VN businesswomen in Forbes' Asia top 50 list

Update: March, 03/2015 - 09:16
Mai Kieu Lien, chairwoman and CEO of Vinamilk

HA NOI  (VNS) — Two Vietnamese entrepreneurs have been named by Forbes as being among the top 50 powerful businesswomen in Asia.

Mai Kieu Lien, chairwoman and CEO of the Viet Nam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) and Thai Huong, chairwoman of TH Group with the TH True Milk brand, were named in the Asia's Power Businesswomen 2015 list, released by Forbes last week.

Vinamilk is one of the best-known brands in Viet Nam and, according to research firm Nielsen, has 51 per cent of the liquid milk market share, Forbes said.

Vinamilk's revenue jumped 14 per cent in 2014 to reach US$1.7 billion, supported by two new factories, the magazine said, adding that Lien, 61, aims to push sales to touch $3 billion by 2017 by expanding overseas.

Vinamilk exports to 30 countries and is trying to sell more to the Middle East, Africa and Cuba. But Mai faces certain challenges. For instance, the company's profit last year was flat as the price of raw materials – largely imported milk powder – shot up, according to the magazine.

Lien has been included in the Asia's Power Businesswomen list for the fourth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, TH Group Chairwoman Thai Huong, 57, is the newest representative of Viet Nam in this list. Huong entered the milk business in 2009, vowing to change the nature of the industry in Viet Nam, which has mainly used powder to produce liquid milk, Forbes said.

Thai Huong, chairwoman of TH Group

Since then, TH Group has invested $450 million to import and raise cows to produce fresh milk products, using Israeli technology. It has 40,000 cows on 8,100 ha, but plans to raise its total land to 37,000ha, according to Forbes.

TH Group estimates that its 2014 revenue exceeded $200 million, with a one-third share of the fresh-milk market, a challenge to the country's largest milk producer, Vinamilk, Forbes said.

The Asia's Power Businesswomen 2015 list covers the top 50 representatives in several sectors from 16 regional countries.

To prepare this year's list, Forbes applied the criteria of company sales, the positions of the candidates in their companies, and the level of their participation at work.

In 2014, Forbes named three Vietnamese businesswomen in its most-powerful women list, including Vinamilk Chairwoman and CEO Lien, Chairperson and CEO of Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Joint Stock Company Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, and Chairperson of the Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank Nguyen Thi Nga. — VNS