Le Van Hong Chan, who was an excellent student at Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in HCMC, is a software engineer who has worked for big technology firms such as Microsoft, Google, Asana, Facebook and Snap.
Le Van Hong Chan
Chan (born in 1991) is now a tech lead at Snap in the US, which provides technology products favored by youth such as Snapchat and Bitmoji.
“Since childhood, I have liked all things related to technology. I like seeing technological products change human life,” he said.
Chan believes that people in the field should go to Silicon Valley at least once, because it ‘has good advisors, good facilities, precious job opportunities and the best conditions to develop your passion for technology’.
For Chan, the US is a suitable environment because there is a balance between work and life.
“I think that the US is a good place for those who want to work in the technology sector. Come to Silicon Valley at least once to learn about a professional work attitude and business culture. In the US, people are quite serious, professional and concentrated,” he said.
“Google is an extremely large company and I am quite impressed about Google. But I think Google is a little bit ‘slow’. As it is too large, it spends time on plans and papers. Whatever you do, you must have a detailed plan, go through each step of the discussion, and then start implementing the plan,” he said, explaining why he finds the working environment professional but restrained.
About Facebook, he said: “In such a free and creative working environment like Facebook, you will get opportunities to do what you want.”
As for Snap, Chan said the business culture there is like the products Snap creates: private and secure. While the working environment at Facebook and Google is comfortable and open, in Snap, the environment is more disciplined and everything is more strictly controlled.
Talking about his career, Chan notes that he has had opportunities to work for large technology corporations, but has had to work hard.
“I feel that I am quite fortunate to have had the first probationary job at Microsoft, from which I could go further and try opportunities in other large corporations. The experience has given me good jobs,” he said.
Before going to the US, Chan worked as an intern at Infosys in India and took other jobs in South Korea (he studied at KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).
As an intern, he learned many valuable lessons. He likes Steve Jobs’ saying: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”.
The years of internship were interesting with different jobs because he needed to try many things to know what he liked the most.
Chan believes that scores are not as important as experience.
“There are some things that you should not pay too much attention to, for example, GPA (grade point average). I know some guys who have GPA of 2.0 only, but still can obtain good jobs, thanks to experience during the internship,” Chan said, adding that what companies want are not scores but experience.
The Vietnamese engineer at Snap advised students to spend time on internships at companies during university. The more they practice, the more opportunities they will have to work for Big Tech. But in order to obtain internships at big companies, they need to begin with smaller ones.
“You need to make every effort to get the first intern job. After you get first jobs, you will get the second, third and subsequent jobs,” he said, adding that internships offered him many good relationships.
“Always ask for what you want” is what Chan advises young people to do.
“Don’t be afraid of raising questions. Please ask about what you don’t know, not only at work, but also in life, including about what you want to do. Many people are hesitant to ask, maybe because they are afraid of being refused,” he said.
Chan said Vietnam has advantages in the market, and has good human resources to develop technology. Blockchain is a typical example. Vietnam is now a ‘bright spot’ in the world’s blockchain map.
“Vietnam is an Asian country with good human resources in information technology. The country is quite capable of developing technology,” he said.
IDG Captial sponsors blockchain startup Metain to make real estate investing in Vietnam more affordable
This collaboration is intended to promote the growth of NFT real estate and draw more global investors to participate in blockchain-powered proptech in Vietnam.
Among other investment forms, real estate investment offers the highest ROI with the lowest risk. However, its characteristics generate significant entrance obstacles for private investors, such as large investment money and a time-consuming, multiple-transaction procedure.
Metain makes income-generating assets accessible, simple, safe, transparent, and trustworthy for investors. The platform’s goal is to expand the Vietnam real estate investment industry and make it more accessible by utilizing blockchain technology to supplement, rather than replace trustworthy ways.
Duc Tran, General Partner at IDG Capital, said: “Income-producing property is real estate you invest in to make money from current rental payments, appreciation in market price, or adding value with additional revenue streams. Last but not least, their aims are only around Central Business District properties whose evaluations are the most stable with an all-time uptrend, compared to other options.”
“With the high security, instantaneous settlement, transparent and seamless transaction process, blockchain, smart contract and NFT technology are transforming the real estate industry and will become the key trend in the next decades. The next challenges would be how proptech investors’ pennies with a reliable setup and how to grow these pennies via choosing the right investment assets to acquire. And we believe that we are on the right track of that,” said Nhan Tran, CEO of Metain.
99 Group ‘exploring’ option to buy Vietnam’s Propzy
The source also notes that Propzy is one of a dozen potential targets for 99 Group, which recently raised $37 million in a round led by real estate-focused private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners.
In 2020, the firm also co-led Propzy’s $25 million series A round alongside SoftBank Ventures Asia.
Tech In Asia has reached out to 99 Group and Propzy for comment regarding the matter. 99 Group’s interest in Propzy was first reported by DealStreetAsia earlier today.
Founded by Darius Cheung in 2014, 99 Group currently operates four property platforms across Singapore and Indonesia: 99.co, Rumah123, iProperty, and SRX.
Cheung previously noted that a “strong” balance sheet will allow the firm to react to potential merger and acquisition opportunities, which the company expects to “come in abundance.”
Meanwhile, Propzy confirmed in June that it had laid off 50% of its staff amid a restructuring of its business model. Propzy CEO and founder John Le said the startup would have to shift away from the marketplace model to increase efficiencies.
Despite attracting investments, Vietnam’s proptech sector is still nascent, with most startups struggling to find product-market fit in order to compete with traditional brokerage firms.
Micro-investment startup Tititada raises $1.5mln in pre-seed round
Launched in 2022, the Vietnam-based micro-investments platform aims to help Vietnamese achieve financial security through investing.
It has become one of the first micro-investments platforms in Vietnam to be designed consumer-first, combining features like useful investment and financial management advice with a one-click access to various investment instruments.
Founder of Tititada, Giang Nguyen, believes such a trend is currently gaining momentum following changing lifestyles and investment habits in Vietnam, as she noted that more than 70 percent of individual investors in Vietnam are below the age of 30, according to a survey of 700 participants conducted in December 2021.
“The Vietnamese still do not have a long-term investment mindset, especially when it comes to preparing for retirement. Current societal trends like longer lifespans, an aging population, and shrinking family sizes would leave many financially insecure when they retire if they do not have a well-defined financial plan in place in their golden years” said Giang.
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