To deep-dive into this topic, the RMIT International Business Forum 2021 brought together representatives from industry associations and businesses, including Les Vergers du Mekong, La Viet Coffee, Lofita Coffee and Tea, Rain Coffee, and Hidden Gem Coffee. Drawing from experience in executing diverse business ideas, the speakers provided varied perspectives on internationalisation, diversification of products and services, sustainable growth, marketing and management.
Sharing experience from Les Vergers du Mekong company, known for its Folliet coffee brand, General Director Le Van Dong said that strong market knowledge, a focus on reducing adverse environmental impact, and technology application have been key to their sustainable success for the past two decades.
“We manage our supply chain very carefully. For instance, we have designed a traceability app, and frequently hold workshops and provide support to farmers so that our international quality standards are maintained. We also use eco-friendly packaging and are piloting organic farming. These are the basis for our competitive advantage and high sales,” Mr Dong said.
Mr Tran Nhat Quang, founder and CEO of Dalat-based La Viet Coffee, highlighted the potential of ‘in-country export’. When building their factory in Dalat, La Viet combined their production facilities with a coffee shop in one space, so that visitors can enjoy their coffee while learning through visitation about the production process and products.
“We have a two-hour tour of our factory and the roasting and brewing experience. We also have a one-day tour, which offers an in-depth experience for international tourists interested in local farming. This tourism model was very successful prior to COVID-19, and we intend to continue with it when travelling is enabled again,” Mr Quang said.
According to Dr Nguyen Van Minh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Farms and Agricultural Enterprises Association, the coffee industry has been and will continue to be a mainstay in Vietnam’s international business.
“Vietnam is gearing towards a smart, organic and value-adding agricultural sector. The coffee industry is part of this trend. Vietnam can improve the value of its coffee gradually by innovating, applying technology and creativity in new products, and attracting prestigious investors,” he said.
The International Business Forum is organised by RMIT annually since 2017 to bring together leading international and Vietnamese experts, policy makers and academics to discuss key themes in international business with a Vietnamese context. Initiated by RMIT Associate Professor Nguyen Quang Trung and chaired by Dr Abel Alonso, the annual forum aims to enhance the exchange of knowledge, useful experiences and best practices among domestic companies, multinational corporations, and key stakeholders in international business in Vietnam.
Story: Ngoc Hoang