Two Vietnamese among top 25 Asian ‘Power Businesswomen’

Top executives of budget airline Vietjet and dairy firm NutiFood are in Forbes’s 2019 listing of 25 most powerful businesswomen in Asia.

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Vietjet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao talks on a phone after an interview in her office. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

The list of women playing a significant role in shaping Asia’s business landscape includes Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao as the only woman to have started and run her own commercial airline.

Thao is the country’s first self-made woman billionaire with a current net worth of $2.5 billion, the magazine said.

Vietjet, founded in 2007, has now surpassed the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in terms of passengers carried. It has a fleet of 80 aircraft flying to 120 destinations.

"Our strategy is to expand to any regional market within a radius of 2,500 kilometers, so we can create bases that cover half of the world population," Forbes quoted Thao as saying.

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NutiFood CEO Tran Thi Le. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

The other Vietnamese woman in the top 25 list is NutiFood CEO Tran Thi Le, who, with her husband, has turned the company into Vietnam’s leading nutrition products producer, with sales of VND9.5 trillion ($408 million) last year.

NutiFood operates four factories in Vietnam that produce mostly dairy products for baby formula and health supplements. It has recently established a joint venture with Japan’s Asahi to provide baby products in Vietnam under the Wakodo NutiFood brand.

Other women who have made the list are: Jenny Lee, managing partner of U.S.-based GGV Capital; Tan Hooi Ling, Chief Operating Officer of Sinagpore-based Grab; and Anna Fang, CEO of Chinese venture capital ZhenFund.


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