Vu Thi Ly Ly, Tran Thi Hue and Nguyen Thu Thao, all 24, received VND100 million (US$4,400) for their project on oil essence and products from nature in the Luong Van Can Talent Awards, held in October 2017.
The competition is named after an eponymous Vietnamese businessman and aimed at selecting potential entrepreneurs with auspicious plans.
|From right: Tran Thi Hue, Vu Thi Ly Ly, and Nguyen Thu Thao (first left) stand on the opening day of their showroom of essential oil in Hanoi.
The women come from different educational backgrounds and regions in Vietnam: Ly is a law graduate born in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam; Hue is a computer engineer from Nam Dinh, a coastal province of northern Vietnam; and Thao is a chemistry graduate from Tuyen Quang Province, northeast of the country.
Hue represented the group to join the competition.
Lai Minh Duy, a judge in the contest, highly praised their project since they created designs living up to the competition’s expectations and their oil essence products were tried-and-trusted, sold successfully online previously.
Another judge, Dinh Ha Duy Trinh, was impressed by the project’s commercial effectiveness.
“In comparison with other teams, who only proposed ideas, you’ve even carried out the project and attracted customers,” Trinh told the group.
The women have used the prize money to open in Hanoi a showroom where visitors can witness the process of distilling oil essence, savor perfume and drink tea.
They have rolled out around 20 types of essential oil, with a strong focus on lemon grass, cinnamon, broadleaved paperbark, and pomelo peel.
During the last Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival, they designed sets of wooden old-looking boxes and essential oil bottles, which ran out rapidly due to multiple orders.
Their project will still specialize in essential oil while devoting the greatest attention to core products, not all.
In terms of the long-term strategy, they plan to divide the business’s operations into trading and service, in order to build a more professional ‘experience service’ and clearer management system, Hue said.
“The difference that we’re trying to make is offering experience. We sell products indirectly and form a space of values for customers. It’s their choice to buy or not,” Thao said.
She added that the distinctive feature of their business is the ‘experience service.’
With Ly’s assistance, Hue had established a technology company in her student time to realize her ambition of doing business, before meeting Thao, who worked in essential oil.
They traveled to the mountains to have the hands-on experience of extracting the substance.