Creative and agile culture to buttress future development

March 17, 2021 | 11:15
After nearly 20 years of working at Schneider Electric in both Vietnamese and international markets, Dong Mai Lam was recently appointed as cluster president of Schneider Electric Vietnam and Cambodia with hopes to further the company’s evolution, grasp development opportunities, as well as implement their localisation strategies robustly and efficiently. He discusses with VIR the next strategy of Schneider Electric in supporting Vietnam’s firms to accelerate their energy management and automation.

This is the first time that Schneider Electric Vietnam appoints a local cluster president. How does this make you feel?

creative and agile culture to buttress future development
Dong Mai Lam - new cluster president of Schneider Electric Vietnam and Cambodia

I am extremely proud to be the very first Vietnamese cluster president in the Schneider Electric, but let us look at the big picture. Vietnam is one of the key markets of Schneider Electric as the country offers many favourable conditions for fast-paced development. First, Vietnam has political stability, open policies, and a legal framework that support business growth, especially businesses in the industrial sector, technology, and digital transformation. Second, national infrastructure has been continuously improving. Third, the young workforce is highly skilled while labour costs are reasonable. And lastly, Vietnam’s growth rate has been consistently at a positive level, even when the world economy was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the current positive growth and potential prospects, Schneider Electric needs to constantly increase our presence and understanding of the Vietnamese market to deploy, supply, and accompany partners more effectively. The adjustment of the management board is necessary to reinforce and drive benefits for the corporation as it will be easier to localise international trends and solutions that are suitable for Vietnam’s conditions, demands, and adoption levels.

Moreover, Schneider Electric’s customers will be provided with more comprehensive solutions, which help to accelerate digital transformation during the operation and energy management process. At the same time, this is also a milestone affirming the long-term investment commitment of Schneider Electric for the Vietnamese market in the future.

What will be your key responsibilities at Schneider Electric Vietnam?

2020 was a challenging year for the Vietnamese and global economy, as well as Schneider Electric. In 2021, our top priority is to restructure to be a better fit the new working culture and business environment which require proactivity, creativity, empowerment, and trust to accelerate decisions and changes. Besides this, ensuring all employees’ physical and mental health, as well as motivating them to grow another top priority.

In terms of business, Schneider Electric will continuously build, strengthen, and expand its partnership network with distributors, system integrators, panel manufacturers, consultants, contractors, and investors. We will also focus on improving service quality, especially in the logistics and supply chain as the pandemic still threatens disruptions to manufacturing-business activities. Moreover, the business development team will constantly expand our market share by offering solutions, products with appropriate costs, and features that meet the needs of enterprises in the current situation.

In the long run, Schneider will maintain investment focusing on the industrial sector, especially contributing to the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the expansion of our service network, as well as solutions for digital technology, smart factories, e-commerce, and more.

What energy challenges is Vietnam facing now and what strategy will Schneider Electric apply to address the needs of Vietnamese enterprises?

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, energy efficiency at many Vietnamese coal- and oil-fired steam power plants is only around 28-35 per cent, which is 8-10 per cent lower than in developed countries. The efficiency of industrial boilers was only about 60 per cent in 2010 and increased to roughly 70 per cent in 2014.

This rate, however, is still 10 per cent lower than the world’s average and is significantly behind developed countries. The energy consumption per unit produced in many industries in Vietnam is much higher than in more developed counterparts. In April 2019, the government launched the National Digital Transformation programme, which set building a Smart Energy Management system to optimise efficiency without loss and waste as one of its strategic missions.

Therefore, the demand for smart and sustainable energy management will continue to be one of the key priorities of the government as well as manufacturing enterprises. This is completely in line with Schneider Electric's strategic direction.

We are continuously doing strategic consulting, providing an ecosystem of comprehensive services and solutions to meet the energy needs of businesses in manufacturing. In medical facilities, for example, unplanned outages can threaten patient safety, damage reputations, and create financial strains. Our EcoStruxure Power can provide a proven prescription for reliable power. In terms of commercial buildings, EcoStruxure Power solutions like EcoStruxure Facility Expert and EcoStruxure Facility Advisor enable you to gain maximum control over operations and enhanced insights into energy consumption and asset status.

In the coming time, we will focus on resilient industries such as food and beverage, healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods, water and wastewater, data centres, and renewable energy, among others.

creative and agile culture to buttress future development

You were in charge of setting up the first customer care and logistics function of Schneider Electric Vietnam and have years of experience in vibrant markets such as Laos, Myanmar, Australia, and New Zealand. What core values would you say are at the heart of Schneider Electric’s engagement in all these markets?

Every country has its own working culture that necessitates different strategies. However, no matter how unique the indigenous characteristics are, Schneider Electric's core value remains putting the customer at the centre of our decisions to tailor all of our strategies and to satisfy our customers.

The outstanding feature Schneider Electric holds at present and will foster in the future is its creative and agile culture. These were two keywords in 2020 and made all the difference as it was agile businesses that overcame the crisis the most effectively.

Also, Schneider will continuously accelerate digital business and apply deep tech to optimise operational processes while reaching out and accompanying customers on all platforms as well as making more accurate and effective decisions. This is considered one of the top priorities as the COVID-19 pandemic has generally changed customers’ behaviours and demands. Particularly, digital technology will be the key that enterprises need to grasp to adapt and transform in the coming years.

Last but not least are business solutions for end-users. All solutions and strategies centre on effectiveness and suitability to ensure the needs and benefits of customers. As a result, the Schneider team can build practical references and frameworks to serve our customers better.

By Dinh Thuy

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional