DKSH: Keys to success of Swiss market expansion service provider in Vietnam

October 11, 2021 | 09:00
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After three decades of constant growth in Vietnam powered by a locally-focused strategy, an extensive partner network, and a human-centric approach, DKSH continues to set high goals for the future. Jorge Martin-Martinez, vice president, Finance Indochina, cum head of Country Management of DKSH Vietnam, shared with VIR's Chi Cong about the organisation’s keys to success.
DKSH: Keys to success of Swiss market expansion service provider in Vietnam
Jorge Martin-Martinez, vice president, Finance Indochina, cum head of Country Management of DKSH Vietnam

DKSH is currently one of the leading market expansion service providers in diverse markets around the globe. Can you elaborate on the services the company is providing and DKSH’s role in broadening access to quality goods for Vietnamese consumers?

There is a very sophisticated process behind every quality product displayed on supermarkets’ shelves or mom and pop stores. The majority of this process is often invisible to the millions of consumers’ eyes but very crucial in order to provide them easy, timely, and continuous access to a vast variety of top quality, authentic, and innovative products from across the world. DKSH makes it possible while minimising costs across the value chain, expanding the market and increasing sales of high-quality products, thereby benefiting consumers, manufacturers, retailers, and professional establishments alike. In that context, DKSH is the leading market expansion service provider in the business-to-business (B2B) space.

DKSH goes beyond offering individual services to businesses that look for growth in Asia and beyond. We offer tailor-made services adapted to client’s need, comprising a package of comprehensive services covering the whole value chain:

DKSH makes it possible while minimising costs across the value chain, expanding the market and increasing sales of high-quality products, thereby benefiting consumers, manufacturers, retailers, and professional establishments alike.

As for sourcing, we offer our clients access to a global sourcing market for fully compliant innovative and performance enhancing ingredients and chemicals;

With market insights, we generate ideas for business growth, either new product ideas in our innovation centres, market entry and long-term business strategies or omni-channel insights from data and analytics;

Regarding marketing and sales, we open up new revenue opportunities with a complete array of marketing and sales services for client’s products, including e-commerce marketing, and access to all relevant channels to market, customers, and outlets across the Asia-Pacific and Europe;

For distribution and logistics, we deliver clients’ quality products with our unmatched logistics infrastructure and distribution centres to transport, store, and distribute across Asia as well as many additional specialised services;

Regarding after-sales services, we offer servicing throughout the entire lifespan of our clients’ products by our expertly trained teams ensuring top quality standards, fast problem resolution, and the ability to establish a positive product experience.

Our support allows the clients to focus on their core competencies like research and development, global marketing, and production while using DKSH as their trusted partner to outsource marketing, sales, and distribution of their products across Asia.

What do you think is the key to DKSH’s success in Vietnam for the past 30 years?

With 30 years in the market, DKSH Vietnam has been a trusted partner for many clients and strategic partners in the country. I believe that the three key aspects contributing to this success is our deep understanding and respect to the local environment and culture, our extensive distribution network and local partners, and our human-centric approach to business.

At DKSH, we help businesses grow by bridging cultures. Even though we operate on a global scale across continents, we are truly embedded with the local communities. Our business thrives on cultural diversity, as we speak and understand the language of our business partners. At DKSH, Swiss reliability and quality standards and Asian can-do spirit merge to produce solutions that are practical and inventive at the same time.

Throughout the past 30 years, DKSH has been constantly nurturing our extensive distribution network and strategic partnerships in the country. DKSH Vietnam currently operates across the country, serving hundreds of brands, and millions of consumers in Vietnam.

Another winning factor I would identify is the “human-centric” mindset in our business activities. We value our clients, customers, local consumers, suppliers, vendors, and employees as individuals and cater our business operations to their best interests. As one of the longest-running international companies and investors in Vietnam, we are here to open doors for international and local brands to sustainable growth in the country, while enriching people’s lives by providing access to quality products.

Based on DKSH’s experiences, what are the key characteristics of the Vietnamese market and consumers? Is it easy or difficult to win over?

Vietnam is among the most vibrant markets in Asia with a constant year-over-year growth and increasingly diversified demand. Therefore, there is a lot of room for both local and foreign businesses to enter and grow. Vietnamese consumers are becoming more segmented as the average consumption per capita increases and the average age of the population is very young, only 32,9 years old. This requires international brands which enter Vietnam to not only guarantee product quality but also to tailor strategies fitting for each target segment. Vietnam is a hard-to-win-over market but presents significant potential for sustainable growth in the future.

After 30 years, how do you think the Vietnamese market has transformed? What are the opportunities and challenges that DKSH observes in the future?

Throughout 30 years in Vietnam, we have witnessed various amendments in the country’s foreign investment policy that have turned Vietnam into one of the most promising markets in the region. This presents an opportunity for us to grow even further, as more international brands seek opportunities in Vietnam. We at DKSH help these brands to establish and invest in Vietnam, thereby supporting clients in the constant evolving market environment.

Regarding challenges, I always mention the rapidly changing regulatory environment and the competition for the best talent in the market. These challenges also represent opportunities that require swift actions on the ground.

In addition to these common challenges of any emerging market, we also face the challenges from COVID-19. This does not only concern DKSH or Vietnam, but all businesses around the world. To minimise disruption and maintain business continuity, we further advanced our investment in digital technologies to better analyse, forecast, and plan for different scenarios. This allows us to continue supporting our clients while providing the consumers access to quality products in “the new normal”.

DKSH: Keys to success of Swiss market expansion service provider in Vietnam
DKSH contributed medical supplies and personal protection gear for the frontline against COVID-19

As an international company, where does DKSH see itself in the fight against COVID-19 in Vietnam?

With strong Swiss heritage, DKSH has a long tradition of doing business in and with Asia, and is deeply rooted in communities and businesses across Asia, including Vietnam. Throughout 30 years in the country, we have been committed to the sustainable development of local communities. During this unprecedented time, as a longstanding international company, we have joined hands with the government in the battle against COVID-19 via financial aid and medical essentials.

Via the Ministry of Health, we have been donating various medical devices, oximeters, ambulances, masks, as well as personal protective equipment to new field hospitals and frontline public hospitals that are in highly infected areas. These initiatives are part of our commitment to continuously support Vietnam against COVID-19.

What does the 30th anniversary mean to DKSH? What are the company’s goals in the short and long term?

Looking back at our 30-year journey in Vietnam, we are proud to have witnessed numerous achievements, especially how we have managed to overcome challenges. The endless support from our clients, customers, partners, and members of the DKSH team is the essential drive that leads us to further development and success.

We have plans to further invest in our state-of-the-art distribution centres, to upgrade offices, while creating more job opportunities for the locals. Lastly, DKSH Vietnam is ambitious to introduce Vietnamese brands to international markets, helping them navigate and fuel their sustainable growth in the long run. Vietnam has huge potential as an exporter to the world, and DKSH is the ideal partner to help best-in-class, innovative Vietnamese companies in this quest.

By Anh Duc

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