DKSH increases digital preparedness and connectivity

October 19, 2021 | 18:56
Leading Swiss market expansion service provider DKSH has been working hard in Vietnam to ensure the smooth transportation of goods during the pandemic. Jorge Martin-Martinez, country management head of DKSH Vietnam, talked to VIR’s Bich Thuy about its development strategy for improving connectivity as well as the customer experience.

Global troubles this year have interrupted supply chains. What has DKSH been doing to help ensure continuation of supply chains in Vietnam and beyond?

DKSH increases digital preparedness and connectivity
Jorge Martin-Martinez, country management head of DKSH Vietnam

DKSH is a trusted partner of many clients across four industries in Vietnam, and globally: healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods, performance materials, and technology. Our invisible yet vital role is to make sure the essentials are within the consumers’ reach across the country.

We also ensure that technological devices, lab and testing equipment, and much more are delivered to places; and raw materials and ingredients for local production in personal care as well as food and beverages are well received by manufacturers for continuous production.

We understand the importance of our role. That is why we put much of our efforts into following government guidance so that we can ensure business continuity, while making the safety of our employees and our communities a top priority.

We quickly applied the stay-at-work guidelines as required by the government at our business locations, such as distribution centres and crossdocks. Not only that, we have been applying our own Total Quarantine Solution (TQS), which effectively ensures that our locations mirror the quarantine procedures of a hospital during a pandemic.

This is done to prevent infected individuals from entering the facilities and make sure our staff stays healthy and our facilities remain operational at all times. TQS also provides us with the best method of minimising exposure to extended closures of our facilities due to infection or loss of key operational personnel as a result of the mandatory 14-day isolation orders.

With the rise of COVID-19, digitialisation has become an indispensable part of adapting to the new business environment. To facilitate contactless transactions, DKSH has collaborated with HSBC and Payoo to develop the digital solution mPay to help customers make simple payments via bank transfer, while simultaneously linking them to DKSH’s system for easy financial tracking and reconciliation. mPay was first implemented in Vietnam for DKSH’s Consumer Goods Business Unit, and will later be deployed to other markets in the region, such as Cambodia and Indonesia.

What has DKSH Vietnam done to support local healthcare?

DKSH has committed to the sustainable growth and development of the local community in which it operates. When COVID-19 once again hit Vietnam early this year in the north, DKSH donated various medical products, protective equipment, and essential goods to frontline hospitals in Hanoi and the northern province of Bac Ninh via the Ministry of Health.

Later in May, when Ho Chi Minh City became a COVID-19 hotspot, we also supported various local authorities and new field hospitals with not only funds but also essential medical supplies and devices.

The donations extend to not only Ho Chi Minh City but also into other provinces where DKSH operates, like Danang and Binh Duong city. These donations are part of our commitment to continuously support Vietnam against COVID-19.

What is the top focus for DKSH moving into next year and beyond?

For sustainable development in the future, we continue to review and expand our product and service portfolio to bring the most innovative and high-quality products to the country – in line with our mission of enriching people’s lives.

Digitalisation has been a key part of our strategy and how we engage with stakeholders, but the pandemic accelerated our efforts. By continuously adapting to digital developments, we now own better digital platforms, including a more holistic utilisation of our CRM tool, which helps us better engage with our clients even during challenging times.

Our mPay solution has also offered our customers a practical means for cashless transactions, and it was especially useful during times when the country was practicing strict social distancing guidelines. We continue to foresee digital transformation as one of the top priorities, not only at DKSH, but also in various businesses around the world.

Lastly, aligned with the group’s strategy, we are also constantly looking for opportunities to complement our organic growth with mergers and acquisitions with outstanding partners in the country.

What do you think is the next development trend in Asia that would affect your business?

The pandemic has substantially influenced what people value in their lives and thus, their product preferences, especially as middle income grows in the country. We observe that people increasingly value their health and safety, which makes them actively look for products that can support their wellbeing.

Another trend that we expect together with the evolving digitalisation is cross-border e-commerce. It first started to sweep across the globe just before the turn of the century, but it was not until around 2007 that several dominant e-commerce platforms truly ignited the cross-border era in Asia.

Today, Asia is witnessing more and more international merchants and products entering the market, with Southeast Asia leading the way as one of the fastest-growing regions, and the region’s e-commerce market is predicted to exceed $150 billion by 2025.

By Bich Thuy

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