What path led Unilever Vietnam – a company after only 15 years of activity in this market – to achieve a turnover close to 1% of the country’s GDP?
Mr. Ly Truong Chien, Senior Expert in Restructuring and Strategic Management Consulting, Former Professional Marketing Director of Unilever Vietnam (1996 – 2006), Former PC Sales Director of Unilever Vietnam (1997 – 2000), as former initiate, recalled the beginnings of days full of difficulties and many thorns.
He said that like many other start-ups, although strongly backed by a famous European multinational, Unilever Vietnam also started very modestly: few employees, a small office and very poor working conditions. .
Below are 5 success lessons from Unilever Vietnam summarized by Mr. Ly Truong Chien.
1. With strategic vision, as well as belief and action, Unilever Vietnam’s leadership has been very practical in following the strategic steps:
– Build a creative and enthusiastic marketing team: organize research to understand consumer behavior and habits and new markets through market research, then with eagerness and creativity. Creative marketing brings brands and brands into the minds of consumers.
– Have a dedicated and persistent sales department: penetrate new markets and reach consumers through an efficient distribution system, so that consumers can find the products they need within 50 steps of their apartment and the house where they live.
– Well organize procurement work to ensure not only price competitiveness, but also the ability to optimize system administration.
– In financial and accounting management, we not only calculate short-term efficiency, but also dare to make risky and controlled investments in the medium and long term.
– Have professional human resources organizers to create a strong and competent team.
– Pay particular attention to the administrator’s ability to lead, motivate, accept responsibility and create connections, to integrate the collective force of elite individuals trained every day.
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2. Always learn the needs of life:
Research the market from macro to macro, not only to understand, but also to live together and empathize with customers and consumers. Learning to understand the language and culture of the target audience in each region and region, thereby developing appropriate strategies, policies and action programs, is important and almost mandatory to ensure control over risky decisions and therefore success. through experience and learning contemplation” has become a philosophy. It is a deep understanding that will bring application and confidence in action, the power of persuasion in negotiation, and it is the decisive element for create value.
3. Connect strategy to action plan:
Despite managing a large system, covering the entire country, thanks to good strategies and action plans, at all times, the company’s managers know what their associates are doing, where they are, to achieve what results and objectives? Not to intervene (for we have been carefully guided and empowered), but to exercise the functions of administrator. This is why directors and business leaders can understand and gain the trust and respect of associates and employees.
The link between strategy and plan is very important in every organization, in the process it is always necessary to take into account the elements of time and deadlines.
4. Sincere cooperation, hard efforts:
It can be said that this is the greatest strength of Unilever Vietnam to achieve the current development. Sincere cooperation does not mean not having to face difficult negotiations, but rather facing difficulties with honesty. It is sincerity that will convince others to participate in solving difficult problems and thus elicit the strenuous effort of each individual and the entire team. Some cooperations have not produced the expected results because they were not carried out properly or correctly, and not because they are impossible to implement.
5. Know how to appreciate the past, devote yourself to the present and always look to the future, be determined to succeed and know how to share victories:
Unilever Vietnam always recognizes the contributions, big or small, direct or indirect, from raw material suppliers that consumers never hear about, agents and many people who have worked creatively and diligently… Don’t underestimate not the spiritual factors, and know how to share successes and victories not only internally but with the entire community through education, health and environmental improvement programs.
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Source: Collected by Pham Van