VIETNAM  – Vinamilk’s success story – Oliver Massmann in interview with Channel News Asia  

 

  1. The government is planning to fully sell its 45% stake in Vinamilk, starting with 9% this year. What are foreign and local investors saying; how much interest is there?

As you already know, Vinamilk is one of the most profitable SOEs, so both foreign and local investors are very interested in buying shares in the company. However, 9% of the charter capital of the company is  a small number and may not attract big investors being corporations in the industry as expected.

  1. Vinamilk is a hugely successful Vietnamese SOE-turned private company. Why do you think it has been able to succeed when so many other SOEs have failed?

There are many reasons but they come down to the following:

  • Doing business in the dairy products – which are of great demand in the market and still have much room for growth considering Vietnam’s growing population);
  • Transparency in the business operation (public listing from the very early stage) and efficient management according to best private practice standards, certainly the long term management and CEO deserves credit for this;
  • Early privatization leading to more efficient and timely decision to grasp business opportunities (compared with lengthy approval procedures by the state);
  • Its good development and branding strategy, including activities to show social corporate responsibility.
  1. Vinamilk wants to become the top dairy company in Southeast Asia. Do you think Vinamilk can beat the likes of Malaysia¹s F&N and Indonesia¹s Indofood?

F&N is the current biggest foreign shareholder in Vinamilk and its owner is targeting shares in big companies in the sector like Vinamilk. Vinamilk is also investing in many other countries in the region (Myanmar, Cambodia) to open its distribution network. It is now too early to say anything, as whether Vinamilk becomes the top dairy company in Southeast Asia depends much on who are the strategic shareholders and the leadership capacity of the successor of Ms. Mai Kieu Lien – Vinamilk’s CEO for almost 23 years.

  1. Food safety is a big concern and talking point in Vietnam today. How much trust do you think Vietnamese consumers here have in Vinamilk?

The fact that Vinamilk was registered with FDA to export its products to the US shows its high quality. In addition, Vinamilk has access to other big markets such as Japan, Canada, Australia, … In Vietnam, Vinamilk’s yoghurts and condensed milk account for 85-90% of the market share, while liquid milk and milk powder accounts for 44% and 27% of the market share respectively. These numbers say it all.  In a survey by Q&ME in 2015, Vinamilk is the most favourite and well-known dairy brand in Vietnam.

Please do not hesitate to contact Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions on the above. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!