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|Founder Bak Kut Teh plans to expand to Hanoi in post-COVID-19 plans. Photo: the first Bak Kut Teh store in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City|
This is part of Founder Bak Kut Teh’s post-COVID-19 plans. Accordingly, over the next three years, founder Chua Chwee Huatt Chua expressed hope to help Vietnamese partners to develop his brand in Ho Chi Minh City and open more outlets.
The other focus is to look for potential partners to establish the first outlet in Hanoi in the coming year.
With vaccination underway in many Asian countries, the founder is cautiously optimistic that the company will slowly recover from the pandemic. While Singapore is expected to recover by the end of the year, founder Chua is setting sights on growing the brand overseas, especially in Vietnam.
In July 2020, Founder Bak Kut Teh established its first outlet in Vietnam with local partners in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. While the response was good, it is still facing the impact of COVID-19 and the current lockdown.
The Vietnamese partners are optimistic about the brand and have intentions to set up another outlet at Takashimaya Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City when the current restrictions ease in the city.
Chua pointed out, “The key challenge is the acceptance of our Singapore brand. In this respect, we are grateful to have gained the local support and patronage for our brand. “
He further added, “Language is another challenge. Thankfully, we have partners who can communicate in English or Chinese and that helped to set a foot in Vietnam.”
“The menu had to be adjusted to suit the local taste. More vegetable items were also added. We will work with partners to develop a menu that will be most suited to the locals,” he emphasised.
According to the founder, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught him a key lesson, which is when the landscape changes, the methods of maintaining survival or growth must change with them.
COVID-19 is an outlier and companies must craft new strategies and responses to stay in competition and grow in the new normal and become an international company. Founder Bak Kut Teh therefore must work with its overseas partners to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, just as the brand owner deals with the same pandemic in Singapore.
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