Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietnam’s first and only female billionaire according to Forbes, shared her story of how she built the new-age airline to 1,000 local and foreign delegates at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018, helping to inspire and encourage the startup generation. Nhat Ha reports.
President and CEO of Vietjet Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, representing Vietnamese entrepreneurs, took the stage at Vietnam Business Summit (VBS), which was held on September 13 in Hanoi as part of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 (WEF on ASEAN), to address the discussion and share her experience of growing a successful business.
Startups should have big dreams
Themed “Vietnam – Reliable Business Partner: Connectivity and Creativity,” VBS focused discussions on the role of Vietnam in regional and global value chains, as well as introducing policies and business and investment opportunities, particularly in the fields of finance and infrastructure.
At the second session of VBS, which focused on introducing new business opportunities in Vietnam, as a representative of Vietnamese entrepreneurs, Thao took the stage with Citibank Vietnam CCO Natasha Ansell and shared her successful business experiences with the delegates.
“By our endeavours and dreams, Vietjet is one of the companies that is creating active and positive changes in the aviation industry,” Thao said.
She also told Vietnamese startups that it is not the technology that changes the world, but dreams. Technology is only a tool, she said; creativity originates solely from our dreams.
She advised startups, “Dare to dream big and do everything every day to make your dreams come true. Let us bring the spirit of digitalisation and automation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution into our daily lives as well as all operation processes of entrepreneurs.”
To achieve its amazing results, Thao said that Vietjet has promoted the application of technology, while ceaselessly innovating, especially by investing in new and modern
aircraft. “Entrepreneurs and businessmen are not alone in their dreams because your dreams are nurtured in a startup nation, a facilitating government, and the most dynamic ASEAN community,” Thao stressed.
As in his speech at the summit, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that the Vietnamese business environment has improved dramatically to create many more opportunities for local entrepreneurs and companies to grow competitiveness on par with international counterparts.
Make dream a reality
The billionaire shared the story of Vietjet and why the carrier was ranked 22nd among the top 50 airlines worldwide by Airfinance Journal, an aviation finance magazine. This is the first time the airline has made the coveted list.
According to Thao, Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age carrier that focuses on diversifying aviation services, investing in the latest e-commerce and operation technologies as well as developing a modern aviation service ecology in Vietnam.
Seven years after the first Vietjet flight connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi took off with 120 passengers, in the first six months of 2018, Vietjet continued to lead the domestic passenger traffic and be the best operating flight growth airline with 59,944 flights, up nearly 22 per cent. The technical reliability was 99.66 per cent with the safety performance of flight and ground operations amongst the top in the region. The on-time performance stood at 83 per cent, becoming the leading airline in Vietnam, surpassing the ‘big man’ Vietnam Airlines.
In the first half of 2018, Vietjet’s accumulated air transport revenue reached VND16.5 trillion ($730 million), an increase of 52.6 per cent. Air transport profit stood at VND1.7 trillion ($75.2 million), an increase of 53.4 per cent over the same period of 2017, completing 56.2 per cent of the 2018 plan. As a result, the company had net sales of VND21.2 trillion ($938 million) and after-tax profit of VND2 trillion ($88.5 million), up 29 and 11 per cent, respectively, against the same period last year.
Thanks to its positive performance in the first months of the year, Vietjet shareholders will be advanced 2018 cash dividend payment at the rate of 20 per cent, in addition to 20 per cent share dividend received recently.
Everyone can fly
As a dynamic, innovative airline Vietjet has quickly won passengers’ hearts to become the favorite airline in Vietnam and the region since its launch in 2007. It is the first airline in Vietnam to operate a carrier model to provide a wide range of services that change the habits of consumption and business sense.
The airline is also changing perceptions about doing business in aviation. It brings the chance to fly to almost every Vietnamese and regional citizen and each flight promises to bring unexpected joy to passengers.
As a result, the new-age carrier brings flying opportunities to a greater number of people and makes it easier for citizens to connect through high-end technologies.
Currently, Vietjet operates 60 A320 and A321 aircraft with more than 385 flights a day, carrying more than 60 million passengers so far, with 94 routes covering destinations in Vietnam as well as international destinations such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
Vietjet also plans to expand its network across the Asia-Pacific region and is continuing to expand its regional network. Recently, the airline signed a contract agreement to purchase new, modern aircraft from the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.