FPT and Viettel, two large telecom and IT corporations, which have reaped initial successes from making outward investments, say they will join forces with other Vietnamese businesses to exploit foreign markets.
Truong Gia Binh, president of FPT, said FPT began thinking of making money in foreign markets 19 years ago by exporting software. At that time, many other enterprises also tried to seek opportunities from overseas markets, but they did not move ahead and waited to see if FPT could succeed with its business before making decisions.
Five to eight years later, some companies begin exploiting foreign markets.
Relating the story, Binh said if everyone tries to ‘play safe’, they will waste time and miss great opportunities. Foreign markets have helped FPT grow rapidly, as they are vast markets which bring a high growth rate of hundreds of percent.
In the last few years, FPT has been providing IT and telecom services to Cambodia, Bangladesh and Myanmar to get money to offset decreases in the domestic market.
Nguyen Trung Chinh, president of CMC, said foreign markets brought the 200 percent growth rate to CMC last year and he believes the growth rate would be even more satisfactory in the time to come.
According to Viettel’s CEO Nguyen Manh Hung, people should not think that business should grow in the domestic market first before trying to reach foreign markets, because opportunities may be missed.
“Businesses can develop the domestic and foreign markets just like walking on two feet,” he said. “The domestic market will get saturated, and therefore, foreign markets will be the playing fields for enterprises that want to expand."
Viettel’s success in overseas markets has inspired many other enterprises. Vuong Quang Khai, deputy CEO of VNG, admitted that VNG learned many lessons from Viettel when developing Zalo.
After four years of providing the service and attracting 60 million users in Vietnam, Zalo decided to march towards Myanmar and it has attracted 4 million users in the market.
According to Khai, once obtaining 60 million users, it would be very difficult to maintain high growth in the domestic market. In this case, it would be better to seek new development way in overseas markets.
“We thought if we failed in Myanmar, we would still attack other important markets in ASEAN, Asia and non-Asian markets,” he said. “It would be good even if only two out of 10 markets bring success."
Tran Dinh Thien, head of the Vietnam Economics Institute, commented that it is the right time to apply policies to support Vietnamese enterprises so they can make money overseas.