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Dinh Vu


Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018


Sao Mai Group: 20 Years with Three Strong Pillars

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 is the Year of Business and is also a milestone marking the growth of the national economy. The Doing Business Report 2017 of the World Bank, which gauges the ease of doing business in 190 countries around the world, showed that Vietnam climbed nine places to 82nd from 91st in 2016. Unremitting efforts of many local firms have born sweet fruits. Together with Vingroup, Hoa Phat Group and Hoa Sen Group, Sao Mai Group is also a highlighted multi-business entity.

From single to multiple
Multi-business is a trend in the so-called "flat world". The company has expanded from a single-business entity into a multi-business entity. Many groups started their business with design, construction, and real estate.

Vingroup is a giant multi-business group. Starting from real estate, Vingroup has expanded to new realms such as retail supermarkets (Vinmart), convenience stores (Vinmart +), consumer electronics retail stores (VinPro), fashion (VinFashion) and especially agricultural sector with VinEco brand.

Sao Mai Group is a successful multi-sector enterprise. Beginning with design and construction in the Mekong Delta in 1997, the concern was the first joint stock company in Vietnam, marking the country’s 12th year of economic integration with the world. Being successful with the mainstream sector, Sao Mai Group invested in real estate business and launched more than 100 projects across 12 provinces and cities. This was a stepping stone for the firm to step into other businesses such as aquaculture, fish meal - fish fat processing, cooking oil production, tourism and most recently solar energy.

This success came from the group’s right the strategy and vision. Business means never putting all your eggs in one basket. Applying that philosophy, Sao Mai Group managed to live through the global economic crisis in 2008. While many companies struggled to maintain their single business realm, Sao Mai Group reaped a success in the market with its troika-like business approach. It scaled up business operations and fields to supplement each other in any situation on the market.

Competency is core
A multi-business is compared to a big deep-rooted tree. To be healthily growing, it must be deep-rooted. The roots are the core competency of a company, expressed by the capture of opportunities, governance capabilities and administration experience.

Hoa Sen Group stepped into the property market last year but Sao Mai Group had lived through a stormy period of the market and grasped a lot of business development opportunities ahead of other companies in An Giang, Ca Mau, Thanh Hoa and other provinces. Mr Le Thanh Thuan, President of Sao Mai Group, said, that was a good time to invest in real estate and diversify business lines. “If companies do not act now, they will never have a better chance,” he said.

Sao Mai Group also invested the fisheries sector with the construction of 23-ha Vam Cong Industrial Zone in Dong Thap province in 2007. At that time, Vietnam officially entered the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the country had fresh opportunities to boost its exports to WTO member nations where import tariffs were lowered and service sectors were not discriminated. Above all, when the State equitised State-owned enterprises (SOEs), Sao Mai Group acquired stakes and controlled several longstanding tourism companies such as and Dong Thap Tourism Joint Stock Company and An Giang Tourism Joint Stock Company. Another evidence to its right business strategy was the group’s cooperation agreement with Koyo Group to invest VND5,500 billion to build a 210-MW solar energy facility in Tinh Bien district, An Giang province.

Many companies failed when they opted for multi-business approach because they lacked appropriate governance. Therefore, Sao Mai Group paid due attention to two important tasks: Specialising governance apparatus and managing human resources to take internal strengths as the foundation for development to a new level. For that reason, the group's most projects are widely accepted by customers such as Sao Mai Binh Khanh 3 - 5 premium urban zone (Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province) and Sao Mai high-class urban zone (Kien Giang Province). Ranee premium cooking oil, extracted from fish fat with high nutrient contents, also won the trust of consumers after its debut onto the market. The group successfully inspired its employees’ passion and competence and synergised them into a common strength to bring in sweet fruits.

On March 2, 2017 in Long Xuyen city, An Giang province, Sao Mai Group will hold its 20th birthday anniversary. Nearly 8,000 employees from 16 member companies and many guests will have a chance to look back on legendary strides on the path Sao Mai Group has climbed to the peak. The historical chapter of Sao Mai Group will be further written with more glorious pages from the competence and wisdom of Sao Mai employees now and in the future.


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