Đào Văn Vanh (centre) checks work of his employees at the Thuận Hưng Co Ltd. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Thu
HẢI PHÒNG — In 2006, a former Vietnamese soldier started a shoe business, which has since gone on to be very successful.
Using a soldier’s brave spirit, Đào Văn Vanh has developed Thuận Hưng Co. Ltd. in the northern port city of Hải Phòng to having more than 200 employees.
Vanh, 69, is agile, talkative and excited when discussing his days as a soldier.
He enlisted in the army in March 1967, and after a short training in the north he was assigned to Battalion 14, Division 2, Military Region 5, and remained a soldier in the unit until 1975.
The most memorable period for him was 1971-72 when he participated in the Road 9 Campaign in southern Laos when he shot down three enemy aircraft, was admitted to the Party and awarded the Third Class Victory Medal.
Vanh was later injured in a firefight and assessed as having an injury rate of 4/4 – the lightest level for war invalids.
In 1975, Vanh returned to his hometown and left the army to work at a cement factory, but soon quit to study carpentry.
The year 2006 saw him set up his own company in a new field: making toe-capped shoes.
Starting a business was a bold move insofar as he had no assets except some family land, no management experience and did not know where to buy raw materials or how to sell the products too.
Nevertheless, he still decided to build a factory on his family's land, with an investment of VNĐ1.2 billion (US$52,190) which he borrowed. He eventually linked up with Đỉnh Vàng Co. Ltd. – a large leather shoe company in Hải Phòng.
His lack of experience made things difficult at first, but he strode on with a soldier’s spirit, even through the ups and downs of the coronavirus crisis.
At the beginning, Thuận Hưng had 40 employees on a small factory scale. Now the company has more than 200 local workers, with an average income of VNĐ6-8 million per month each.
Lê Thị Miền has worked at the company for 11 years, earning VNĐ6-10 million per month, and said that Vanh was always interested in the lives of his employees, ensuring their rights, so they love the company and consider it their second home.
Phạm Hữu Dũng, chairman of the local Commune People's Committee, said that the company had made an important contribution to social security in the area.
Vanh and his family also eagerly participate in communal activities. It is these good deeds that see Vanh be visited and given gifts by local authorities, along with other soldiers, for Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27. — VNS