With Tan Hiep Phat, nothing is impossible - Phuong Uyen Tran

Embracing change can be terrifying, but the leaders of Tan Hiep Phat believe there is nothing to fear. They have incorporated this belief into the company's core values.
January 25, 2021 | 10:45
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With tan hiep phat, nothing is impossible
Phuong Uyen Tran

THE PUSH AND PULL of globalization and localization have shaped Vietnam and, with it, THP. No company develops in a vacuum from the history of the country it operates in.

And in the late 1970s when my father and mother were first starting to make their way in the world, that history was manifesting itself in two competing forces, which acted as yin and yang to each other. Aspiring businessmen and women faced extreme challenges but also unique opportunities.

These fed each other and drove both my parents to strive ever harder to create a successful business for themselves and their family. This chapter explains how. As of 2018, THP is Vietnam's largest family-owned manu-facturer in the fast-moving consumer goods category (FMCG), employing more than five thousand staff members nationwide. We have a 15 to 20 percent domestic market share, ranking alongside multinationals such as Coca-Cola and Japan's Suntory, Phuong Uyen Tran started the story about how the belief of "Nothing is impossible" was incorporated in Tan Hiep Phat's core values.

When they got married in 1979, they had to do just that, quite literally. Before they went on their honeymoon, my father had been living with his father. When they came back from the honeymoon, it was to a house that was empty except for two bowls and two pairs of chopsticks.

While they were away, my father's cousin had persuaded my grandfather to move in with him and bring all his possessions along, too. My grandfather had brought the boy up after his father died, but the cuckoo in the nest used my parents' wedding as an opportune time to make his move. Over the next five years, he completely drained my grandfather's retirement fund.

My father felt betrayed and angry by his father's departure, but one of his great talents is the ability to let go. Events like this have just made him stronger. By contrast, so many people end up suffering midlife crises because they want to make positive changes in their lives but fear losing all the material wealth they have accumulated if they trip up along the way.

With tan hiep phat, nothing is impossible
Phuong Uyen Tran and her father

My parents just move on. And this particular story had a happy ending when my grandfather eventually came back to live with them again. He grew to love my mother so much that he ended up regarding her as his daughter and not just his daughter-in-law. She is Catholic, and shortly before he died, he called in a priest to convert to her religion. It was a big deal for his large Buddhist family, but he did it out of respect for her.

Embracing change can be terrifying, but my parents believe there is nothing to fear. They have incorporated this belief into another one of THP's core values: "Today is better than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow. Progress is never-ending; each day being a little better than the one before."

Monitoring your competitors helps your business thrive better

From humble roots making yeast and then sugar, THP has rapidly evolved into a company focused on creating healthy and preservative-free beverages using the most advanced bottling equipment in the world. The business continues to be owned and managed by our family. We are committed to building an increasingly international business with roots and values grounded firmly in Vietnamese culture, Phuong Uyen Tran shared her insights that competition provokes innovation, and it is crucial to watch your competitors closely and see your business achieve further success.

There is a fine line, however, between family and business. Not all familial tendencies should cross over into business, just as business dynamics should not rule how a family’s relationships are nurtured and maintained. Ultimately, successful family businesses understand the roles of family members in and out of the business and respect those roles and boundaries.

Holding strong to our family values as a guide and acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of family members within the business, has resulted in extraordinary growth for our company. THP now employs over 5,000 people across its four production facilities and dozens of branch offices. We make ongoing investments in researching new ways to better serve our consumers. Our factories are home to state-of-the-art technologies including ten aseptic lines, PET manufacturing systems, and both hot and cold filling lines for Tetra Pak, cans, and glass bottles. We also produce our own packaging include PET and cartons.

About author Phuong Uyen Tran

Working as a powerful businesswoman, Forbes published author, Phuong Uyen Tran is a model of success in Vietnam. Phuong Uyen Tran is also a special contributor for Vietnam Times. Her writing, including “Competing with Giant” book, and her latest articles are to advise and inspire young people to start-up, overcome challenges and reach out to the world. It is the story of a little girl taking the great responsibilities for a corporation and devoting herself to society.

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