The gifts must be very important to you. What are they?
I was born in Poland, in the small town Opole, near Czech Republic and Germany. My parents divorced when I was two years old. My grandparents helped my mom to raise me. My grandfather wanted me to inherit and take care of his agricultural business but I chose the adventure and moved to Vietnam to build my own company.
My grandfather gave me 3 gifts that changed my life. First, he paid for my English language classes which opened global opportunities for me. Second, When I was 8 years old, he enrolled me in a football club, and for the next 10 years, I changed from a chubby clumsy boy, to a school team captain, and with my team we finished as the 7th team in the whole country.
Football shaped my character to be ambitious, never give up, and put maximum effort until it’s over. Football made me prepared for leadership roles that I held until this day. Football was also my first paid job in Vietnam as I worked with Vietnamese and expat kids as a football coach in 2014.
Lastly, my grandfather paid for my ticket to Vietnam 11 years ago. Finally this year, he is coming to Vietnam himself to join my wedding this July. I will marry a Vietnamese girl.
|Paweł Górski is seen while celebrating Christmas with his grandfather.|
Could you share more about your fiancé? How did you meet her?
We met coincidentally. After she came back from her studies in London, one of her friends invited her to an event via Facebook. They invited me too. I couldn’t come but I looked up at the guest list and got really interested in her so I wrote to her via Facebook and persuaded her to meet me.
She was dating someone else so it took me a few months to convince her that I was a better deal. Entrepreneurs never give up so I persisted until she agreed. That was 5 years ago and we will get married in this July.
Her name is Trinh Khanh Ha. She is co-founder of another company called Vulcan Augmetics which is developing cutting-edge technology for assistive devices, focusing now on prosthetic arms and their tech (100% developed in Vietnam) is already recognized as one of the most advanced globally. Interesting fact, Yoobic in Europe is worth over $300 million at the moment.
How did you decide to live in Vietnam?
I came to Vietnam from Poland in 2012 as a fresh graduate. I was very concerned to leave my family 9,000km away. I know that many Vietnamese parents would prevent their children to travel so far instead of staying to take care of the family. I was fortunate that my mother advised me to focus on my own goals and do what I think is right for me.
I was looking for a 1-year adventure in a country far different than my own. I got involved with AIESEC – a global network for youth leadership development. A few months later the team in Vietnam chose me as the country manager. We created life-changing experiences for thousands of students and the experience opened many opportunities for me to engage with business leaders of large Vietnamese companies partnering with AIESEC.
My network grew and I decided to stay in Vietnam. I’ve met the founder of Mobivi, a company that had an amazing mission of improving the lives of frontline workers. I worked with him for the next 5 years expanding the business and our impact to more than 3 million female factory workers in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines,…
|Paweł Górski (wearing glass) is seen with his friend during his childhood.|
How did the idea to start Tribee come up?
Many of my close friends in Vietnam have started their own businesses and their founder journeys excited me. Gradually I realized that my responsibilities in my past job were very similar to what a company founder does – selling, fundraising, recruiting, building a product, and defining a business model,…
A friend once asked me what held me back from starting my own business. “It’s a risk,” I said. “And what would you do if you were not afraid?” – he asked me. “I would go for it” was my answer and so I decided to go for it and start.
It was clear to me that I wanted my business to make a positive difference in people’s lives. We started as HR tech to help solve the employee turnover problem. But we quickly realized that it’s not among the top 3 priorities of the business so we shifted the focus into helping businesses grow their revenue while empowering their frontline sales teams to succeed – sell more, serve customers better, and earn more income and career opportunities as a result.
Working with customers very closely allowed us to realize that businesses in Vietnam and Southeast Asia lose a lot of revenue ($3m/year for a medium-sized retail chain) because they don’t have the ability to ensure their sales teams are maximizing their sales opportunities, and delivering excellent customer service.
We realized that we can help these teams to engage customers better, upsell and cross-sell more, by providing the right incentives and required knowledge.
