Vong Thanh Cuong, a member of RMIT Vietnam’s first graduate cohort in 2004, has been a major force in Vietnam’s social media sector.
The Bachelor of Information Technology graduate began his career at an American software company, which included a year spent in the US.
On his return to Vietnam, he established the first “made-in-Vietnam” social media company, Yobanbe.com, which he eventually sold to Vinagame after two years. Yobanbe.com later became known as ZingMe.
During his time at ZingMe, Cuong realised the importance of social listening in business.
“Brands always want to know what consumers are saying about their products and services,” Cuong said.
He then founded his second company, called Boomerang, to help brands collect and analyse consumer sentiment towards their company.
“Based on data, Boomerang helps brands predict and manage crises before they break out,” said Cuong, still the CEO.
In four years of operation, Cuong has turned Boomerang into the number one social listening company in Vietnam. His clients include brands like Unilever, Nokia and VNG.
“When I started working at my first employer, I set a goal for myself: within two years, I would work at the company office in the US,” Cuong said.
“So I worked aggressively hard. If other employees worked 8 hours a day, I would work 10 hours or even 12 hours – so I could learn as much as I could.
“I didn’t wait for my leader to assign tasks to me; I asked for tasks. Finally, after one-and-a-half years, I succeeded in my goal.”
As the CEO of Boomerang, Cuong set big goals for the company as well.
Last year, Boomerang helped BIDV build the first social media command centre specifically for banks. In July, Boomerang became the first Vietnamese company to access Facebook Topic Data. Utilising this, Boomerang helped brands and companies analyse non-public content on Facebook, something which had never been done before in Vietnam.
Besides running Boomerang, Cuong shares his experience at seminars and training courses with other experts in the industry, hoping to pass on what he knows to students.
Not stopping at the domestic market, Cuong has also expanded Boomerang regionally by merging its social listening department with the largest media monitoring company in the Asia-Pacific region – iSentia.
Summing up his own journey, Cuong said simply: “Dream big dreams, and work hard to make them come true.”
Story: Hai Yen