Wednesday, October 18 2017

VietNamNews

Incense seller opens workshops

Update: October, 01/2017 - 09:00
Top team: The young entrepreneur (centre)has created jobs for up to 2,000 people. — Photo Courtesy of Nguyễn Văn Thiện
Viet Nam News

Nguyễn Văn Thiện, a young man from Đà Lạt in the central highlands has sold many different things.

He started to sell incense after a businessman visiting from Taiwan suggested he do so.

Thiện now has workshops where he produces incense.

He sells it to buyers in different countries all over the world.

by An Vũ

Incense is common in most Vietnamese and Asian households. For many, it is significant at national events, such as Tết, and the many other days of worship.

Others burn a few sticks when feeling sad or joyful, asking for luck in life and inner peace for the soul. 

Since becoming a university freshman in 2010, Nguyễn Văn Thiện experienced many kinds of jobs, including selling vegetables, fruits, handmade cosmetics, antiques - and being a waiter and a docker.

The young man from the Central Highland city of Đà Lạt had selling in his blood.

But it was beyond his expectations that his life would change after he was introduced to incense.

In 2014, he opened a real estate company with some partners. But he soon realised he found the work tedious and stressful, and he began looking for ways to get out.

"In 2013, in an incense transaction with a Taiwan businessman, he asked me why I did not do more business with incense, stressing in his country, more than 90 per cent of the population used natural incense, mostly made from aromatic plants and good quality resin," Thiện said. "The aromas came from wormwood, cinnamon, sandalwood, agarwood, orange and mandarin peel. Among all, agarwood is considered King."

The Taiwanese man asked why he could not find that incense in Việt Nam. He offered to assist Thiện in making the product. After being handed the technique to produce the incense, Thiện began to place orders for massive amounts of the product in 2014.

“Until now, I had expanded to four workshops in HCM City and one subsidiary in Hà Nội. Certainly, nothing came easy first hand. When I decided to venture in this business, I knew the most difficult thing to face was changing the mindset of domestic customers used to unhealthy, chemical-laden incense," Thiện said.

Naming his jointstock company Nhang Thiền (Meditation Incense), he invested in an old type of incense made naturally.

He and his partners introduced the product at festivals, exhibitions, vegetarian restaurants, places influenced by fengshui and meditation.

Besides the incense line which is mostly used for meditation practise, Thiện also developed a green incense for altar purpose.

“Natural incense is favoured by international markets, especially in mainland China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Middle East, and Europe."

Thiện’s pure incense is now available in more than 40 countries. In a survey by Việt Nam Television, more than 80 per cent of ingredients used in many kinds of ordinary incense proved to have a high level of smoke which may lead to lung cancer, respiratory and nerve problems.

“Luckily, natural incense is made mostly from farmed agarwood, and it can be found everywhere in Việt Nam like Quảng Nam, Bình Phước, Đồng Nai, Phú Quốc. Unlike natural agarwood, which is expensive and is found in rainforest trees, farmed agarwood can be planted like any crops," said Thiện.

Thiện said the new industry had created jobs for thousands of labourers. VNS 

 


 

 

GLOSSARY

Since becoming a university freshman in 2010, Nguyễn Văn Thiện experienced many kinds of jobs, including selling vegetables, fruits, handmade cosmetics, antiques - and being a waiter and a docker.

A freshman is someone who is in his, or her, first year at college or university.

Cosmetics are things you put on your skin to look beautiful.

Antiques are old but valuable things, such as old furniture and old jewellery.

But it was beyond his expectations that his life would change after he was introduced to incense.

Your expectations of something, or someone, are what you expect of them.

In 2014, he opened a real estate company with some partners.

Real estate is property.

But he soon realised he found the work tedious and stressful, and he began looking for ways to get out.

Tedious means long and slow.

Stressful means being full of emotional strain from demanding circumstances.

"In 2013, in an incense transaction with a Taiwan businessman, he asked me why I did not do more business with incense, stressing in his country, more than 90 per cent of the population used natural incense, mostly made from aromatic plants and good quality resin," Thiện said.

A transaction is a movement of money between two people or between two bank accounts.

To stress, in this case, means to emphasise.

Aromatic means beautiful smelling.

Resin is a sticky substance that comes from trees.

After being handed the technique to produce the incense, Thiện began to place orders for massive amounts of the product in 2014.

A technique is a way of doing something.

“Until now, I had expanded to four workshops in HCM City and one subsidiary in Hà Nội.

A subsidiary is a company that is owned, or partly owned, by another company.

When I decided to venture into this business, I knew the most difficult thing to face was changing the mindset of domestic customers used to unhealthy, chemical-laden incense," Thiện said.

To venture into something means to become involved in it and expect surprises.

A mindset is a way of thinking that might be difficult to change.

Domestic means from your country rather than from other countries.

Naming his jointstock company Nhang Thiền (Meditation Incense), he invested in an old type of incense made naturally.

To invest in something means to put money into it in the hope of making more money from it.

In a survey by Việt Nam Television, more than 80 per cent of ingredients used in many kinds of ordinary incense proved to have a high level of smoke which may lead to lung cancer, respiratory and nerve problems.

A survey is a study based on collecting information from many different people.

Respiratory means to do with breathing.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. An organ that the body uses for breathing.
  2. A red fluid that is in your body.
  3. An island country off the coast of China.
  4. The place where Thiện spent the year 2010.
  5. A person who may share a business with you.

 

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Lung; 2. Blood; 3. Taiwan; 4. University; 5. Partner.

 

 

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