We live in exciting times where AI and Machine Learning can be applied in all spheres of life. We use it to help us bring the right knowledge and incentives to the right salespeople at the right time so it’s always relevant, engaging, and effective.
How did you come under the pandemic as a young startup? Was there any tragedy?
When Covid lockdown started, we used to serve offline retail clients. They all had to close so we ended up with no customer in one day!
We took it as an opportunity to explore how to help these businesses to continue selling. It led us to realize another opportunity – we partnered with a multinational brand and helped them to empower their sales agents to sell better via online channels. They onboarded these agents on our mobile app, provided daily coaching to improve sales knowledge, and provided incentives paid out from our platform. All digitally. As a result, these sales agents started generating revenue in thousands of USD within just 10 days of the project.
Interestingly, after the lockdown, businesses decided to shut down these new innovative channels and come back to their well-tested traditional channels.
So we adapted again and followed our clients but this time, with stronger tech, allowing more flexibility which we gained during covid lockdown.
And what challenges did you face when starting a business in VN, not your home country and without many friends and relatives?
Of course, there are challenges in starting a business in a place where I’m a foreigner. Initially, I’ve made certain assumptions about my business model using my experience from Europe and I failed. I remember meeting the CEO of one of the largest securities companies in Vietnam in 2014. I prepared a professional and formal presentation about our organization and he was not interested at all! He was ready to send us off but luckily, my Vietnamese team member joined the discussion and won the deal for us by building a strong personal connection with our future partner. That was a great cultural lesson for me that I will never forget.
To date, I have met over 100 Vietnamese business leaders and listening to them very carefully as well as using the support of my local team members, helps us move forward and succeed.
I learned to take advantage of the opportunities while building a team that compensates for my weaknesses.
For example, I bring certain experiences and mindsets from the West so I’m able to add value by creating a truly international working environment to our employees and international service standards for the customers.
On the other hand, I still face language barriers when working with the customers’ teams so I need to build a strong team that can carry the responsibility and help me to understand the feedback from clients. My team also helps me to understand the culture aspects that are easy to miss for a foreigner.
Lastly, being away from friends and family while starting a business may feel lonely and overwhelming at times. It has been crucial to build the right support system which includes my own team, our investors but also personal friends I’ve made here, and most of all, my future wife, who comes from Phu Yen province even though we grew up with completely different worlds, we understand and support each other like nobody else.
|Biti’s partnership launch|
How is your business model?
Our company is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. It means that our clients can use Tribee any time they like and stop using it when they wish. But hardly ever do they stop.
There is no other sales tech platform focused on frontline sales employees like retail in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The closest one is yoobic.com but they serve customers in US and Europe mostly.
In Vietnam and Asia, most companies are still using Excel spreadsheets to manage their sales team performance and reports and they use Zalo to send any knowledge and other communication to help their sales teams improve. So you can say that these are our “competitors” in that sense. But obviously using spreadsheets and Zalo is not an effective way when you have more than 50 salespeople in your company. So the pain point of how to empower frontline sales teams to convert more sales is still there and we are here to help them with that.
I can’t share about revenue/profit at this point due to some agreements with our investors. I can share that we have seen increased interest and we are about to grow 3 times in this quarter due to the recent development of the new sales coaching solutions. With these solutions, our clients can automate the sales coaching process and ensure their salespeople get the right sales tips at the right time to help them sell more. This has met a lot of interest in the market recently.
We have support from large global investors like 500 Startups, Antler, Springcamp (associate of Naver – Korea largest tech), and some local experts. As we see new opportunities to add more value to customers by developing our tech and growing further, we are continuously looking for new investors.
Accelerating digital transformation in businesses
Digital transformation has opened opportunities for businesses to participate more deeply in global supply chains and value chains, contributing to improving competitiveness, helping them connect closer to customers, and restructuring businesses.
However, to help digital transformation in businesses be more effective and successful, it is crucial to have a new way of thinking and new capabilities in the operation towards combining people and machines on the basis of digital technologies and digital data.
