East Asia is the ‘flavour’ of the moment. For all kinds of reasons, our region is gaining the attention of the West.
In many ways, we have countries like China to thank for that. With its high growth levels, its influence has fanned out across the globe.
What a company like THP can learn from China is that they built a solid home base first. The government supported companies in key strategic industries, which allowed domestic champions to go from strength to strength. That’s why today, we have brands like Alibaba which are just as recognizable worldwide as their Western equivalents, in this case, Amazon
Vietnam is the region’s newest economic force. As people around me know, I’m a man of mottoes. One of my favorites is “Great success comes to those who set sail for the sea,”. With a GDP of 6.8 percent, our country is enjoying the fastest time of wealth creation in its history. It’s what we call the ‘New Vietnam’.
The value of Values at THP
THP is determined to contribute to the New Vietnam’s destiny. Our company already exports to 16 countries, including China and Australia. We aim to become one of the leading food and beverage companies in Asia, while catering for global consumers. Specifically, we’d like to make our country proud by becoming a strong and sustainable national champion.
It’s natural to focus on THP’s achievements by analysing the financial data and statistics. Our growth trends, our profits and so on. But as THP, Vietnam and the wider region enjoy greater affluence, I believe it’s also meaningful to ask: when you have success, what do you do with it? What can you give back? How can you support others to be successful?
So what if the Asia-Pacific region is becoming home to a greater proportion of the super rich, even more so than in North America?
For us at THP, the way forward, as it has always been, is through values. As an outward-facing company, we’ve long advocated the best of Western and Asian values. We don’t see any tension between them.
The Coca-Cola offer
My family and company have a strong set of values that hold us steady in every aspect. Values are really what guided us when we made the decision to turn down a $2.5 billion offer from Coca-Cola.
My daughter, Phuong, describes the story in detail in her new book,Competing with Giants. I might be biased, but it’s well worth a read!
Because THP was very clear on its mission, vision, values and aspiration, we knew that in the long-term, the partnership wouldn’t work. There was no “meeting of minds” or alignment of values, so ultimately the decision was made for us.
The interesting thing is that our leadership team is clear about our direction. But so is everyone else, including our staff, suppliers, distributors and customers.
Over the years, we’ve set up a very strong framework for clearer decision-making based on our core values. These are a living set of values that we regularly review to make sure that our business culture and operational methods stay strong.
When luck is predictable
It’s been said that luck is predictable. I’ve always believed that if we’re prepared to set goals based on values, take risks, and learn from our successes and failures, then we’ll be doing something right. One of THP’s values is “Nothing is Impossible”, which helps people remember that they can achieve their goals if they apply themselves and never give up.
We encourage employees at all levels to take responsibility for their actions, to keep learning and improving, and to honor their word. After all, “today is better than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow”.
Our mission is to be recognized as a producer of high-quality and healthy products at world-class standards. In recent years, we’ve incorporated CSR into our values framework too.
For us, this means complying with environmental and safety regulations and giving back by supporting long-term, sustainable projects that will benefit local communities. Being of service is now integrated into our business model, and it’s something I’m very proud of.
As THP and Vietnam set sail for the sea, there are many unknowns ahead of us. There will be a great many challenges. Rather than fear them, we welcome these challenges as opportunities.