When did BlueScope’s investment story in research and development (R&D) begin?
|Dang Thanh Hung, Vice president of NS BlueScope Vietnam |
When BlueScope set foot in Vietnam in 1993, our country was just starting to open up, and all industries were in the early stages of development. So was the alloy-coated steel industry. Our market penetration enabled the alloy-coated steel industry to have first access to the two-phase aluminium-zinc coated technology (also known as galvalume steel), which quickly became a new industry standard.
At that time, it was such a young market and we wondered about what needed to be done and what our business direction would be. And we have chosen what we are best at: leading in technological innovation in the alloy-coated steel industry. This is because have the unique advantage of more than a century of experience in developing alloy-coated steel technology globally. This was of great value in the context of a young domestic alloy-coated steel market at that time.
That’s how we started our R&D, under the belief that it would not only help the company to make a breakthrough in the industry, but also strengthen our competitiveness, and promote growth. We also hoped to join the group of leaders in developing construction technology, creating new industry standards with the whole country is innovating.
Many businesses hesitate to invest in R&D as it increases prices. Why do you think it is important?
R&D has been the backbone of NS BlueScope Vietnam’s activities since its early days. As a business, we obviously need to weigh and measure opportunities, costs and profits. But with R&D, we need to weigh it in the long term. People talk a lot about customers having higher and higher requirements for product quality and services. To improve product quality, the role of R&D is indispensable.
It is the key to increasing the competitiveness of enterprises. So the story of R&D is not about cost any more, but an existential question of ‘to be or not to be’.
People in Gen X, like me, have experienced this. We have witnessed the rise and fall of many empires. We are the people who had childhoods in red-tiled roofs, dormitories of tens of square meters, growing up in flat roofs and maturing with high-rise buildings close together, covered with corrugated iron or various types of roofs and other modern materials.
Therefore, in the business environment in general, especially construction, companies are forced to keep pace with the times. If we move slowly, we will be left behind and fall into oblivion. R&D is a prerequisite for us to move faster.
|R&D has been the backbone of NS BlueScope Vietnam’s activities since its early days |
How can BlueScope stay at the forefront of its field, as it has for the last three decades?
When it comes to R&D, we talk about being at the forefront, moving ahead and innovating. Therefore, the process of developing technology must be ahead of the times and set new industry trends. That’s how BlueScope uses R&D as a competitive edge.
Our motto is to increasingly innovate alloy-coated steel technology, providing buildings with the most durability, and solving rust problems, especially in this polluted and highly corrosive environment. Therefore, in 2019, we introduced a breakthrough four-phase alloy-coated technology with exclusive know-how from BlueScope.
With the growing wave of industrial factories in Vietnam, we are delighted that investors are increasingly taking a long-term perspective on choosing sustainable materials. If you look across the country, it is not difficult to name large projects using this type of steel.
What are the company’s achievements and plans for the future?
We are the first and only alloy-coated steel manufacturer in Vietnam to be granted a green label certificate by the Singapore Green Building Council for all product lines in the residential and project segments. We are also looking forward to earning a global responsible steel certificate by the end of 2023 to mark 30 years in Vietnam.
All the imprints we have in Vietnam could not have been achieved without R&D. Maintaining the fire that keeps our enthusiasm burning is our long-term vision, We believe that this fire will help us maintain our position as a top brand in the development of Vietnam’s alloy-coated steel industry.
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|The Goertek electronics factory uses BlueScope alloy-coated steel |
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| ||The 30-year R&D journey of leading alloy-coated steel company |
NS BlueScope Vietnam has spent 30 years asserting a presence in the market, with pioneering research and development (R&D) at the forefront of its success.