Recently, I was surprised to hear that journalist Dang Soan, director of the Southern Branch of VTC10 NetViet, a television channel of VTC Television that is mainly for overseas Vietnamese, had announced her resignation.
A difficult decision
|Dang Soan was proud to have worked as a journalist for about 10 years before starting up a business
Dang Soan confided that she had to think twice before making her final decision.
“It was not easy for me to give up the job that I had loved for about 10 years,” she said. “I had the chance to work in such an active environment that enabled me to develop my journalism skills and to motivate me to cherish my dream.”
She recalled being fortunate enough to work as a collaborator for VTV6, a newly-established VTV channel for youngers, in Ho Chi Minh City more than 10 years ago when she was in her first year as a student.
Her passion and love for journalism had developed after she worked for the Television Board under Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Marketing Saigon) Newspaper and then moved to VTC10 NetViet where she spent the majority her time working as a journalist.
Anchoring the daily 30-minute programme ‘Người Việt bốn phương’, known as ‘Vietnamese people from around the globe’ in English, at VTC10 NetViet gave her the perfect chance to travel around the world and meet with many Vietnamese intellectuals and businesspeople residing abroad.
Such rich experiences prompted her to come to an important but difficult conclusion. It was then she first had to the idea of giving up her job and starting a new business.
Passion for connections
|Soan Dang says she admires Tran Ngoc Phuc, Chairman of Metran Japan Company (second from left), for his devotion to work
At this point, Dang Soan has travelled to approximately 20 countries, helping to open up unique bonds that she described as “dream encounters”.
“I still remember a meeting with Tran Ngoc Phuc, chairman of Metran Japan Company, a firm that manufactures ventilators and many other medical supplies. This is an exceptional businessman who was received by Emperor Akihito in 2012 and awarded the Sunrise Medal by the Emperor in 2018. His company also donated ventilators to Vietnam to help the health sector treat novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.”
Dang Soan was the first Vietnamese reporter to compile a 30-minute profile of the businessman in a documentary, portraying him as a humble and warm entrepreneur, while his clear view of business ethics deeply impressed her.
In 2017 she was tasked with creating a documentary about Nguyen Duc Trung, a visually-impaired Vietnamese born American who had been forced to overcome numerous life challenges to create "extraordinary things from a brave heart.”
She travelled the length and breadth of the United States for a total of 22 days and spent up to three months putting the finishing touches on the 30-minute documentary. Her efforts were rewarded when her film was granted the VTC10 Work of the Year.
“This was a great award in recognition of the endevours of myself and the crew. Yet, the greatest value of the programme, to me, is not any prize, but the answer to the question: Does the heart really create extraordinary values in this life?”
|Dang Soan and her crew at work at Stanford University
Showcasing Kien’s story as well as visiting the US itself gave Dang Soan plenty of inspiration. In 2018, she decided to return to the US where she spent a total of three months travelling to roughly 30 cities across 10 states. She visited many prestigious American universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, and Yale, in addition to a number of famous American technology firms based in Silicon Valley in order to produce documentaries about Vietnamese start-ups located there.
“Later on, I had the chance to come back to the US again, and through these trips I had learned how to be independent and how to stand on my own feet. I was aware that confronting challenges helped me discover the hidden power of humans.”
Aspiration to go "into the world" with Vietnam
Ahead of her 30th birthday this year, Dang Soan thought deeply about her upcoming journey and came to a surprising but important decision about her life in January. She decided to quit her job at VTC10 NetViet and start up her own business.
“I received a lot of well-paid offers from other media organisations, but I refused them all. I would like to live with my own personality and continue to aspire to be myself. If I continue to work as a journalist, I would stay at VTC10 NetViet,” she confided.
|Soan Dang and her crew shoot a video promoting culture and tourism in Long An
Setting up S-World Multimedia during the COVID-19 outbreak was a great challenge for her, and many people though it was a crazy idea to invest in such a risky project. But Dang Soan remained calm and said, “opportunities exist within risks”, and, “Vietnam will have more opportunities to step out into the world”.
According to Dang Soan, no matter the position a person holds, that person must promote the organisation’s values of sincerity, understanding, perseverance, creativity, and distinctiveness. At S-World Multimedia therefore, she is building a company culture based on those core values.