Vingroup to nurture tech start-ups

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018 17:35

Nguyen Viet Quang, vice chairman and CEO of Vingroup. — VNS Photo

Stepping into the field of technology, Vingroup has not set out goals for their own development. Nguyen Viet Quang, vice chairman and CEO of the group, emphasised that Vingroup’s biggest aspiration is to create a favourable ecosystem to nurture tech start-ups, thereby creating breakthroughs for Viet Nam and the business community.

As the largest private enterprise in Viet Nam, Vingroup is developing very well with its current businesses. Why has the group entered a new field, in which it has little experience?

Our slogan is ‘Forever entrepreneurial spirit’. With 25 years of development, Vingroup has never stopped. We chose to step into the field of Technology - Industry as this is not only the shortest path but also the best path to create breakthrough developments.

Could you tell us more about Vingroup’s new investment orientation?

Vingroup is striving to become an international Technology - Industry - Service group in the next 10 years. Of those, technology will be the mainstream focus. More specifically, with the current service and trade businesses, the group will continue to promote, improve and upgrade the quality as well as efficiency of operations. Because the businesses not only serve as financial backbones for the two new businesses, they are also important ecosystems to support the research and commercialisation of technology and industrial products.

In terms of industry, Vingroup continues to push the production of automobiles, smart electrical products and home appliances. The group expects to launch smartphones and smart televisions at the end of this year and at the same time promote the export of industrial products to the world market.

With the latest business – technologies – we have identified a number of key areas that can drive strong investment, including human resource training, infrastructure, development mechanisms, research institutes and supporting funds in order to focus on artificial intelligence (AI) research and develop new-generation materials and software.

How is Vingroup developing in a new direction and what is the roadmap for the next 10 years?

We officially launched VinTech on August 21, as well as the Big Data Research Institute, the Vin Hi-Tech Institute (VHT) and a supporting fund for start-ups and scientific and technology research.

In addition, we signed up with more than 50 leading Vietnamese universities in the field of science and technology to prepare human resources of 100,000 engineers for the next 10 years. These are our first steps in the strategic investment in Technology - Industry.

Regarding personnel, according to data from the World Economic Forum, Viet Nam ranks 70th in human resources and 81st in skilled labour for Industry 4.0. How will Vingroup solve this problem?

Besides agreements with more than 50 top technology universities to train 100,000 qualified engineers over the next 10 years, we will continue to work with colleges to train more technicians at a basic level.

This is preparation for the future. At present, we are calling for the co-operation of Vietnamese intellectuals, both domestic and international, to help bring Viet Nam into the fourth industrial revolution.

At first, we will recruit foreign experts to work and support the training of Vietnamese staff. By doing this, we can confidently have hundreds of thousands of qualified workers in the future.

Training staff is difficult but keeping talent is harder. Is Vingroup concerned about brain drain?

We do not mind that. These employees can work in the Vingroup or can work with other businesses if they want. Our ultimate goal is to create as many technology products “IP Viet Nam” as possible to put us on the world Technology-Industry map.

Our desire is to make Vietnamese people enjoy the best technology products, not only to sell abroad for profit.

Is this the reason Vingroup announced a ‘Silicon Valley’ project in Dong Anh District, Ha Noi?

To have large enterprises, there must be a lot of small businesses and start-up incubation.

Therefore, Vingroup has not set a target to develop itself. Our greatest aspiration is to create a favourable ecosystem to nurture start-ups in the field of Technology-Industry. We have studied the Silicon Valley model, the cradle of American technology companies. It is a model for us to develop VinTech City.

Could you give more details about the VinTech City model?

We have more than 70 hectares of land in Dong Anh District, Ha Noi.

We expect to build office buildings that are fully equipped with computers and internet so that start-up companies can come to work immediately.

There are also necessary conditions such as data storage, supporting departments on law, personnel, procedures, finance and even accommodation.

In the first three years, technology start-up companies will be provided with office leasing and some other services free.

In addition, we will also provide financial support through two funds – one for technology investment and the other for start-ups and scientific research. Of which, the fund for start-ups and scientific research will have VND2 trillion (US$86 million).

We believe that the VinTech City model will provide the most favourable environment for ideas and projects in the field of Technology – Industry. But Vingroup alone cannot do it, we wait for the co-operation and contribution of society as a whole. — VNS

Comments (0)