|Started working at Tan Hiep Phat in 2004, now Phuong is the Deputy CEO of the Group.|
Growing up as a troubled, young teen, while the war was ravaging through Vietnam, it might be hard for anyone to expect my father, Dr. Thanh, to be the visionary entrepreneur that he is today. He has pioneered a market segment for ready-to-drink, healthy tea, and rightly earned his alias, “King of Tea” in Vietnam. However, it is precisely his tumultuous childhood which created the self-made man that he is today. A man who wasn’t fazed by a $2.5 billion-dollar offer from a multinational giant like Coca-Cola.
Dr. Thanh is the epitome of self-success. It’s his self-reliance, grit, and belief in the vision that has created Tân Hiệp Phát (THP). While THP may still be a David to the multinational Goliaths of the world, it successfully competes against those giants to lead the Vietnamese market in healthy food and beverage products and has done so for nearly two decades.
Many would have said yes when Coca-Cola extended its 2.5 billion dollar offer for a controlling stake in THP. However, as I learned years ago from studying my family’s history, success cannot be solely measured in financial terms. We are in it for the long run: to become the best food and beverage company in Asia. Commitment to this vision and mission provide a sense of fulfillment in growing and achieving our full potential.
From humble beginnings making yeast and then sugar, my father’s company rapidly evolved to focus on creating healthy, preservative-free beverages using the most advanced aseptic technology in the world. Because of my father’s whole-hearted belief in the company’s vision and mission, THP continues to be family-owned. The company is committed to building an increasingly international business with roots and values grounded firmly in Vietnamese culture.
|Tan Hiep Phat's family|
Here’s the point that often gets overlooked when I discuss our company: my father’s success wouldn’t have ceased even if we were to accept Coca-Cola’s offer. In fact, the offer itself is a testament to THP’s success. What will always remain—regardless of any buyout—is THP’s ability to create new products, develop brands which will continually further our national pride, serve our global consumers, and derive joy and fulfillment from realizing our vision and mission.
This mindset is deeply ingrained in all aspects of my life, not just in business. In fact, my father consistently told my mother that it would do their children no good if we were cosseted and overprotected. “No one serves you. You have to serve yourselves and serve others,” was his refrain to us. Even after THP started making money, he continued to challenge decisions that incurred financial expenditures, including my time studying overseas. It was my responsibility to defend my choices. As a result, decisions in my family are justified ones that survived a series of debates and careful analyses. Such practice is my father’s way of training us to stand on our own two feet, just as he had done.
This attitude of service was to ensure that we understood the satisfaction of making a meaningful contribution to the world around us with hard work and perseverance.
I will always remember sitting in that glass-encased conference room at Coca-Cola’s headquarters, glancing nervously at my father, my heart beating furiously. Yet, with that same glance, understanding why we were sitting there and how he had been so successful. His drive, determination, self-belief, and self-success were etched all over his sixty years.
At the end of the day, success does not occur spontaneously. Success must be pursued, created, and sustained through personal sacrifice and dedication…which makes it the most gratifying.
|Started working at Tan Hiep Phat in 2004, now Phuong is the Deputy CEO of the Group. Today, Tan Hiep Phat is Vietnam’s leading beverage company. Phuong is responsible for Tan Hiep Phat’s overall procurement, domestic and international marketing, public relations, and corporate social responsibility programs. |
About author: A prominent female millionaire and an emotional author
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