Looking ahead to a bumper business year

January 02, 2023 | 16:37
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To mark the new year, business leaders share their stories about how their businesses have overcome a challenging 2022, as well as their development plans and expectations for the next 12 months and beyond in Vietnam.
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Looking ahead to a bumper business year, source:freepik.com
Ruby Hoang, Chief growth officer Cho Tot
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Consumers tend to retain cash, control their expenditures and increase savings. This consumption trend has emerged as both a challenge and an opportunity for Cho Tot, as the platform enables Vietnamese to afford the items they need from a car or motorbike to rent, a mobile phone at a good price, or to sell unused items quickly to gain a little bit of money.

In 2022, we managed to achieve healthy growth by strengthening committed human resources and enhancing technology to reinforce an effective horizontal marketplace with strong verticals – property, cars, goods, and blue-collar jobs to empower users to buy and sell easy and fast.

Cho Tot will continue to accompany every Vietnamese in each stage of life to start buying, selling, and providing services by offering a reliable and smart technology platform that connects diversified needs. We will achieve this via deep verticalisation of the aforementioned product portfolios via user-centric product development, big data utilisation, and strategic go-to-market plans.

We will also work on enhancement of a trusted marketplace where consumers can confidently trade used items with peace of mind thanks to increasing certified inventory. In particular, we have built up a strong inspection capacity and buyers can now purchase phones and cars certified by Cho Tot at a reasonable price.

Jinwoo Song, Managing director, Baemin Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
The government has strived to create good conditions for every business through the pandemic. They did this mainly by prioritising rider-partners to get vaccinated to continue their daily job. Regarding rider-partner’s health conditions, the government also accompanied enterprises in providing free frequent testing.

Moreover, the government introduced various measures to support enterprises for business recovery and employees for social security. It published various policies concerning tax breaks and exemptions, and unemployment salary for employees that stimulate our company to gradually recover and continue to develop. In addition, the government, ministries, and agencies also determine the digital economy as a growth engine and create mechanisms to promote e-commerce and foster digital innovations.

With the global economic crisis, not only food delivery apps but also other industries will be impacted in different aspects. This change requires every enterprise to quickly adapt and modify the current business to fit the situation. This trend will create opportunities for us to review the current business operation and lead to more sustainable development in the near future.

Towards becoming a socially responsible corporation, we also cooperate with various organisations to implement many programmes and community projects on environmental protection, consumer protection, and philanthropy.

Saroj Chayavivatkul, Member, Board of Directors TBC-Ball Beverage Can Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
It has been a good year for our aluminium can business. Consumer demand has bounced back to the pre-pandemic period. Vietnamese consumers enjoy drinking to reconnect and celebrate special occasions.

We have recently launched a slim-size can to create more sustainable packaging choices for our customers and to respond to market demand in a health-conscious segment.

Throughout 2022, we are fortunate to witness the government’s effort to drive a circular economy and fight climate change. We genuinely believe that for the sustainable growth of the country, the private and public sectors need to work together to improve and protect our economy and environment. We were honoured to launch a circular recycling programme for aluminium cans with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

For 2023, it will be an essential year to launch detail of a law on extended producer responsibility. The law is a significant driver in improving Vietnam’s waste management and circularity. We hope that the law will support and move producers and consumers to choose products that are environmentally friendly. As we are a sustainable-focus company, we commit to supporting the government and business community for a greener and better Vietnam.

Thanh Nguyen, CEO, Anphabe
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
In 2023, companies must cultivate an agile mindset in order to quickly adapt to the changing environments and evolving market needs. There will undoubtedly be many changes, which is why companies should focus not only on business efforts, but also on the morale of their workforce.

To address this, companies need to prioritise employee care and engagement. There are more practical ways than ever to ensure your employees’ wellbeing. However, whatever strategy you choose, keep the spiritual value of care in mind.

Employees are more likely to be happy if they feel cared for, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or financially. Take care of your people and they’ll take care of your business.

