Taking a family coffee brand global

Taking a family coffee brand global

Ho Thanh Thuy was able to take the knowledge and skills she acquired during her MIB journey and apply them to her family’s coffee business. In a short timeframe, Thuy was able to upgrade the business to international standards.

“My hope is to one day bring our roasted coffee to the international market,” Ho Thanh Thuy shares, while lamenting on the fact that most Vietnamese coffee is exported raw or with basic preparation only. Thuy is now the Managing Director at Phat Thanh Coffee, a 30-year-old family-run business passed down by her parents. With her aim at international markets, Thuy understands the journey will be both exciting and challenging at the same time.

Phat Thanh Coffee is originally based in Dong Thap province and is focused on the Mekong Delta as its primary market. In 2017, Thuy opened a branch in HCMC to prepare for market expansion to the city and surrounding provinces. One year later, in 2018, Thuy enrolled for the Master of International Business at RMIT.

An Asian woman in red top, while blazer and black glasses smiling Ho Thanh Thuy, an MIB alumna at RMIT Vietnam

For Thuy, choosing to study international business was simply an extension of her bachelor’s degree in international economics. She believed a master’s level of education would be helpful in establishing her startup, and over the following two years, Thuy not only completed her studies, but she also upgraded the operation facilities to meet international standards. It wasn't long after that she had the idea of looking for a bigger group of customers.

“I feel grateful for the knowledge I received exactly at the time when I needed to build Phat Thanh Coffee in HCMC. I learned a lot about global business, sustainable development and logistics. It was all practical knowledge that could be applied right away. I particularly remember the study tour in Singapore. We visited companies, observed and reflected on what we learned.”

Right after the program, in 2022, Thuy built her own e-commerce website to flexibly meet customers’ needs during the lockdown period. Currently, Phat Thanh coffee is distributed through two retail stores, the official website and other popular e-commerce platforms. This is, however, just a start.

“Thanks to the time studying at RMIT, I’m now more confident with my equipped knowledge as well as my enhanced English skills when approaching international customers,” Thuy shared. Phat Thanh has become a member of an international sustainable coffee association and has joined the international coffee fair every year. These are all important doors that open numerous opportunities for bringing Phat Thanh coffee to the rest of the world.


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