Đàm Quang Thắng
Đàm Quang Thắng, a member of the Startup Executive Board, under the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks to the Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper about why startups in Việt Nam need to be devoted to their work.
What do you think of the startup environment in Việt Nam?
The startup movement is popular in all corners of the country, particularly among young people. In response to the enthusiasm of people wishing to establish startups, government agencies and their staff are willing to offer them help with favourable credit policies, job orientations and more. I’m confident that if this spirit keeps up, in the near future, Việt Nam will have many new enterprises.
However, for startup founders, it is important for them to think positively and work hard – two important factors to be successful. Of course, the road ahead is not always rosy. But I’m confident that with determination and assistance from supporting agencies they will be successful.
What advice would you give to founders of startups?
Working in any job, we need love and devotion for it. Without these two factors I don’t think people will be successful. Life is not as ‘rosy’ as many people think, particularly for founders of startups. It is unlikely that in one or two years, startups will achieve all their set targets. There is a saying ‘failure is the mother of success’, so don’t be pessimistic when you struggle at the beginning.
Your will and aspiration are the two most important factors to begin a startup. In addition, you should look for support and register in a business incubator. Many startups have matured in business incubators.
It is widely thought that startup enterprises face many risks. In your opinion, how can we help startups stand on their own feet?
One of the biggest challenges facing startups is capital resources. They want to borrow money from the banks. But banks requirements are so high, as the banks are also enterprises. Safety is their top priority and lending money to startups poses a high risk for them. That’s why the State should call on other financial institutions, including big enterprises to support startups, not just banks. What’s more important is that the Government provides incentives for investors to support startups.
What other support do startup enterprises need?
I suggest that Vietnamese startup entrepreneurs should apply the ‘crab principle’ from Thailand. According to that principle, there are many crabs in a bucket, if one crab successfully climbs out of the bucket, other crabs will try to do the same. It is the same with enterprises. A front runner enterprise should help others to advance. Of course, this will take time, particularly for Việt Nam. But I’m confident if all Vietnamese enterprises are of one mind, we can apply the ‘crab principle’.
For example, recently, the Hà Nội Association of Small and Medium Enterprises launched a campaign ‘a successful enterprise should help a weak enterprise’. If this campaign is successful, five years later, all enterprises in Hà Nội will be in good shape.
I’m confident that if startups receive support from mature and successful enterprises they will be able to cut short their time of growing up and become healthy and successful enterprises._VNS