Entrepreneur Le Van Kiem Shining Soldierly Virtues

10:31:35 AM | 15/1/2020

Businesspeople in army uniforms are always very inspirational. In wartime, they are brave and ready to stand at the bloody crossfire front and, in peacetime, they will continue to promote soldierly dignity and integrity in the fierce marketplace with the desire to devote themselves to national economic development. Mr. Le Van Kiem, President of the Board of Directors of Long Thanh Golf Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company, is one such soldierly entrepreneurs.

From the concept of “wholehearted living, devotion”…

A lifetime turning point of entrepreneur Le Van Kiem was probably when he decided to resign from a much-honored position in the State administration (Deputy Director of Southern Bridge and Road Construction Committee) to do private business, a decision that sent him onto a new front - making money from his own labor and intellect. With a desire to devote his utmost dedication to homeland development, he was one of the first Vietnamese entrepreneurs to start private business when the country adopted the economic opening policy in the 1980s. On the new front, he boldly took the lead in developing many potential industries such as manufacturing animal feeds, unfading pigments, and rubber-extracted plastic resins. Then, he stepped into garment production by establishing Huy Hoang Co., Ltd. (later renamed to Huy Hoang Garment & Construction Joint Stock Company), one of the largest garment exporters in Vietnam at that time. The company employed over 2,000 workers and generated jobs for over 20,000 workers in other companies nationwide.

Starting business with manufacturing and trade, Kiem is now, however, more famous for the Long Thanh Golf brand. Allocated 350 ha of land to build a golf course and other service facilities by the Dong Nai provincial government, he became the first Vietnamese business owner to invest and design the golf course by himself. With an 18-hole Hill Course and an 18-hole Lake Course with international quality lighting system for golfers to play at night, Long Thanh Golf Club was voted the most beautiful and best golf course in Vietnam and one of the most beautiful in Asia. So far, in nearly 20 years of development, Long Thanh Golf Club has made outstanding milestones, confidently immersed in overall domestic and international golfing trends; and helped raise the position of Vietnamese golf in the eyes of international friends.

Along with the pride of Long Thanh Golf Course and a series of large projects across the country (Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and other localities.), with the desire to further deepen solidarity and friendship of Vietnam and Laos, with the help of the Laotian Party, State and Government leaders, he boldly invested in the Long Thanh-Vientiane Special Economic Zone in the state of a Million Elephants. The 557.74-ha project has a total investment capital of US$1 billion, including a 27-hole Long Vien world-class golf course, a 5-star hotel, an international school and hospital, a luxury resort, a business center, and sporting facilities. In addition, it has a new urban area of more than 2,000 fully furnished villas, expected to be completed in 2020 and employ more than 3,000 local workers.

With many important contributions to Laos’ socioeconomic development, Kiem and his wife, Tran Cam Nhung, and his son, Le Huy Hoang, Deputy General Director of Long Thanh - Vientiane Special Economic Zone, have the honor of being awarded the Lao State Development Order by the President of Laos. This noble award is both a pride and a motivation for him and his family to further improve investment efficiency, foster economic development, and ensure social security in Laos while helping nurture the special friendship and solidarity between Vietnam and Laos.

Following the success of Long Thanh Golf Course and Long Vien Golf Course, Kiem continued to invest in KN Golf Links - a part of KN Paradise Luxury Resort and Entertainment Complex. Designed by legendary Australian golfer Greg Norman, KN Golf Links is challenging and inspiring to all golfers, even the most demanding. The 27-hole world-class links course is a seaside sand dune course, featuring winding terrain across beautiful white sand dunes and an open view, offering golfers a panoramic view of Bai Dai Beach, Cam Ranh, known as one of the most beautiful bays on the planet. In addition, KN Golf Links brings Vietnam a whole new style in designing a training ground with 9 Green practice pitches, many covered practice spaces and an international standard Golf Academy. Right after being put into operation, it was named the best new golf course in Asia - Pacific at Asia Golf Award 2018.

... To true passion for the community

The marketplace is likened to a battlefield. Embarking on business also means accepting to confront storms, which requires an entrepreneur to have the tenacity and perseverance to live through hardships and challenges to survive and develop. With the steely bravery of a soldier who experienced deadly bombarding, Kiem has firmly led the Long Thanh Golf Company through many storms to reach the shore of success, rise to become the top-class premium entertainment service brand in the country; created well-paid jobs for more than 20,000 employees, and paid a handsome sum of tax to the State Budget each year. The secret of his success was the high exaltation of the noble virtues of Uncle Ho's soldiers, who always fight hard on the battlefield and in the marketplace with the steely spirit, soldierly bravery and an enthusiastic heart for every step lifting the country's economy.

Not only doing a good business, with a kind heart and a very positive concept of living - “living is giving, not getting” - Kiem and his wife, Tran Cam Nhung, are eager to take the lead in meaningful philanthropic activities for community happiness such as building houses for people who sacrificed for the nation and caring for Vietnamese heroic mothers; funding heart surgeries for children with congenital heart disease; sponsoring eye surgeries for poor blind people; supporting victims of natural disasters and floods; funding orphans and disabled children, donating study promotion funds and funds for the poor, building schools and clinics for poor localities among other activities.

In the journey full of love, it is very easy to see that each locality where their wheel of charity stops is associated with memorable milestones and unforgettable marks in their life. Thua Thien - Hue and Quang Ngai provinces are their birthplaces; Thanh Hoa province is where his father fought bravely and was sacrificed; the Central Office of the South - Tay Ninh province is where he lived and fought before the South was completely liberated; Ha Tay and Ha Bac are where he was brought up. “Living to this day, having work and devoting to his homeland, I myself cherish heroic sacrifices of so many comrades more than ever, including the beloved father, who rested forever on the battlefield. Having no opportunity to make up for those who cared me and fought with me, I choose to do charity as the sincerest way of gratitude for silent but great sacrifices and that is also my way of sending my gratitude of the Party, the State and the people for adding wings for me on my business career and providing all favorable conditions for Long Thanh Golf Club brand to shine more than ever,” Kiem said.

Especially, desiring to make a meaningful contribution to gratitude movement and social charity, Labor Hero Le Van Kiem and his family have so far donated more than VND1,250 billion. In addition, he initiated charitable golf tournaments to help those living in difficult circumstances; made Long Thanh Golf Club not only one of the most beautiful and modern golf courses in the country, but also a trusted brand that always supports unfortunate lives. Proceeds from charity golf tournaments are used to support the poor in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by building schools, clinics, conducting eye surgeries for the poor and heart surgeries for poor children, building houses for people who sacrificed for the nation, presenting scholarships to poor studious students. “We intend to sell our company shares to strategic shareholders, who have experience in operating our business, to raise money for charity and social work”. From only this narrative, I believe that entrepreneur Le Van Kiem, as long as his heart beats, will continue throughout his life to steer the wheel of charity and care to sow philanthropic seeds and spread the belief of loving life to the community.

Mr. Le Van Kiem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Long Thanh Golf Company, awarded VND3 billion to national women’s soccer squad and VND3 billion to men's team after they convincingly beat Thailand and Indonesia to garner the gold medals at SEA Games 30.

As Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Olympic Committee, he always contributes, accompanies and supports the country’s sports. Labor Hero Le Van Kiem put forth the noble initiative of establishing the Golf Development Fund for Asian Youth. He said, "I want to contribute my capability and enthusiasm to the development of Vietnamese sports with specific development programs such as high performance sports, professional sports and sports for everyone.”

Van Luong (Vietnam Business Forum)