Insider’s views on Vietnam’s potentials and challenges in digitization

(VOVWORLD) - Digitization is a world trend and Vietnam is vigorously capitalizing on it. What are the advantages and challenges facing Vietnam on the way from the perspective of a solution provider? To answer these questions, we will talk with Jack Nguyen, a senior member of the US’s Insider, a global tech company to empower marketers to deliver personalized journeys across the web, mobile web, mobile apps, and ad channels.  
Reporter: Thank you for joining us, Jack Nguyen!

Jack Nguyen: So hi every one! My name is Jack. And I’m currently Regional Managing Director of Insider in a couple of countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar as well. We are working with 90 top brands in VN.

Reporter: 90 top brands! Impressive! How do you see Vietnam’s potentials in digital transformation?

Jack Nguyen: If we look at Vietnam’s economy then we have 90 million of population and it’s probably the second biggest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

The second is that internet penetration is getting higher and higher every day. That’s why Facebook and Google always invest in Vietnam as a key market. So we see that there are huge opportunities for the businesses in Vietnam. Because the more you get the clients to go online to understand about your products, the more you make purchase. Then, the more you understand your customers online and try to make them your loyal customers. So there are much more needs for Vietnamese businesses to adopt those trends via technologies because this thing has been a huge trend in the US, the UK, and Australia for the past 10 or 15 years. Our regional mission is trying to empower each of the local companies to adopt those kinds of advanced technologies with local teams. So in Vietnam, we have a team of 35 people, fully local. Because the technologies are quite complicated, it’s not easy for companies in Vietnam to adopt those, so there is a huge potential invest in the local people, local teams, to help local companies adopt very complicated technologies but super critical for their future growth.

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Reporter: What are the advantages that Vietnam has in comparison with regional countries? 

Jack Nguyen: The great thing about Vietnam market is that we have a combination of couple of things. No.1 is huge population as I early mentioned.

The second is our technical capabilities has been more advanced than other relative countries. As you know, we are a very big outsource tech hub. Big companies like Shopee and Lazada they open technical hub in Vietnam for reasons. Because on top of the course, very fiction for them. The other thing is the quality of the technical people here is very high vs other countries. So it really helps to drive the digital transformation for many companies.

And the third one is we have very strong local successful conglomerates. Think about VinGroup, Viettel, and all of those, which you might not see in other relative countries. If you look at Thailand for example, the top e-commerce websites in Thailand are Lazada and Shopee. But you look at the e-commerce in Vietnam, you know, we also have Tiki and Sendo. If you look at F&B (food and beverage) for example, Grab and Foodie has been dominating many countries, but if you look at Vietnam, The Coffee House, for example, is a super successful local company. All of these exist for a reason: capital, resources, and the desire of local companies to be successful.

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Reporter: In your opinion, what are the obstacles facing Vietnam’s digital transformation?

Jack Nguyen: The challenges of Vietnamese businesses when I was back in 2017 is firstly, the mindset. I mean if 100% or 90% of your sales is still coming from offline and the question for the leader is why you should invest online? Right? And until recently you see the problem with COVID outbreak and most of the leaders start realizing that oh, I cannot touch my end-customer because they cannot go out on the street, they cannot go to shopping offline. Then they technically lose 100% of touch points with their end-users. For marketing, they got that oh I need to be visible online.

Second, think about competition. There are many companies selling the same things or almost the same things to the same customers. For example, look at Iphone, I can buy an Iphone from The Gioi Di Dong (mobile world) of Cellphone S or Hoang Ha Mobile. Think about when you want to buy earphones or accessories for your phones, you got that even from the street. If the product becomes more of a commodity, then the price is a competition. Then how can you differentiate yourself? The only way for you is by customer experience because it’s emotional. If customers love you because of your brand and services, all the touch points you give them, then they are more entitled to your brand. That’s what great brands do. They create emotions. But the leaders realize I cannot create that because I don’t know much about my customers. Who they are? Their ages? Their genders? They don’t know because all of that require huge amount of data for them to understand. So they come to the point where the second department starts transforming. It’s IT, technology, and data teams because the only way for them to understand their customers. And the third department is logistics. Before, customers go to the store to pick up, now due to COVID, they cannot do that. So how can you ship your product from your warehouse to the customers? You cannot do that as well. So that’s about mindset, you don’t have that mindset before and now you want to change. That becomes harder and harder.

Reporter: That’s the reason why the Insider is here, to support your Vietnamese partners in this course. In the next edition of Digital Life, we will talk with Jack Nguyen again in details of the Insider’s projects across different fields in Vietnam.