Vietnamese firms shouldn’t chase after int"l brands: TV manufacturing boss

Pham Van Tam, chairman of Vietnam-based television and electronics firm Asanzo"s management board, shared his company’s recipe for success and advice for Vietnamese businesses in an interview with VnExpress.

Why did you decide to start a television company here in Vietnam where there are already several major competitors such as LG, Sony and Samsung?

In big cities, the fact that these major companies dominate the television market might be true. However, when I visit the countryside, I can see that televisions still remain somewhat a “luxury” for the people. So I figured I don"t need to tackle Vietnam’s big cities to get the lion’s share of the television market. Instead, I can just focus my attention on rural areas, and slowly build up my share in these areas.”

What is your company’s strategy for success?

First, we focus on developing customized products for different areas and different target customers. For example, we have a television line which runs on batteries for Vietnam’s western area, and a television line in which materials are rust-resistant for coastal central areas.

We are also always orienting ourselves to the customers’ needs. For example, many television companies only produce 32-inch-or-above televisions, so we produce 25-inch-or-under products. High-end hotels only buy televisions from famous brands, so we produce cheaper ones for hotels that aren’t willing to buy expensive brands.

What is your advice for other Vietnamese businesses?

Vietnamese businesses don’t need to try to catch up with international brands. We have one advantage that they don’t have, which is a deeper understanding of our particular customer base; the Vietnamese people. You need to focus on your customers’ needs, and that should be your company’s core strategy.

Asanzo is a Vietnam-based electronics brand which focuses on the mid-range customer base. Last year, the company made VND4 trillion ($178 million) in revenue from selling 710,000 televisions and over 3 million household appliances.

The firm currently has four production factories in Vietnam. Asanzo is also planning to invest $20 million in another factory in HCMC this year to satisfy demands in Vietnam’s central and southern regions.