by My Le and Ha Nguyen
Despite the global economic slowdown, many young entrepreneurs have remained adventurous and found ways to excel, particularly in creating their own products for domestic and export markets.
Among these are Le Anh Giang, 25, the CEO of Joy Entertainment, who collaborated with his colleagues to successfully create the game known as Chien Binh CS, an online game for mobile phones originally made in Viet Nam.
"We created a game engine by ourselves and then developed it to Chien Binh CS. The game is similar to Counter Strike, a legend among the gun shooting games in the world," Giang said.
Giang, who was once an high-ranking official in Gameloft, a company specialising in making mobile phone games for foreign companies in Viet Nam, said that he left the company and borrowed VND2 billion from his mother to invest in the development of Chien Binh CS at the Joy Entertainment Company.
His company encountered many obstacles, including a lack of funds, in completing the project. He approached several game companies in Viet Nam to co-operate with him, but none of them came forward until CMN Online chose to share his hardship.
As Chien Binh CS involves guns, it was difficult to please relevant agencies for a licence because they believed that the game was violent, recalled Giang.
"We were well aware of that problem, so we tried to make the game similar to eSport. For instance, during the game, if a player intends to succeed, he has to train to overcome each step to conquer the game's goals."
He quoted an unnamed CMN Online representative as saying that the game is also available with eSports tournaments for players and sport teams to join in.
The representative felt that the relevant agencies should approve the game as a product of Viet Nam because it includes its source code, which was totally written by young Vietnamese programmers.
"Development of the game's source code is very important because it showcases the skill levels of domestic programmers as compared to those across the world. It also paves the path for other companies to develop the game in the future," the representative said.
Like Giang, Ho Vinh Hoang has surprised the world by producing robots made in Viet Nam.
Since studying at the University of Technology, after winning the first prize at the Robocon Competition, he created his first robot that can play ping-pong.
His Topio 2.0 robot caught the attention of several foreigners when it was first displayed in Germany in 2009.
"They could not imagine that a Vietnamese company was capable of making such a high-tech toy," Hoang said.
At that exhibition, Hoang signed many sales contracts with foreign companies from Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan, among many others.
Japan's three-largest toy firms of Takara Tomy, Bandai, and Doyusha have requested Tosy to become their sole agent, said Hoang.
The young director of Tosy Company stated that he is very confident about his work because he has attracted many young excellent programmers and IT experts, many of whom had participated in annual national Robocon contests.
Till date, Hoang's company has sold millions of Tosy products, both within and outside the country.
When questioned about his secret to success, Hoang confessed that the most important aspect is that a young person should be confident and daring enough to take risks in his chosen field. Later, he should be capable enough to overcome difficulties, such as shortages of funds, personnel resources, and a work place. He should be willing to patiently seek help from relatives and friends.
Nguyen Van Phuc, the chairman of the Viet Nam Robot Association, lauded Hoang and his young colleagues for producing the first robots made in Viet Nam.
"Although the industry is still new in the country, but it has won international acclaim. We are very proud to be the first Vietnamese company to produce such high-tech toys," Phuc exclaimed.
Following in Giang and Hoang's footsteps, Ha Huy Thanh had set up his own EM centre to maintain computers when he was 20 years old and a student at the Ha Noi National University. He is the head of the New Thinking Group, with members who are students of many universities in Ha Noi.
To set up the centre, Thanh had to borrow money from his parents and friends, while trying to improve his English and IT skills.
As a result, he set up two additional new companies, V-Link, which specialises in communications development in communities to produce products for communities' projects, such as alkaline water and CIO, online solutions for health and nutrition, noted Thanh.
Despite the global economic downturn, Thanh's company has signed a contract with a Taiwanese group to produce Viet Nam's first ion water, which is claimed to be very good for human health.
The Viet Nam Health Federation has signed a contract with Thanh to buy 80 million litres of ion water every year, reported federation Chairman Pham Manh Hung.
According to Chairman of the Viet Nam Young Business Association Mai Huu Tin, Giang, Hoang and Thanh are among hundreds of other young entrepreneurs who have dared to seek out their own ways to thrive and succeed by using their creativity and knowledge.
"They have created stable jobs for hundreds of people, but most importantly, they have made many products in Viet Nam that are being highly valued and accepted by foreign countries," Tin said. — VNS