Entrepreneur Nguyen Thi Bach Mai, CEO of Dong Nai Port: 25 Years of Devotion

10:23:08 AM | 1/6/2014

On June 6, 2014, Dong Nai Port Joint Stock Company will hold a solemn ceremony to celebrate its 25th anniversary. This duration has witnessed the tireless efforts of the company’s leaders, including incumbent CEO Nguyen Thi Bach Mai, who has spent more than half her life building and developing Dong Nai Port into the main port of Dong Nai province, and the top choice for goods transport to and from the key southern economic zone.


Dong Nai Port currently has nine berths, two barge ferries and two warehouses of ​​8,040 square metres. The total land area of the port is 47.85 ha.
Long Binh Tan Terminal was transformed from a general terminal into a container terminal. The company invested to build three berths and one barge berth. The largest berth is capable of receiving vessels of 5,000 DWT.
Go Dau area, including Go Dau A Terminal and Go Dau B Terminal, serves general freight. The wharfs are capable of receiving vessels of 15,000 DWT.
Last year, the company invested in more equipment to increase the service capacity. The company plans to upgrade facilities in Go Dau area to serve ships of 30,000 DWT, expected to be put into operation in 2015.
From fate to enthusiasm


Known as one of the first people to pursue the construction project of Dong Nai Port, after 25 years of devotion, her passion for building in a province with a lot of industrial zones never fades away. Used to be a first-course port construction student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, she included a study of Dong Nai Port in her graduation thesis with the desire of contributing her efforts for the homeland's development. At that time, Dong Nai Port was situated on a desolate area and the Dong Nai Port construction project was stalled for lack of investment capital.
And in 1989, the port construction project was reconsidered. At that time, she was assigned by the Dong Nai Department of Transport to work with some other colleagues to perform a feasibility study on the project. She found that many were very interested in the construction of the project and this was also the motivation for her to continue the study and propose the establishment of Dong Nai Port (the forerunner of present-day PDN).
With as little as less than VND1 billion of capital and advance rents in 10 years by customers, she and her colleagues made detailed plans to persuade leaders to use this money to build wharves and makeshift working offices. At first, the wharf operation was promoted to generate income and seek new development opportunities. From this right direction, port operation business in Dong Nai province was officially initiated.
In April 1997 when Go Dau was chosen to be built into a port complex of the province, investment capital remained a primary difficulty. The opportunity smiled to her when a customer expressed its interests in port construction and the repayment would be made in the form of port service charges. After the discussion with her colleagues, they decided to sign contracts with that partner and filed the proposal to the Ministry of Transport for approval. The port complex project was thus completed ahead of schedule one year instead of three years.
Flexibly making strategic redirection to success
The company’s business substantially improved when she and her colleagues decided to transform Long Binh Tan Terminal from a general terminal into a container terminal. In 2013, PDN made record revenue of over VND207 billion and earned a pre-tax profit of more than VND47.5 billion. The company agreed on a dividend payout ratio of 22 percent for the past fiscal year, higher than previous years. These figures demonstrate the efforts of the entire company in the current tough time.
To make new successes, Ms Mai anticipated scenarios and put forth suitable solutions for actual situation conditions to ensure sustainable development. Together with enhancing the quality of human resources and port services, the company has focused a lot on completing logistics supply chains and sales policies.
To mitigate impacts of economic slowdown and realise business performance results, PDN has invested to build warehouses and piers to meet the demands of local industrial parks. To carry out this strategy, PDN will expand connectivity and cooperation with deepwater ports to become a central transshipment port complex with an annual cargo throughput of 20 million tonnes a year by 2020.
Thanh Hai