Embedding new cultures to leverage new success

October 13, 2020 | 18:27
Over the past 25 years, FrieslandCampina Vietnam has been posting stellar performances. The company’s managing director Berend Van Wel talked with Thanh Tung about the recipe for success and the innovations utilised to reach further productivity milestones.

What would you say have been the main achievements for the company during its existence?

1513 p17 embedding new cultures to leverage new success
The company’s managing director Berend Van Wel

FrieslandCampina was one of the first multinational dairy companies to come to Vietnam, and has two modern factories in the southern province of Binh Duong and the northern province of Ha Nam. It has greatly contributed to the country’s socioeconomic development and growth of its dairy industry, helping improve the health and nutrition of Vietnamese.

Each day, it sells nearly four million units of products including Dutch Lady milk, Friso baby formula, Fristi nutritious drink, Yomost yogurt, and Hoan Hao and Truong Sinh condensed milk.

FrieslandCampina Vietnam (FCV) also discharges its social responsibilities to develop society. As a result it has been honoured with the Labour Medal, first-class, by the state president in 2016, the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for award from HR Asia Magazine in 2018, and many others. In 2020, FCV was selected in the top 10 best food and beverage companies, and we are also on the list of Profit500 of 2020 announced by VN Report.

What have been some of the cultural processes embedded into the company to bring success today?

Our purpose of nourishing by nature is at the heart of everything we do. All our employees worldwide are motivated to contribute to fulfil that purpose. While we develop affordable nutrition, we push quality, sustainability, and ethical standards in order to impact the future of the planet and people in a positive way.

To win in the market and to reach our ambitions, we need to build and embed a winning performance culture. Our win-win mindset and behaviours consist of the three core building blocks of being purpose driven, commercially obsessed, and having an owners’ mindset, each with the same goal of winning in the market.

How do you optimise the performance in revenue generation of the company, and how do your business remain agile when the markets fluctuate?

We are proud of our work and love to exceed expectations by striving for the highest quality possible for customers, consumers, and member dairy farmers alike. Innovation is key to achieving this, and it’s a strong driver in our daily work. Our people are open, friendly, straight-forward, and pragmatic. Every one of them works as a team player and always seeks collaborations built on trust and respect. That truly reflects our cooperative heritage and fuels the power of “we”. We believe in a rather flat organisational structure where people feel empowered and backed up by strong leaders.

Are there governance practices created to achieve continuity and stability of business growth, and what programmes are in place in developing the right skills and talent?

We have already revamped our monthly governance to be much more agile from a quick understanding at the start of the month, to swift execution and adjustments where needed from then onwards.

In 2020, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of FCV’s Management Trainee Program, and we’re proud of gaining many talents from that. And to continue nourishing those talents, we keep creating opportunities for our people to learn new things. The only way you will learn new things is by doing them and by challenging yourself in the process. You only learn when you make mistakes.

What are the innovative ways/ideas that were developed to increase efficiency and productivity in your business, and how has the company given back to the community?

In today’s world we need to leverage speed, cross-functional working and decisiveness to get results. So we have created cross-functional, independent teams to work on key business opportunities, so-called ‘battles’. They have the full attention and support from the management team, so they can continue to move fast and win. As for our corporate social responsibilities, initiatives are guided by our corporate purpose of “Nurturing by Nature” and by our mission in Vietnam for the country to leap forward and reach higher.

This is done by focusing on several strategic areas – education and development of nutrition for Vietnamese children; improving the lives of Vietnamese, especially farmers, through a dairy development programme and an effective community assistance model; and protecting the environment and developing sustainably.

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