where customers are served by staff via teleconferences 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
“Three months after we launched the ‘live bank’, the Bank of America opened its first one in the US,” he said.
Hoang Thi Mai Huong, chairwoman of Publicis Vietnam, said that a “breakthrough must stem from right thinking”.
“We can learn responsibility and limit greed. Tu changed from an enterprise to a bank, where he managed other people’s money and had many chances to do business every day,” she said. “From that, Tu could think about starting retail and live banks. That is a breakthrough.”
Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh, deputy general director of Vietjet Air said the company’s breakthrough was when it realised that most Vietnamese had not flown in an airplane prior to opening its low-cost services.
“Now, Vietjet Air would like to have another breakthrough by becoming a ‘customer airline’ where we can meet all customer demands, from insurance, hotel, travel, shopping, and even buying tickets on installments,” she said.
“Enterprises should create demand for customers and work with partners to serve customers better so they have more benefits,” she added.
Hoang Thi Mai Huong said: “With Vietjet Air, the breakthrough was the way they recognised customers and discovered a market, along with combining technology.”
The meeting was the 10th Investment Conference organised by Nhip can Dau tu (Investment Bridge) magazine with the participation of 500 CEOs and leaders of the local business community.