Three things to consider as your multi-national business faces challenges

When it comes to things that are challenging a multi-national business like Tan Hiep Phat, Vietnam’s largest beverage group, Phuong Uyen Tran suggests you focus on what you do well, do not forget that mistakes can lead to success, and hold fast to your values.
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Phuong Uyen Tran Deputy CEO of Tan Hiep Phat

As any entrepreneur can attest, starting and running a business is not simple. It takes a great deal of sacrifice, time, courage, and humility. Businesses rarely become successful immediately—and when they become successful, evolution is an inevitable part of its future.

I often think of my father, who started his initial yeast business in less-than-ideal circumstances and outside resistance. He continued in this industry until yeast prices collapsed in 1979. Instead of closing his doors, he pivoted his business to a sugar and fructose processing operation which would eventually lead to alcohol distilling and then into a beer brewery. After identifying the consumer needs, he exited the alcohol industry and focused THP on non-alcoholic and good-for-health beverages, Today his business—THP Beverage Group—is Vietnam’s largest family-owned manufacturer in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category, employing more than five thousand staff members nationwide.

In the past few years, especially in 2018, Tan Hiep Phat and Phuong Uyen Tran are among Vietnamese names in the field of business that appear the most on international media because of their stories inspiring co-startups as well as millions of consumers around the world.

That Forbes first published the book “Competing with Giants” by a Vietnamese businesswoman has help promote the name of “rich man” Tan Hiep Phat.

Afterward, in the minds of many consumers, each water bottle is not only a drink but a crystallization of the desire to overcome difficulties and the spirit of entrepreneurship, an organic trend and Vietnam of miraculous stories.

And also from this book uncovered the aspirations of Tan Hiep Phat, as Mr. Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO of Musashi Seimitsu said: “An unmissable insight into how and why Vietnamese businesses are quietly growing into global players.”

He didn’t achieve it all at once—it took both a long-term vision as well as a relentless dedication to daily tasks. This work ethic and vision for what he could one day create would eventually yield a company capable of competing with multinationals like Coca-Cola.

Consider the following as you embark on a new venture, or are continuing a multi-generational company when things are challenging:

Focus on what you do well

It’s easy to sometimes believe you need to do more than is necessary when it comes to your business and its offerings. While it’s important to listen to the market and what it wants, it’s equally important to prioritize and do what you do well. An article written for Business Insider offers an interesting view on why some entrepreneurs don’t succeed, “Startup founders have boundless ambition. Most founders can imagine their platform concept having broad appeal and meeting the needs of many customers, with numerous products, often across many markets. Investors love to hear about platforms and big visions for success. This ambition is contagious but also very dangerous…Repeat after me: ‘Startups Rarely Do Anything Well.’ I believe this mantra is the key to startup success.” In other words, don’t get ahead of yourself. In business, as in all things, you must learn to crawl before you can run. Those who learn an instrument may have dreams of playing difficult concertos; however, one must first begin with fundamentals. Many businesses experience difficulties when they don’t start small and slowly build to greater heights.

Remember mistakes can lead to success

It may sound trite, but mistakes – if learned from – are merely opportunities for future success. Failure scares most people - they generally do not want to advertise their mistakes in case a rival uses the information against them. However, failure is all around us, and there is no reason to be afraid of it. It is something we should respect and try to learn from. It is always easier to find excuses and far harder to embrace setbacks and mistakes with the same enthusiasm as triumphs and victories. Our mistakes, or “rough patches,” present opportunities for growth and future success.

Three things to consider as your multi-national business faces challenges
Phuong Uyen Tran is the author of "Competing with Giants"- telling the story of Vietnam's transformation from war ruin to dynamic nation through the experiences of Tan Hiep Pha

Hold fast to your values

Regardless of what growing pains you encounter in business, those companies that develop a set of core values and adhere to them can successfully refine and achieve their goals each step of the way. When your values are woven into the fabric of your business and influence the way you and your staff handle day-to-day business, you will always come out on top.

Given where it stands today, it is hard to imagine what THP was at the beginning—a small yeast company. It was incredibly difficult, but my parents stayed focused through every stage and evolution of their business. They took every setback as an opportunity to move ahead even further. They weren’t afraid of failure or rough patches; instead, they actively embraced them, knowing each experience would provide valuable lessons and greater opportunities for success in the future.

Phuong Uyen Tran is a second-generation Asian businesswoman, who is serving as Deputy CEO of Tan Hiep Phat (THP) group, a company started by her parents in 1994. Today, it is Vietnam’s leading beverage company. Phuong is an executive of the Beverage Association of Vietnam and also sits on the executive committee of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Vietnam chapter. She is passionate about family-owned businesses, as well as women in business. She is keen to share her knowledge and regularly speaks about managing family-owned businesses at global conferences. Phương lives in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, Forbes introduces.
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