19 December, 2013

Mr. Tran Le Nguyen, CEO of Kinh Do, said that for the upcoming journey Kinh Do has three main goals which are to focus on core business, to bring our brands to international markets and to execute M & A strategy.

Twenty years is not long for a business conglomerate, however, for a successful business like Kinh Do, it is a journey that has many remarkable milestone. Mr. Tran Le Nguyen, CEO and a co-founder of Kinh Do Corporation, although is very busy during peak year end season, still takes the time to share the fruits that Kinh Do has achieved during the past 2 decades.

Achievements after 20 years

Kinh Do has achieved many successes in the past 20 years, according to you, what was your most prominent achievements?

Everybody each has its own perception, however, for the founders of Kinh Do, the most prominent achievements after 20 years of building the company is the strong brand. Kinh Do has become a national brand. 2 decades dedicated to the taste of happiness, we understand our consumers. We dedicated to produce the right product to meet consumer needs at a reasonable price.

We have continually invested in new machinery and resources to create products with a wide range of variety and each has distinctive flavor in order to meet the needs of consumers. Many of our products now leads market accounts for a large market share in the same segment for example Kinh Do mooncakes accounts for 70% market share, or  AFC, Korento, Cosy, SOLITE, fresh bread, ice cream ... Up till now, we have got 9 SBUs with hundreds of products to serve customers. Kinh Do products have become a familiar brand and a first choice of Vietnam consumers.

Twenty years is a sequence of events, if "suddenly" has to speak about prominent events, what would be the first thing that you remember?

It would be the launching of mooncakes in 1998 and the acquisition of Wall's ice cream factory from Unilever in 2003. Kinh Do is now the dominant player with leading market share of 70-80% in moon cakes.

What about the acquisitions of Wall’s ice cream brand together with the whole plant and production line from Unilever in Vietnam?

This event is memorable because the deal has confirmed the “character” of Kinh Do - a private domestic business "dared" to buy a big brand from a multinational corporation. The event also marked the official entry of Kinh Do into the ice cream industry.

However, in reality, aside from the acquisition of Wall's ice cream, Kinh Do is also well known as a pioneer in corporate M & A activities with many major deals?

Indeed. Kinh Do used M & A as leverage to accelerate grow and develop as room for organic growth becoming increasingly narrow.

Of course, not all of our M&A deals were effective as expected, however, it was important that Kinh Do recognized the inefficiency and removed it to focus its resources on other opportunities. In business, a good leader would not regret the past and readied to divest out of inefficient operation and focus on core values. The restructure helped us to maintain a growth momentum amidst difficult environment.

According to you, which element was the most important factor in the success of Kinh Do today?

This question is really not easy to answer in a brief sentence, as the success of Kinh Do today is caused by many factors. We possess a cohesive, committed and devoted team to the development of the business. In addition, Kinh Do’s management team always are passionate, daring, bold, and visionary ... Thanked to a good governance though the economy was difficult the in recent years, Kinh Do still maintain stable growth rate using a strategy focusing on core business.

A success is shared

How does Kinh Do success affect the employees?

Looking back at the success of Kinh tDo oday, we often asked ourselves the question of how Kinh Do success affects our staffs. Aside from the salary, bonus, for each share issuance, we often asked our shareholders to set aside a portion for employees which would be sold at a discount or at zero value.

We are pleased that in a way we have cared for the lives of our employees even to those who hold low position. The fruits of Kinh Do success did not come from any individual, but it was a result of the whole community especially the staffs

Can you please speak more about how Kinh Do success was shared with the community?

During the past 20 years, "the taste of happiness" which Kinh Do brought was not only our quality products but also the social activities that the company did for the community.

We realized that in business we should not focus only on profit s and neglect the responsibility to the community. Since 2001, Kinh Do has spent over VND 35 billion for different social programs. This activity has become the culture of the company. Kinh Do staffs are also very aware of that and always ready to support social programs oriented to the communities.

Heads out to the ocean

A business that aims to expand their operations usually has three choices: organic growth, M&A, and partnership. Kinh Do followed the first two choices but not the third. What is Kinh Do strategy for the upcoming period?

