TBS Group shares its vision: “If the world can, we can”

January 14, 2020 | 14:00
Celebrating its 30 years of establishment and development, TBS Group has become one of the 10 most powerful brands in Vietnam and has been awarded the First-Class Labour Medal.
tbs group shares its vision if the world can we can

In fashion manufacture, TBS has exported its products to dozens of countries around the world, reaching an annual capacity of 50 million pairs of shoes, 40 million pairs of soles, and 30 million bags.

Furthermore, the group has been named in the top 10 port and logistics companies, and their golf course Montgomerie Links has secured top billing in Vietnam.

TBS’ achievements are a testament to their remarkable efforts to integrate deeply into the global value chain, following the leadership of chairman Nguyen Duc Thuan and the Board of Directors, who are determined to enable the Vietnamese to become the leading player in their home country.

tbs group shares its vision if the world can we can
Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman and CEO of TBS Group, has worked tirelessly through his can-do attitude

Creating opportunities

Thirty years ago, the group began its footwear business amid difficulties, with almost no professional knowledge and management science, lacking both materials and equipment.

To gain a competitive advantage right from the beginning, TBS made use of any resource available to build their first shoe factory in 1992. The fighting spirit that runs in the blood of Thuan and his co-workers has given birth to an organisation that is always ready to cope and overcome hardships.

In the first few years, the factory went into operation with orders to process women’s shoes. CEO Thuan noticed the added value per unit for the finished product was not high – “only a few US cents per pair.” He inquired, “How do international brands overcome this challenging first stage and develop sustainably?”

Step by step, TBS successfully persuaded the world’s top three brands to sign a contract with them on sports shoes. Access to international brands, participate in trade fairs, and visits to their workshops, the research and development (R&D) centre marked a turning point in TBS’ thinking and development strategies.

Ever since, the company’s leadership has adopted the global vision of the fashion industry and charted out the way for Vietnamese people to increase the labour value and master the production chain.

tbs group shares its vision if the world can we can
TBS Group’s laboratory was certified by SATRA, a prestigious footwear research and testing association

The global value chain

In 1999, TBS built its first product development centre. By the end of 2019, the group built and operated five R&D centres, serving each of its international customers.

Thuan and TBS management are proud of it. “Every pair of shoes or bag we have for years are exported to 60 countries around the world, crystallising the value of Vietnamese gray matter.”

In 2000, the company took its first step into the real estate industry by developing a residential area for the group’s employees, setting up a realty company, aiming at investment in building ports, and logistics.

Preparations have been made since Thuan surveyed the logistics industry of Germany in 1998. Since then, TBS has quickly developed multiple warehouses and yards, reaching the top 10 Vietnamese logistic businesses in no time, running one of the most modern and largest warehousing systems in the country.

In 2002, the first shoe sole factory was established. This action helped TBS’ shoe production to overcome the dependency on the external supply from Taiwanese sole production partner, which improve the quality control and the order progress performance.

The expansion into the supporting industries has been a critical strategy, allowing TBS to approach technology further and compete with foreign-invested enterprises.

Having been successful with the shoe industry, the company also expanded its production to making bags for the world’s leading luxury brands.

Making Vietnam a major leader

A South Korean expert once told Thuan, “Just focus on manufacturing. I will help you to be more economically efficient since you have no technologies, materials, or customers.”

Only three years later, however, the customers of this expert bonded ties with TBS, a whole team of Vietnamese people.

With the spirit of constantly conquering new challenges, and to and achieve targets where advanced companies and countries have reached Thuan and the leaders of TBS are establishing domination to other businesses, especially in the hospitality industry in Vietnam.

The 5-star Mai House hotel, owned and developed by a Vietnamese, has officially opened in Ho Cho Minh City; at the same time, the orientation of development for TBS Land has already been set out until 2025.

As he summarised the progress of TBS, Thuan expressed his belief, “If the world can, we can. And the Vietnamese people have what is needed to be a major leader in their own country.”

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