Kiet Pham, Vice president, Zoomcar
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Last year was a challenging one that forced businesses to have a hard look on how to learn and adapt fast to such uncertainty. The government’s pivot from full pandemic restrictions back to normality was a great help to businesses like ours and overall Vietnam’s recovery. Vietnam’s credit rating has been upgraded, and people are looking here as a destination for investment, tourism, and settling down.

Zoomcar Vietnam not only overcame the challenges, but also reached the remarkable milestone of reaching the break-even point after one year of operation. Throughout the first year, zero major accidents/incidents were recorded in the thousands of bookings served. We also secured strong positive feedback from guests who love the experience using the Zoomcar service, as well as from hosts who have been earning extra income from their idling cars. We will continue to laser-focus on improving our products and services. We also plan to expand to Hanoi and then Danang.

This will help bring us a step closer to our mission of creating localised solutions to address pressing challenges linked to urban mobility in Vietnam.

Ywert Visser, Country director in Vietnam The Schippers Group
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
We received our investment licence here in September 2022. Since then, we have made big steps and closed the year much better than expected. Goals we expected to reach in the middle of 2023 are now already achieved.

Given the results, we have a very positive outlook for 2023. Vietnam is a big country and local partners are essential to service our customers, who operate farms all over the country. We are working with great partners in Vietnam and the entrepreneurial mindset of Vietnamese helps us to overcome challenges efficiently.

We also receive great support from the Vietnamese government, in particular the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

We see that new policies are developed to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance. Eighty per cent of antibiotics is used in animal husbandry. Improving hygiene management in livestock farming is one of the fastest ways for Vietnam to reduce this resistance.

Together with our local partners, we empower Vietnamese livestock farmers to optimise farm hygiene, eliminating the need for antibiotics while increasing animal health and profitability.

Tharabodee Serng Adichaiwit, Vice chairman Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam General manager Bangkok Bank in Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Everything looked so good until the start of Q3 in 2022, when inflation jumped and interest rates rose sharply. The VND also devalued in early Q4 and export orders showed slower growth. We feel that this year will be even more of a challenge than the past two years.

Calm and caution is required. We must try to reduce debt as much as possible due to high interest rates and hedge FX risks as much as we can.

According to the result of our survey with members during October-November, we found that half of those that conducted business in 2020 found it harder than 2021, but 80 per cent have a positive view on the medium- and long-term of Vietnam’s economy for possible expansion. Around 53 per cent said they plan to increase their investment in 2023.

Raising input costs, supply chain interruptions and expenses, and global geopolitical concerns were cited as key risks in the survey. The respondents believe that four key components of a roadmap for Vietnam’s sustainable growth including the country’s status as a growing market, growth driven by investment in energy and transportation infrastructure, governmental measures like updated regulations and investment promotion, and Vietnam’s global integration through trade agreements.

I think it is good to clean up the corporate bond market, now which account for 15 per cent of GDP, than wait to do when it grows to over 50 per cent of GDP, as that would be too late. This will pave the right fundamental for bond market to grow healthily in the future.

Most investors are quite satisfied with the government. However, some still wish to see the government to take faster action, especially in terms of the Power Development Plan VIII, the revised feed-in tariffs, and measures to support pending wind farms, among other issues.

An Nguyen, Managing director, Luxoft Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
The success of Vietnam in 2022 was thanks to the sound leadership of the Party and the effective management of the state, especially for its timely reaction and adjustment to the pandemic, which enabled economic activities to return to normal.

In recent years, the government has spared no effort to accelerate national digital transformation and proactively implemented supportive policies, which have already yielded positive results. Vietnam now has the fastest-growing digital economy in Southeast Asia.

Digital economy and digital transformation are still an inevitable trend in Vietnam and many countries around the world in the current context, but in order to develop this, Vietnam must overcome a number of challenges, especially in terms of human resources.

This digital transformation is creating significant changes toward a remote working model and borderless workplace. To solve the problem of shortage and weakness of digital human resources, the government should effectively utilise the support of digital technology in education, and promote the development of the e-university model.

Besides that, it is necessary to strengthen the state’s preferential policies, such as tax incentives, to attract more investment in this field as well as promoting domestic enterprises to invest more heavily in digital transformation.

