Masan’s masterplan to lure investors

December 09, 2021 | 08:00
The establishment of The CrownX opens the first chapter of Masan’s Point of Life strategy, which aims to serve essential products and services on an integrated offline-to-online platform.
Masan’s masterplan to lure investors
Masan’s mini-mall concept ensures that a range of services will be available

A few weeks ago, South Korean conglomerate SK Group signed a deal with Masan to acquire secondary shares in The CrownX for $340 million. Under the agreement, SK will own a 4.9 per cent stake in The CrownX, while Masan will increase its holding from 84.9 per cent to 85 per cent. In April, SK Group had invested $410 million to scoop up 16.26 per cent of WinCommerce.

Masan aims to close out its fundraising round worth $200-300 million by the end of the year, and potentially increase its own stake in the near future.

Back in May, a consortium comprising Alibaba and Baring Private Equity Asia injected $400 million in The CrownX. The CrownX is a consumer-retail platform that currently consolidates Masan’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and WinCommerce.

Under the agreement, The CrownX would cooperate with Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asia e-commerce platform, to promote the digital transformation and accelerate the offline-to-online integrated retail market in Vietnam.

As a result, Vietnamese consumers will have access to goods that meet the “premium freshness” criteria whether they are shopping at online channels or at its retail chains. Masan targets The CrownX’s online gross merchandise accounting for at least 5 per cent of its total sales in the near future.

Masan gains a competitive edge to sell its goods on online channels thanks to its extensive network of more than 2,500 WinCommerce points of sale and 300,000 traditional grocery stores across the country. With nationwide coverage especially in residential areas, Masan can transform its brick-and-mortar store to accommodate online orders.

Increased convenience

In mid-October, the first WinMart+ store under the new concept officially opened its doors to customers in Cityland urban area in Ho Chi Minh City’s Go Vap district. WinMart+ stores under the mini-mall concept will not only sell food and groceries, but also feature Phuc Long Kiosk (coffee and tea), Phano Pharmacy, and Techcombank. At the mini-mall stores, customers can actively perform a variety of services, such as cash withdrawal, transfer, bill payment, and savings deposit.

Besides offering many services under one roof, Masan also focuses on researching and developing new products. The company has rolled out several convenience products to meet the growing demand for cooking at home during the pandemic. More consumers are opting for convenience food and ready-to-eat meals to reduce preparation time.

In the third quarter of 2021, Masan ran its production line for convenience food products at almost full capacity. Masan’s convenience food industry posted a robust growth rate of 58.1 per cent in the third quarter, and the growth is mainly driven by the stockpiling of convenience products by consumers during the peak of the pandemic. The premium packaged food segment accounts for 51.8 per cent of the revenue while complete home meal solutions contribute 10.5 per cent to the industry’s revenue in the first nine months of 2021. Masan continues to be the leading company in launching home meal products, notably the 7-day CHIN-SU breakfast set.

Nguyen Thuy, an office worker in Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, said, “My husband’s favourite food among the seven dishes is beef noodles. Although it’s instant noodles, the taste is still very good. It offers whole pieces of encrusted beef and supple noodles as well as rich and fragrant broth. My children often eat porridge for breakfast. During the social distancing period, our families can still enjoy familiar dishes at home.”

Thuy only spends 5-10 minutes every morning preparing her favourite dish for her husband and daughters. She also adds fresh vegetables into the instant noodles to supplement fibre for her beloved ones. With a rotating list of seven dishes, she can prepare delicious and nutritious breakfasts without much effort.

Integrating mobile services

Masan has added a new piece to the WinMart/WinMart+ retail chain following the acquisition of Mobicast JSC – a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator with the Reddi brand. The deal not only paves the way for Masan to enter the telecoms sector, but also lays the foundation for the company to accelerate its offline to online transformation. The deal also helps Masan to build an integrated loyalty programme to reduce expenses to attract new customers while bringing more value to customers in the long term.

With the ecosystem, Masan offers customers a one-stop shop for groceries, cosmetics, food and beverages, financial services and much more. Above all, customers can benefit from the integrated loyalty programme that accumulates points and translates them into flexible rewards, saving them 5-10 per cent on their purchases.

Moving forward, Masan will establish a loyal client base by taking advantage of Reddi’s database to give exceptional value to customers. This is the sole ecosystem that caters to all the basic needs of customers from financial and digital services, which account for over 80 per cent of spending among Vietnamese people.

By Thanh Van

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