"She is one of the Vietnam's businesses bringing this country to a brighter future, more prosperous." It was the introduction of Mr. Norman Y. Mineta - Minister of U.S. Department of Commerce, in his visit to Vietnam with President Bill Clinton in 2000 about Ms. Le Hai Lieu - Director General and Chairman Board of Management, brand leaders in the field of mining, wood processing in Vietnam for the wood products used in home and toys for children. This success once again confirms the business motto of Entrepreneur Ms. Le Hai Lieu is correct; perhaps "probity" has made advantage in her. Because of face, so the word "Heart" and "Faithfulness" is a respected by manager and becomes the faith that she specially worships. She also frankly admitted: "I am successful due to face", because "I extremely hesitate to say sorry to customers, feel ashamed to justify my mistakes. For this only one way that should never cause mistakes ... "
Excellent trading as probity
Came from a bourgeois family with full enough life, but she does not bring in her a thought and style as a wealthy young lady often see. With the look as hard, strong, decisive well up from the point and solving the problem is one of the factors that make a very particular personality of Le Hai Lieu. Hence she had wanted to disengage the cover from the family, joined the army to learn how to face with difficulties. After discharged from army, she became the student of the HCM City Economics University. Although always hard studied, but sometimes still floated in her ears the light words as wind: "soldier, how can study?" "No problem. Will study excellent? "- being irritated, she was determined to learn. She was better than ever, evidenced by the invitation and stayed as a teacher of the school board. Become working in education but many things still make her think, the woman tried in a turn that is doing business. In the '90s, she came to Germany to learn more about this area, then turned back country to receive job in Duc Thanh Wood Processing enterprise established by her father. "I was too young in that time, no specialist knowledge and often received deals from the “eyebrow beard God ". On the other hand, the household production of rubber wood exported was novelty in Vietnam, Duc Thanh while not yet known, so the search of orders from abroad was a big problem "- she shared. Want to survive, Duc Thanh must find a new direction. And each new step is a difficulty, obstacle while production experience was limited, the output of the product was not available, the differences to create competitive with other brands... Since the pressures that she faced a lot of concern. Meanwhile, the domestic market was often familiar with products made from precious wood that this material was limited by little, she started toward the rubber trees. The properties of this plant are after being exploited pus in duration will have to leave to substitute a new age. Often, their wood is used as fuel or weathering, so will be wasted. A more tree have equivalent wood quality that grows easily in our country is acacia aneura. They are a great potential for export. In her opinion, she always wanted to something different direction and does not accept someone else's shadow. The finding of two timber crops is a typical example because they have not been known by any business in Vietnam. Duc Thanh well whereby always have ample material to produce. Le Hai Lieu's decision brought to Duc Thanh two advantages: the exploitation of national strength is the vast source of rubber wood, and opens a path, a new market in which to reduce the competition. With specific plans and workers are trained with high skill, Duc Thanh initially had positive results. In 1995, the company received orders for production of finished products. In 1998, Duc Thanh began to design more new products, increasing more ranges of product and boldly expanded the international market. Besides, Duc Thanh was granted BVQI ISO 9000:2000 quality certificate on 12/2000.
Do not stop the renovation, which is one of Duc Thanh’s secret to continuous development and achieves impressive sales from 25-30% a year.
"One looking at children playing with piles of imported toys," national pride "emerged; I asked myself why not produce toys for children in Vietnam? Why not bring the classic characters, celebrity of Vietnam on toys? So the new brand toy Winwintoys of Duc Thanh was born.
"Probity" but must have passion; here is element to create the strength to succeed "(laughs).
