The recent RMIT Entrepreneurship Forum titled “Smart startups – How digitisation helps your startup journey” shared good insights on building up future digital startups for Vietnam.
Organised virtually by RMIT’s Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurship disciplines, the forum was well attended by various stakeholders ranging from industry practitioners, Vietnamese entrepreneurs, academics, experts and students.
The speakers were representatives of digital businesses and startups in Vietnam including Korea’s food delivery app BAEMIN, English learning app ELSA Speak, Vietnamese audiobook app Fonos, and handcrafted board games Maztermind.
Mr Jinwoo (Chris) Song, Managing Director of Woowa Brothers Vietnam (BAEMIN) told Vietnam Insider how the application of digital and technology helped the company and its F&B business partners recover and thrive during and after COVID-19.
“As a food delivery platform operator, technology has brought us the chance to approach potential customers, reduce fixed costs, understand customer insight, and optimise operations while improving the speed and quality of delivery services through a network of delivery people,” Mr Song said.
“I can predict that the capacity to build a unique platform, that can satisfy the customers’ needs and the ability to analyse digital data from various sources will determine the winner of this emerging market.”
On the other hand, Maztermind Vietnam founder Mr Toan Nguyen believes there is a huge room for e-commerce cross-border for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“According to data by Amazon, exports of Vietnamese SMEs selling with this international platform have increased 48% between 2020 and 2021,” Mr Toan presented.
“Growing social media marketing, flexible digital payment options, easy access to international online selling platforms for both sellers and buyers, and cross-border shipment are key factors that impact a local brand’s reach out to international audiences”, he said.
Fonos Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Ms Nguyen Minh Xuan emphasised the international standard that a start-up should consider when starting a business in a global world.
“When a startup is building a new business in Vietnam, they should think about the ability to compete with international players as customers will compare a local product with the same brand that they experienced. They don’t define based on geography, they defined based on their experiences,” Ms Xuan told reporter.
She also mentioned the difference in getting customer insights compared to the past thanks to technology and insight data in real-time through different ways of customer interaction.
ELSA Senior Director of International Expansion Ms Natalie Do added that the number of startups incorporating AI into their businesses is increasing in Vietnam. It looks very promising and will facilitate a robust ecosystem for tech startups.
In his closing remarks, RMIT Head of Management Department Associate Professor Trung Nguyen said that being a true entrepreneur is all about creating values through innovation and creativity.
“Digitisation and smart transformation are giving us easier access to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the market. Yet, a true smart entrepreneur would also continuously learn the local context to develop and adopt the best platform and application for bettering the customer experience as we’ve seen from the panels’ experience and startup journey today,” Associate Professor Trung concluded.