Shon Young IL, Chairman, Korea Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Vietnam, which had been growing rapidly despite various difficulties due to post-pandemic demand, is showing a contraction in employment and consumption due to a decrease in export orders since July.

In terms of consumption, retail service sales in November increased by only 2.6 per cent compared to the previous month, and if the 11-month increase in 2019 is analysed excluding the effects of the pandemic, only 82.5 per cent has recovered so far.

Exports in 2022 increased by 10.6 per cent compared to the previous year, but this is the effect of a surge in exports in the first half of the year, and in November, exports decreased by 4 per cent compared to the previous month and decreased by 8 per cent compared to the previous year. In addition, this contraction in exports has already led to drastic reductions in manpower across the manufacturing/service industries since October.

Under these circumstances, the economic challenge for 2023 is to focus efforts on minimising job instability and social unrest due to economic contraction, and at the same time, it is necessary to prepare for a surge in international demand that will reappear around the end of 2023 after the economic contraction.

The response to these two problems is to expand the manufacturing base and create jobs through the inflow of foreign capital from the manufacturing industry that left China and entered Vietnam.

Continuous administrative reform and revision of the law are routine efforts. In 2023, governments and businesses must work together to seize the opportunities presented by multinational manufacturing’s exit from China. In this context, a practical solution to the issue of work permits and visas for foreigners, which has recently been a problem, is the first step in removing the biggest indirect barrier to inducing new investment.

Joseph A. Perucca, General director GIVI Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
Certainly 2022 was a particular year in which the many critical issues have put a strain on many companies, such moments are generated by socioeconomic and cultural situations, but unfortunately these special circumstances happen in the life cycle of a company that has the characteristics of operating in a global market.

These conditions should be evaluated accurately in advance, based on the foresight that arises from the baggage of a long experience of knowledge and operation of its own sector.

Because of several favourable circumstances due to our nature as an international company, we were not only able to amortise potential and objective difficulties, but we were able to react increasing investments in both machinery and human resources – implementations that today are giving their results, feeding new production lines of the company and increasing the enthusiasm at all levels of our staff.

The expectations of government activity able to support businesses are relative in general to all the bureaucratic processes, in the greater automation and simplification of all the processes for import-export activities. A less penalising and nit-picking vision could make production and operations less complicated.

Borders and customs systems define a critical step for the result of a manufacturing company, but too often they are complicated mechanisms. It is forgotten that import or export of products is a fundamental phase in which all efforts and production results meet and allow a company like ours to reinvest and produce wealth here.

Katsuhiko Usui, General director Sapporo Vietnam
Looking ahead to a bumper business year
In 2022, Sapporo Vietnam has made efforts to implement a centralised business strategy, thereby including both export and import segments. We expect to exceed the targets in both sales and profit.

In the domestic market, we implemented a hyper-concentration strategy, focusing on draft beer in the restaurant channel and beer cans in the modern channel. With that effort, our draft beer market share has increased significantly in key areas in major cities. As for canned beer, with the launch of the new Sapporo Premium Beer 100, we aim to build a more smart drinking culture among customers.

We have prepared for the mid-term and long-term business plan to 2026, aiming to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sapporo Group that year. This is an essential milestone and we are working hard to enhance our business. Towards the mission of contributing to enrich Vietnamese cuisine culture, Sapporo Vietnam will focus the strategic direction with three main points.

The first aspect is focusing on activities to increase sales, of which the main product is still draft beer. Second is to achieve our profit goal, in which we will strengthen cost structure reform across all operations. Third is to elevate the brand value of Sapporo Premium Beer, aiming to become a beer that customers love and choose to enjoy with delicious dishes.

We see that the government has made many decisions to help stabilise the macroeconomy and boost consumption in the past year. Going into 2023, we expect more solutions to help promote the development resources of businesses, and at the same time stimulate the growth of the consumption and retails.

Encouraging signs for 2023 Encouraging signs for 2023

A rebound in trade and local production is expected to drive the Vietnamese economy in the year ahead following positive growth in 2022.

Focus on big investors making a difference Focus on big investors making a difference

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