Changing mindsets and perceptions
The Government’s National Digital Transformation Programme to 2025, with orientation until 2030, has set out the goals of developing a digital government to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness; developing a digital economy to improve the competitiveness of the economy; and developing digital infrastructure to narrow the digital gap. In particular, digital transformation is the main means and an appropriate, pioneering, and revolutionary policy.
The actual implementation in some enterprises and localities shows that the digital transformation process has been only considered as non-professional work, in addition to the political and economic goals being carried out. The awareness and selection of technology, ecosystem, people, and financial capacity have not been synchronized nor given due attention in some instances and in some places. This mindset is currently a barrier and a challenge that makes the transformation difficult to reach success.
Recalling the intention to apply digital transformation in her business 5-7 years ago, General Director of Hong Duc Education Equipment Joint Stock Company Vu Thi Ngoc Anh said when starting to apply digital transformation, many employees and even managers of the company have not kept up with new technology, so they objected strongly because they thought it was complicated and they were afraid to do it all over again. In addition, some individuals have not been clearly aware of the benefits of digital transformation in businesses, so they have refused to do.
Due to the lack of experience, some units have applied many software and technologies at the same time, causing a lack of linkage and synchronousness in data and systems and leading to many errors. The challenges mentioned above have caused the digital transformation process at the companies to fall into a “stalemate” because they do not know where to start and how to do it right. Therefore, digital transformation is a big problem for the whole business.
To solve that problem, business leaders need to take action with a digital mindset. Then the digitization and innovation from the normal system to the digital system will be taken into account, in which digitized results converted to building a management reporting system linked to the database. Finally, the businesses should make a full transformation. Currently, most Vietnamese enterprises have failed in digital transformation or confused data digitization with digital transformation, due to financial problems and a lack of technology knowledge among business leaders.
Human resources – the decisive factor
According to a recent survey by the Vietnam Confederation of Trade and Industry (VCCI), 23.8% of surveyed businesses knew about digital transformation but they lack financial and human resources for the implementation and 90% of surveyed businesses announced their digital transformation has not been successful.
Only 11% of businesses succeeded in digital transformation, the remaining 89% were “lost” in the digital transformation process with four main reasons, including misperception and benefits of digital transformation unconnected with businesses’ goals, and a lack of necessary resources or favorable digital ecosystem. In addition, most small and micro enterprises believe that digital transformation is the “playground” of big businesses.
VCCI Vice President Bui Trung Nghia assessed that, along with the rapid development of technology, the application of digital initiatives and digital technology solutions will help businesses add socio-economic values towards sustainable development. However, it has been said that the digital transformation process in Vietnam is facing many barriers due to the uneven business quality foundation, relatively low management level, inadequate digital technology supply, etc. Therefore, digital transformation requires drastic and innovative thinking and actions from management agencies as well as from businesses, organizations, and local authorities. Digital transformation is not only the investment in technology, but also transformation in terms of management, approach, and human resources.
According to the annual report on digital transformation in enterprises in 2022, up to 48.8% of businesses have undergone digital transformation but no longer continue because the solution is not suitable or is no longer appropriate in the current context of the businesses. There are many reasons leading to the above situation, but, according to experts, the first is due to the incorrect perception and thinking of business leaders about digital transformation. Many businesses have just used digital technology solutions for a short time, but because they found it ineffective or had to spend a lot of money on initial technology investment, they stopped deploying it.
According to calculations, the actual cost of technology in digital transformation in enterprises only accounts for about 20% of the total cost of digital transformation. The purchase of application software for business is not difficult, but the problem is to exploit its value. Thinking and understanding digital transformation is a decisive factor for the success of the digital transformation process in businesses. Therefore, business owners must master their internal problems and the implementation method should be based on the capacity and reality of each business to find and apply suitable, correct, and sufficient technology for enterprises.
After having a clear implementation process, businesses can work with partners on digital transformation, then they will also understand the problems of the businesses to come up with a plan for implementation in an appropriate and effective manner.
