AkzoNobel takes bold action to create breakthrough

January 09, 2023 | 15:24
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The year 2022 has seen a number of crises in the global economy. Nguyen My Lan, general director of AkzoNobel Decorative Paints Vietnam, spoke with VIR's Thanh Van about the business opportunities for the company amid the global uncertainties in 2023.
AkzoNobel takes bold action to create breakthrough

What is the most impressive memory for you when looking back on another year of living with the coronavirus?

I am impressed with the positive adaptation. The Vietnamese have been completely proactive with the impact of the pandemic, without letting the virus hinder their lives. Despite COVID-19's lingering effects, its severity is no longer felt in either the micro- or macro-economies. Unfortunately, inflation and global tensions have hit some industries hard, particularly hospitality and real estate.

How is AkzoNobel’s business affected by the slowdown in the hospitality and real estate markets?

The slowdown in the hospitality and real estate markets has dampened the demand for building and painting resorts, houses, and other construction projects. These two markets remained subdued in the second half of 2022, which created a spillover effect on the painting industry. However, AkzoNobel is not entirely dependent on those two markets. We serve more than 100 million local customers so we only feel a minor impact from the slowdown. Indeed, AkzoNobel posted impressive growth last year.

What are the factors driving the company’s growth?

AkzoNobel works as a team with the motto, "do the job to the best of your abilities." In the face of difficult circumstances, we will strive to work harder in order to maintain business continuity and complete our plans.

Because we are targeting local consumers, we have designed activities to provide the most comfortable experience and meet all needs regardless of geographical distance. The most important thing is to elicit the real demands of customers and find companionship with partners and distributors. Focusing on these two pillars helps the company build a strong brand in any situation.

The other equally important pillar is human resource management and development. At AkzoNobel, we manage our activities based on a planned common goal. We empower and encourage other departments to be proactive in their work and share ideas. The executive group will stand by the team to ensure it is on the right track.

We believe there will be no breakthrough if businesses don’t take bold steps. AkzoNobel always considers both opportunities and challenges, taking risks strategically, not blindly.

How does AkzoNobel adapt to the changes in the market?

Consumer demand continues to evolve every year, which leads to changing shopping behaviour. To keep up with the developments, AkzoNobel has researched and partnered with top-notch experts to identify colour trends and provide suitable products to the market.

We create business plans according to each season and each year. Most recently, we launched the Enjoy the Moment campaign to encourage people to build new homes and open their hearts to welcome moments of reunion and friendship.

As people have become more mindful of their spending, the company has made efforts to inspire customers and create business motivation for agents. The AkzoNobel team has maximised their strengths in 2022 to have a positive effect on the market.

Aside from impressive business results, AkzoNobel completed the Cu Lao Xanh lighthouse renovation project in 2022. How do you feel about this?

AkzoNobel Vietnam is proud of its mission to renovate both lighthouses in Vietnam and important architectural works in general. It is difficult to engage in this activity without perseverance and support from relevant stakeholders.

The outcomes of those struggles are quite sweet though. The renovation of the Cu Lao Xanh lighthouse took place in a very hazardous location in Quy Nhon. We have received enthusiastic support from both management organisations and partners.

The short film titled Mat Bien (Eyes of the Sea) takes inspiration from the lives of coastal people and records the lighthouse renovation process. The film has received a warm response, with over 13 million views. The public's support gives us more confidence to pursue our mission and we will continue this community activity in the coming time. We have identified that sustainability is the most crucial goal on our development journey.

With the People.Planet.Paint approach, AkzoNobel continues to roll out painting and coating products that contribute to the protection of the planet in the future. The company is committed to taking action to combat climate change, promote a circular economy, and protect the physical and mental health of customers.

What is the company’s business plan for 2023?

AkzoNobel’s team will continue to unlock our full potential at every moment. As the market will experience more difficulties in 2023, we will focus on inspiring and accompanying users to maintain our market share. I believe that challenges always present opportunities so we need to be well-prepared to grab them.

AkzoNobel stays committed to sustainable innovations AkzoNobel stays committed to sustainable innovations

AkzoNobel delivers sustainable and innovative solutions that customers, communities, and the planet increasingly rely on. VIR’s Etienne Mahler spoke to Maximilien Schréder, regional commercial director for Powder Coatings in South Asia at AkzoNobel, about the company’s sustainability approach and the contribution of its innovations to the greater goal.

AkzoNobel joins hands to make life more inspiring AkzoNobel joins hands to make life more inspiring

In early October, just a few days after Typhoon Noru made landfall, the people of Quy Nhon were surprised to see Cu Lao Xanh lighthouse wearing a new look. Nguyen Phi Anh Dao, head of Marketing, Decorative Paints at AkzoNobel Vietnam, shared the journey and the message behind the renovation of the Cu Lao Xanh Lighthouse.

Connect with nature to enjoy the moment Connect with nature to enjoy the moment

In November 2022, AkzoNobel's Dulux paint brand announced the "Enjoy the Moment" campaign to with four new inspiring and trending colour palettes for 2023. This is one of the world's leading global paint and coatings company's annual activities to inspire a living space makeover at the end of the year. Nguyen Phi Anh Dao, ead of Marketing, Decorative Paints at AkzoNobel Vietnam spoke with VIR about the importance and target of the campaign.

By Thanh Van

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