Herbalife's success premised on improving nutrition for a healthier future

December 27, 2022 | 08:00
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Together with its distributors, Herbalife provides personalised solutions to help customers achieve their nutrition and wellness goals, contributing to a stronger and healthier generation of Vietnamese. Stephen Conchie, Herbalife's regional president for Asia-Pacific and China, told VIR’s Hara Nguyen about the company's journey in Vietnam and the positive impacts that they are driving for people and the planet.
Herbalife's success premised on improving nutrition for a healthier future
Stephen Conchie, Herbalife regional president for Asia-Pacific and China
Herbalife Vietnam has marked 13 years of presence in the country this year. What company achievements have impressed you most?

It has been an incredibly successful journey. We opened our first Vietnam office in 2009, and today we have expanded the operations of our business to seven locations across the country with more than 160 employees. We have become one of the 500 largest companies in Vietnam, and a market leader in the local direct sales industry.

I am particularly impressed by the passion and dedication of our distributors, who not only bring our nutrition products into communities, but also provide one-on-one coaching to help customers to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Vietnamese people are increasingly health conscious, due to significant lifestyle and dietary changes in recent years.

Together with our distributors, we provide personalised solutions to help them achieve their nutrition and wellness goals, to contribute to building a stronger and healthier generation of Vietnamese.

Our nutrition support for Vietnam sports is another remarkable achievement we take pride in. We started our long-term partnership with Vietnam Olympic Committee and Vietnam Paralympic Association in 2012, and became the official sponsor of Vietnam's national football teams and the official supporter of the AFF Cup in 2021. As part of our commitment to such partnerships, we provide Vietnamese athletes with sports nutrition products, nutrition training, awards, and incentives.

Through the course of our nutrition partnership with Vietnamese sports, we have witnessed incredible breakthroughs made by athletes in both domestic and international arenas. We are honoured to be a part of that fantastic journey and will continue to help athletes maximise the benefits of sports nutrition to achieve optimal performance.

I am also proud of the recognition we have received for our business achievements, product quality, and contributions to the local community. A few accolades we have won include Top 100 Sustainable Companies awards by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Golden Product for Public Health awards from the Vietnam Association of Functional Food.

How has Herbalife Vietnam performed this year, given the fact 2022 has been a tough year for businesses around the globe?

Our business in Vietnam continued to keep strong momentum this year. Vietnam is our best-performing market in the Asia Pacific and is a crucial contributor to the overall performance of the company globally.

One of the most important factors behind the sustained momentum is the trust of local consumers in our high-quality, science-based nutrition products. As Vietnamese people put greater emphasis on personal wellness and fitness, we are well-positioned to address their needs through our broad range of nutrition products.

Currently, in Vietnam, we offer eight product categories – Health Supplement/Weight Management, Immune Health, Heart Health, Digestive Health, Bone and Joint Health, Eye Health, Fitness and Energy, and Skin and Hair Health – to ensure that everyone can find a solution that works for their lives and helps them achieve their health and wellness goals.

The strong performance can also be attributed to our business model, which is based on the entrepreneurial strength of our Vietnamese distributors, and their ability to adapt their approach at a localised level to add value to their customers.The benefits our distributors bring to their customers in terms of education, support, and coaching are invaluable. We call it the distributor difference, and this is what sets us apart.

What preparations have helped Herbalife Vietnam overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic?

In Vietnam, we managed to transition seamlessly from physical meetings to online, which allowed us to reach larger audiences, as well as provide positive online experiences for thousands of our distributors and customers. Our offline transactions are supplemented by digital platforms, which enabled our distributors to place orders online or buy products through M-kiosks, make payments through digital banking transactions, and enjoy home delivery for purchased products within 24 hours.

Globally, we are making a significant investment to transform the digital capabilities of the business. In August, our headquarters in the US announced $400 million investment to build Herbalife One, a new digital transformation platform that will create a simplified and integrated experience for distributors and their customers around the world. It will be built around new technologies and streamlined processes to meet the needs of our distributors as modern entrepreneurs, enabling them to best support customers and communities along their wellness journeys.

Herbalife Vietnam has signed an MoU with the Institute of Preventative Medicine and Public Health at Hanoi Medical University. Could you elaborate on this?

We are delighted with this new initiative. Based on a common goal of building a healthier population in Vietnam, we will work in partnership with the institute to develop talent for the nutrition industry, conduct scientific studies on health, and impart nutrition knowledge to the public.

As part of this newly forged partnership, we have awarded scholarships to 20 students and resident doctors majoring in nutrition at the institute . We hope that the scholarship programme will provide practical support to encourage the young talents to strive for excellence in the field of nutrition, and they will then apply their expertise to help improve the health and well-being of the Vietnamese in the years to come.

What are the key priorities on your corporate social responsibility and sustainability agenda?

Our global responsibility strategy is focused on supporting healthy communities, economic empowerment, and a thriving planet. We are committed to improving lives and communities through the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation, helping to eradicate hunger through our global initiative 'Nutrition for Zero Hunger'; helping expand economic opportunities to those in underrepresented communities; reducing our use of plastic; achieving net-zero emissions by 2050; and supporting distributors’ efforts to implement sustainable practices in their businesses.

Our distributors in Vietnam are front and centre of our global responsibility efforts to support a thriving planet and communities in need. Our 'Go Green' initiative has resulted in the reduction of 50 tonnes of plastic in 2021 and the recycling of over 440,000 used Herbalife Nutrition product canisters in 2022. In collaboration with our distributors, we have established seven Casa Herbalife programmes in the country, providing nutrition, care, and education for around 1,100 children in need.

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By Nguyen Huong

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