In the upcoming period, Kinh Do has three main objectives. First, we will focus on the core business following the "Food & essential products" strategy to bring the "taste of happiness" to consumers. Second, we will continue to increase the number of joint venture, partnership, and collaboration with partners, to bring Kinh Do brand abroad.
Third, we will continue to seek opportunities to invest in companies that fit with our strategy of “food and essential products” (food & flavor).

What about the partnership to expand confectionery business and bring Kinh Do brand abroad?

In the past two year, Vietnam market growth decelerated. The goals of investors is to accelerate the grrowth again and the only way to accomplish such goal is to establish partnership and cooperation with others  to increase the number of product and expand overseas. This will be the key to boost Kinh Do growth after turning 20 years old. Upon accomplishing such goal, Kinh Do will be able to bring the “taste of happiness” which is the peace of mind, confidence, and satisfaction on investment to our partners, shareholders and investors.

Which company is the target that Kinh Do is aiming for in the confectionery industry?

In addition to the project of expanding toward essential products such as instant noodles, spices, we are also pushing the cooperation with foreign partners as well as the construction of additional factories in foreign countries. The detail of our plan will be announced when it is appropriate. In 10 to 20 years, Kinh Do will be a strong confectionery company as well as a major brand in the areas of food and other essentials products

20 year journey to bring the taste of happinestos to consumers. From a small base which was established in 1993, Kinh Do expands to 6 companies and 5 factories specialized in confectionary, ice cream, milk and other milk products using modern technology and quality management system with international standards. The Group has built up an extensive distribution network with 300 distributors, a cold distribution channels, and a coverage of over 200,000 retail outlets. Kinh Do accounts for approximately 30% market share in the domestic confectionery market, for mooncakes Kinh Do market share is up to 70-80%. Kinh Do products are also exported to over 30 countries around the world

Committed to the food sector, Kinh Do continuously invested in machinery and resources to innovate products with a wide range of variety each has a distinct taste that meet the needs of consumers. From a simple initial product, Kinh Do continuously innovated to create new products that meet the diverse needs of consumers. From snacking, and gifted and holidays products, Kinh Do geared more to the nutrional and essential products. It all came from the desire to bring more of the taste of happiness to consumers. That will also be the guiding star and the key direction of Kinh Do in the near future.

From a company that had only 70 workers, it was able to build an enormous and irreplacable asset which is a team of 8,000 people who all are cohesive, enthusiastics, and devoted to the development of the Group. Together with the development of the Group, Kinh Do has a made positive contribution to the development of the country and the community.

After a 20 year journey, along with impressive business achievements, Kinh Do also marked its presence with many initiatives, and daring transformation that demonstrated the vision and acumen of company leaders.
In 1996, only two years after establishment, Kinh Do invested in a modern factory with total area of 6 hectare. From simple snacking products, Kinh Do swiftly conquered the market with dozens of product lines in the confectionery industry and other food categories. In 2000, North Kinh Do was established noted the presence of Kinh Do network and the taste of happiness on the whole country of Vietnam. In 2003, Kinh noted its 10th year of establishement with the acquisition of Wall's ice cream brand from Unilever. This also marked the event of the first domestic enterprises to successfully acquire an international brand.In 2004, Kinh Do shares were official traded on the stock exchange which marked the transition of the company into a public company welcoming investment opportunity and laying a foundation for the new growth phase of Kinh Do. In 2010, Kinh Do officially merged with North Kinh Do Company and Ki Do. In 2012, the Group continued to merge Vinabico into KDC bringing its scale to one of the leading food corporation in Vietnam.

Kinh Do strategy in recent years was to focus on core buiness of food and other essential products. M & A and partnership are effective toolsto leverage to expand toward essential product categories in the domestic market as well as to bring Kinh Do confectionery brand abroad. Thus, despite economic difficulties in recenr years, Kinh Do still maintain steady grow rate.

After 20 years of development, together with the growth in scale, Kinh Do has also built a strong foundation for growth for the next journey as well as for the mission of bringing Kinh Do brand abroad.

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