Royal Helmet: The success story of an always-ahead manufacturer

December 27, 2021 | 15:00
From being the pioneer of the Vietnamese helmet industry to riding the cross-border e-commerce wave, MAFA VN tells the tale of an always-ahead helmet manufacturer with its key brand Royal Helmet.

In 2007, Vietnam reintroduced mandatory motorcycle helmet use on all roads, making an item that were often dismissed colloquially as “rice cookers” become indispensable. The helmet-wearing rate soared from 6 to 90 per cent overnight, creating huge demand. However, a previously unregulated market dominated by substandard helmets caused citizens to purchase low-quality products that provide inadequate protection.

That was when Royal Helmet came in. Guided by the motto of “building brand from true values”, MAFA VN was determined to fill the gap for quality "Made in Vietnam" helmets. By making Royal Helmet a strong brand in the domestic market, then bringing it overseas through cross-border e-commerce, MAFA is helping to promote Vietnamese brands in the global scene while realising its core mission of protecting the lives of road users.

A head start in helmet manufacturing industry with Royal Helmet

To quickly meet the demand for quality "Made in Vietnam" helmets at the time, plastic manufacturer MAFA made a strategic business decision to become a helmet producer. With all the physical and human resources available to launch, in 2008, MAFA introduced the first and only closed manufacturing system in Vietnam and positioned its key brand Royal Helmet as a quality, trendy brand for Vietnamese consumers.

Royal Helmet: The success story of an always-ahead manufacturer
Mai Van Thuan, general director of Royal Helmet

True to its claims, MAFA brought to the table climate-appropriate, protective, and fashionable helmets since its establishment. Quality-wise, the helmets were made from high-quality, durable, and light-weight ABS plastic, which possessed great impact resistance and shock absorption for extra protection, meeting the newly-established national standard. Furthermore, Royal Helmet understood that the key to turning helmets from an inconvenience to a suitable item is design. The right combination of high protection and diverse, trendy, fashionable designs make Royal Helmet’s products widely loved by Vietnamese consumers.

Throughout the process, Royal Helmet encountered its own obstacles. The primary challenge MAFA had to tackle was how to set itself apart from existing foreign brands on the market with high quality and fashionable design. Such ambition necessitated the effective allocation of human resources and budget for technology upgrades, and MAFA was quick to respond. Equipped with machinery imported from world-class suppliers, its two factories have a combined capacity of over 15,000 products per day for Royal Helmet.

MAFA VN’s sustained efforts came to fruition. Affiliated with 2,000 stores nationwide, Royal Helmet has been awarded the Vietnamese High-quality Goods label for several years and become a beloved brand name. The brand’s three-quarter coverage helmets, M139 and M20C, are currently two of the best-selling helmets in the market. Moreover, the quality of Royal Helmet’s products has undergone strict regulations to be certified by other major markets like the EU and the US.

Staying ahead of e-commerce wave as a proudly-Vietnamese manufacturer

To extend the domestic success of Royal Helmet, MAFA had painted the vision of cross-border e-commerce years before it gained momentum in Vietnam. MAFA had been researching and acquiring technology, training dedicated teams to operate said technology to applying for quality certifications in overseas markets. Then came unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, disrupting MAFA’s original equipment manufacturer operation to supply for foreign clients in India, Australia, the US, the EU, the Philippines, and Nepal. Not discouraged by the sudden change, MAFA quickly jumped on the e-commerce wave with the strong foundation established earlier.

Royal Helmet: The success story of an always-ahead manufacturer

To realise their vision, MAFA immediately chose Amazon Global Selling as their partner with the strong belief that Amazon has all the resources and tools needed to facilitate their export journey. Among brands owned by MAFA, Royal Helmet was chosen to be the pioneer to join Amazon. With the ability to satisfy both practical and expressive requirements of customers, Royal Helmet has what it takes to stand out in the competitive global playground.

As the first Vietnamese helmet manufacturer to join Amazon Global Selling, MAFA faced new opportunities and challenges. Thankfully, from the early stages, MAFA was closely accompanied by the Amazon Global Selling team. Despite challenges, Royal Helmet successfully managed to present the first products on Amazon in 2021. “From the moment Royal Helmet first registered as a selling partner on Amazon, Amazon Global Selling team has been there for us. Without the support, it would have taken much longer for us to carry out all the paperwork and legal procedures to start exporting via Amazon,” said Mai Van Thuan, general director of Royal Helmet.

Another noteworthy support that greatly benefits Royal Helmet in its export journey is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). “With Amazon’s FBA service, our products will be ensured the original quality through the strict and thorough logistics systems and will be delivered safely to our international customers. Amazon has made our international-market expanding journey a lot easier and faster,” Thuan continued.

Not only can Royal Helmet store their products in 185 Amazon fulfilment centres around the world, they can also save the hassle of managing products from across the globe, instead directing their efforts to gain a foothold in the global scene.

Royal Helmet: The success story of an always-ahead manufacturer

Cross-border e-commerce presented a golden opportunity for MAFA to expand production and make a mark in the international market. Since its launch on Amazon, the sales of Royal Helmet have consistently risen and received positive feedbacks from global customers.

To prepare for the scenario where international e-commerce channels account for 90 per cent of their revenue in the near future, MAFA has invested in a new factory and is also preparing to construct another one with higher capacity. This strategic investment has created lots of jobs for Vietnamese workers in the region, which once again affirms the economic and societal rationale behind Vietnamese brands branching out to the global market.

Motivated by the nods of approval from US customers, MAFA aims to continue expanding its business to the EU and Australia via Amazon in the next step, besides securing its leading position in the Vietnamese helmet industry. Starting from utilising marketing tools provided by Amazon, Royal Helmet will double down on its marketing strategies to boost sales to new heights and introduce new products that cater to the specific needs of foreign customers.

MAFA VN believes it possesses the technological capabilities required to compete with foreign companies, and so do a lot of strong Vietnamese brands. Via Amazon, local manufacturers are empowered to strive in the global setting and help to promote "Made in Vietnam" quality labels.

By Thanh Van

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