The “Compassionate mind” is very important
Together with new direction, she pays much attention to management organization because in her point of view, “the enterprise’s existence depends remarkably on effects of good management”, from about 20 members since newly founding day, that number has reached to thousands of people. To manage effectively that amount of employees is not easy but she always talks to herself “I have to care them with all my heart, so they will care me with all their heart.” In her aspect, Her farther is a strategist, who always teaches her worthy, profound lessons. She talks: “When she has just started to get into the market, her father has been her encouraging resource and supported her strength. He often said that if we want the management to be strong, we must treat the workers well. For subordinated employees, I am not only flexible but also strict; always harmonious between reason and emotion. When they work well, have useful innovations for the company, I often award them generously. There are many times I nearly do not use any coin for myself but for “my brothers and sisters”. Attempts and results of workers are always recognized, they are the motive forces to encourage creative working spirit of workers by their best devotion because of everybody’s development. When the company was still young, she used to borrow money with high interest to pay salary on time. She always remembers his father’s saying: “Never pay salary late, even one day. The leader must have the “compassionate mind” and bring happiness to others”. There is one special thing in Duc Thanh which is difficult to find in many other enterprises, that is the affection of the leaders. Her farther, Mr. Le Ba, who used to be the Chairman of the company’s administrative council, together with his daughter have always tried to take care of employees’ life through the most practical actions. All employees have labour accident insurance 24/24. For female employees, when they are pregnant until they have given birth to the child for 6 months, they will get two milk boxed and 200.000 dongs every month, etc. When the City People’s Committee has policy to register number of inhabitants for people who have stay provisionally for years, she immediately requires the personnel department to search information to help employees having all criterions to fulfill procedures. Duc Thanh also supports by lending money to buy car, land, house and inviting people to the company to teach and organize contest for driving certification for all employees. Every year, there are many employees who are allowed to raise shares and buy life insurance. In order to restrain employees’ mistakes, she checks whether they know clearly about the company’s regulation or not. Although she is extremely busy, she always pays attention and has a deep understanding of Duc Thanh’s employees. For her, social charity is usually given whole mind to, but in the company, there are still many employees in poor situation who Duc Thanh needs to care about. This is the most practical way for employees to become fond of the company.
If in 2008 – 2009, economic crisis storm made many enterprises to decline, but Duc Thanh was still strong confidently with about 18% of profit after tax per net revenue in 2009. However, general difficulties still had not small impacts on stability of Duc Thanh.
In the early 2009, all orders were almost stagnant and this company is an export one, Duc Thanh had never fallen into that headache situation. Reducing expense, salary or personnel? All would make employees shock; those solutions were just like those of other enterprises. So, she decided to find a new way, through a “meeting to offer suggestions” of the whole company. After analyzing the situation, everybody seemed sympathized, tried to find positive solutions. The results made her very surprised. Manufacturing staffs required not raising work shifts – it means that omitting salary for overtime work, and reducing other manufacturing expenses, etc. Official staffs still finished their work and voluntarily had 1 to 2 day-off without paid. Those are opinions highly approved and easily accepted by everybody. “I think there is nothing happier when what I did for my employees are recognized. When they are in difficulties, the company is always by their side to help, and when business situation of Duc Thanh is not smooth; all employees are enthusiastic to side by side overcome the storm. From that, we can see the “giving” and “receiving” really makes sense.” That’s the “giving” has made a strong union block for Duc Thanh to overcome confidently troubles and gain many respectful achievements in this time, and according to finance analysts of Rich education (a prestige international finance analyzing, training organization): “Duc Thanh wood company is a classical situation for enterprise model to emphasize almost absolutely into business. It is certain that owner shall gain more and more effectively”.
