Three RMIT School of Business & Management students Lac Tu Chau, Ha Tuan Nghiep and Le Khac Yen Nhi started their business a year ago with the vision of helping the Vietnamese agricultural sector to become acknowledged in the international market through transforming and restructuring the local market.
Having a deep understanding on how difficult it is for buyers and suppliers to find agricultural products that meet both local and international standardised requirements, AgriBiz founder and Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply chain management) student Lac Tu Chau committed to building a database for essential Vietnamese agricultural products.
“Through our digital portal, buyers can easily access and check farming data of products which are the basis for the raw materials procurement stage before they need purchasing,” Chau explained on how the portal operates.
“Our platform is economical for both domestic and international businesses who are looking for raw materials as it will help reduce cost while searching for new suppliers.”
Chau believed that AgriBiz is also beneficial for Vietnamese farmers because they can reach out to more customers globally.
“To achieve this, Vietnamese farmers are required to follow strict farming guidelines to meet the requirements of potential markets, such as global standard certification Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P) for overseas markets and VietGAP for local market,” she said.
“It eventually will help transform overall standards of Vietnamese agricultural products.
“I have a dream that rice is not only the most exported agricultural product of the country, but other fruits will be too.”
AgriBiz is currently focused on building a database of mangoes from the Southwest area of Vietnam as “the product has already has the Global Gap certificate and input data”.
Chau hoped to expand product range and apply blockchain in the future to strengthen the portal.
“We will launch our project first to see how users react before we meet more potential investors who share the same vision with us.”
AgriBiz was one of the top five teams with the highest fundraising results at the recent NINJA Accelerator in Ho Chi Minh City, a startup support project piloted by the program sponsor Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Initially, the 11-week startup acceleration program that aims to create social impact in Vietnam by focusing on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) then turned into almost a year of commitment and brought the best opportunity for personal growth to each team member.
Co-founder and a Bachelor of Business (International Business) student Le Khac Yen Nhi said that “although there have been so many obstacles along the way, it is really worthwhile since we also learned valuable lessons from the adventure we were brave enough to immerse ourselves into”.
“Besides the technical and highly practical knowledge I have acquired in the training program, I also gained precious skills like time management, working under pressure or how to communicate effectively and persuasively [when giving a presentation to investors],” Nhi said.
Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply chain management) student who has strong research skills, Nghiep loves challenging himself and found it a great opportunity “to learn how to build a business model, how to talk to investors, what questions to ask them, and how to raise funds for a startup”.
The team is now planning to reach out to co-operatives who collect daily data from farming activities to enrich the database and expand the product index gradually.
Story: Ha Hoang