Source: Nhân Dân
No subsidy for rich electric car buyers: finance ministry
The state budget is prioritized to serve poor people and people in remote areas, while EV buyers are mostly wealthy people, the finance ministry explained.
As the budget is limited and the country has other priorities like infrastructure development, social welfare and hunger and poverty elimination, the transport ministry’s suggestion is not suitable at the moment, the finance ministry added.
In a draft policy on facilitating the nation’s transition to EVs and stopping the use of fossil fuels, the transport ministry suggested lower taxes and fees as well as aid of $1,000 for each EV purchase.
The finance ministry also rejected the proposal that preferential tax policies are issued for EV imports, saying such a policy would negatively impact the domestic auto industry, add pressure on the country’s traffic infrastructure and reduce the state budget’s revenues.
On preferential tax policies for manufacturing and assembly of EVs and EV batteries, the ministry said such products were already subject to low taxes under some schemes. Therefore, the effectiveness of such policies has to be studied more carefully.
On charger components, the ministry repeated that preferential import tax policies were already in place. It urged the transport ministry to work with other ministries on adding more locations to install charging stations.
Vietnam’s emergence as a major electric vehicle (EV) market in Southeast Asia has been reflected in the rush of new models being introduced by leading automakers looking to tap rising demand as the nation proceeds towards its 2050 zero emissions target.
Source: The Investor
Vinfast, Be Group, Digital Bank Cake by VPBank team up to support Be drivers switching to electric vehicles
Be, the on-demand multi-service consumer platform has formally signed a collaboration agreement with VinFast and the Cake by VPBank digital bank to encourage beBike drivers to migrate from fuel to electric motorcycles. The collaboration is part of an effort to further the green transformation trend.
As a result of this cooperation, thousands of Be drivers will directly benefit from VinFast’s support policies as well as have the opportunity to access optimal financial solutions from Cake by VPBank.
According to the first phase of the collaboration agreement, VinFast will assist Be drivers in moving from gasoline motorcycles to VinFast Feliz S electric motorcycles by granting a 4% discount on the quoted price for each motorcycle. Furthermore, Be drivers will benefit from all other VinFast stimulation programs in accordance with the company’s general strategy.
Cake by VPBank Digital Bank offers Be drivers cutting-edge digital financing options to buy VinFast Feliz S at 0% interest. For instance, the loan application and approval process can be completed online in minutes without visiting a bank.
“The cooperation agreement of VinFast – Be Group – Cake by VPBank gives Be drivers the opportunity to own and use smart, modern, environmentally friendly electric motorbikes with optimal costs, simple and convenient procedures. This cooperation will give customers access to safe and refined transportation alternatives, contributing directly to the Government’s net-zero carbon emission target by 2050,” said Ms. Ho Thanh Huong, CEO of VinFast Vietnam.
Thanks to the expertise and capabilities of the multi-service consumer platform Be, Be Group is confident in striving for higher targets in popularizing the culture of “green vehicles”.
Ms. Vu Hoang Yen – CEO of Be Group shared: “After the initial phase of collaboration, working with the GSM partner yielded a lot of positive signals and outcomes. In particular, the total number of electric taxi trips has seen steady growth. It now represents 6% of all car-trips in Be (compared to an average 2 – 5 per cent EV trip contribution of other ride-hailing platforms). Be hopes and expects to promote the plan to achieve the greater objective of popularizing the practice of utilizing green cars for Be drivers and encouraging the growth of green transportation across the country. Be will keep introducing products and services that are more suited to the demands of Vietnamese consumers in the future.”
Observations about the newly signed cooperation agreement, Mr. Nguyen Huu Quang – CEO of Cake by VPBank, stated: “The program brings fast, creative credit financing solutions, with the highest benefits for drivers. In particular, the trio-party cooperation between Cake – Be – VinFast will open up a development strategy in all aspects between Vietnam’s leading financial, technology, and manufacturing enterprises to promote comprehensive digital services, popularize electric vehicles, and foster environmental protection. In the near future, Cake will keep working with VinFast to research the best financing options for customers looking to acquire electric automobiles.”
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