Always ensure “Prestige”
She always talks to herself the saying “Thousands of promises are not the same as a detailed action”, this is also the key for Duc Thanh to keep belief in customers’ mind. The passionate mind of the leader is the important factor for Duc Thanh to execute that guideline. Recent economic crisis is a proof to show her right and equitable practice. In 1997, Asia was in an economic crisis; Duc Thanh had to stop collecting and buying materials because customers stopped all orders. However, when the economy became stable, they required more about quality and materials. The company was in bad situation of losing investment into previous materials. By the flexibility in management, she controlled strictly each step of manufacturing; refunding, collecting arrears; using provision to buy other materials, etc. Finally, Duc Thanh overcame the crisis and ensured commitment about time as well as quality of products for customers. Because 95% of the company’s activities is export, major subject is foreign customers so they are very “strict” about material quality, safety and many other internal standards are inspected closely, hence, in order to keep their belief, Duc Thanh must always ensure their prestige. This is also true for people’s characteristic, she really “abstain from saying sorry to customers; she is very ashamed when she has to explain for her faults”. “I never allow any reasons to prevent me as well as accept to blame for situation”. Thanks to that, within 19 past years, there is no customers complaining about Duc Thanh and the company products are never given back. When we have belief, everything will be done conveniently and easily. She said: “Only need one sentence, we can make an order of hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars. The sentence of partners, customers “I believe Duc Thanh”, “I believe Mrs. Lieu” has brought us many things, not only material things but also spiritual value”. Once partners trust us, they do not hesitate to cooperate with or invest into Duc Thanh. In 2007, the company continued to receive investment resource from BankInvest (Investment Fund into private of BankInvest group – Denmark) with the capital of 32 billion dongs, approximately 2 million USD. Ex ante, Mekong Enterprises Fund II1 had invested 1,35 million USD in 2005 and 400.000 USD in 2006. They are strategic partners for Duc Thanh to have stable development because in her point of view, it is important for the company to have more supporting in management; to have those shared difficulties in competitiveness in all countries. With that capital, she intends to build a third factory in Binh Duong, in which she will leave a space for employee’s resting room. Until now, products of Duc Thanh have been present in Vietnam and exported to about 50 countries all over the world. Products of the company have also been issued the quality certificate ISO 9000:2000 since 12/2000 by BVQI. Duc Thanh’s revenue is now over 150 billion dongs/year, with over 1000 employees with average income of 3 million dongs/person/month. And according to judgment of finance analysts of Rich Education (a prestige international finance analyzing, training organization): “Duc Thanh wood company is a classical situation for enterprise model to emphasize almost absolutely into business. It is certain that owner shall gain more and more effectively”.
The family is the peaceful fulcrum
Men who do business owners have a busy schedule and heavy responsibilities, then, while she secures jobs for thousands of employees, line of business development, taxation and income have always ... also tries to fulfill the role of women in the family. "Sometimes doing business have something that contradicts with the vocation of women" - she laughed. But the family is the important element to create the perfection of Ms. Le Hai Lieu.
"When being stress by job, fatigue, she backs home with her children having fun. If having time, she goes to market buying a lot of foods to entertain with the whole family. For her, family is the most peaceful place when stepping on the arduous challenge, she feels more confident and stronger.
- Familiar with leadership style, or instruction to others when before your husband, you "forgot?" What I then gently: "you forget who I am before you?" She's like, resolute, tough but tender, loving as formerly – Mr. Le Nhu Ai (Director of SAPUWA Pure Water Company) happy.
- She is an intelligent and well person, which makes you feel lost confidence?
- I’m always confident. We respect each other.
She openly: "If conflict occurs, I and my husband will find the solution and do what both feel reasonable. He is also a powerful mentor for me at work. I learned a lot from him”. Talking about the best luck in her life, she could not help proud feeling: "That is my husband. Thanks life has brought him to my side”.
Frequently away from home because the trip overseas, the stress of work, competitive pressures in the marketplace ... but she still know to balance her life. Those are the warm meals beside husband and children, riding children around with the small bike; the headline says laughter lively laughter of daughter every time after the work, the whole of family is very eager to visit grandmother. .. With her, those are true happiness. A peaceful happy as fulcrum for the woman to continue growing Duc Thanh strongly, going further ...
Ms. Le Hai Lieu awarded continuous five years' typical Saigon Businessman "," reputation - quality Business", “prestige exporter” for many years, “national excellence Portraits " , merit of the Prime Minister and others certificates of merits. She has been awarded the title of "typical Businessman of Vietnam in 2009" on the Entrepreneur date of Vietnam.
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