A Billionaire’s Dream: Bridging Vietnam with the World

A Billionaire’s Dream: Bridging Vietnam with the World
Businesswoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao

The female billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has shown that with talent, hard work and a bold heart to dream and make dreams come true, any woman can break the glass ceiling and contribute to the development of their homeland.

The Dream of Vietjet Air

A Billionaire’s Dream: Bridging Vietnam with the World
Female billionaire established the airline, making flying dreams of millions of people come true.

Few people are aware that Vietjet, a private airline, originated from a question full of aspirations from a poor ethnic mother of a revolutionary family in a mountainous area: “Please tell me how many tons of rice does it take to buy an airplane ticket?”

This seemingly simple question made businesswoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao realise the burning desire of the majority of Vietnamese people: to set foot on an airplane, travel across the country, explore the world, and beyond that, to change their lives and connect Vietnam with the world.

The meeting with the poor mother from the highlands swayed the mind of Vietjet’s founder from her original idea of building a five-star airline to one that everyone can afford and enjoy flying with. The birth of Vietjet was a breath of fresh air, bringing vitality into the previously monopolised aviation industry. Initial doubts about the private airline model were dispelled when Vietjet relentlessly expanded its flight network, turning the dream of flying for millions of people into a reality.

With constant innovation and creativity, Vietjet’s secret to success lies in an absolute focus on service innovation and cost management. The airline took the lead in transitioning from paper tickets to e-tickets and online payments, continuously improving operational processes, aiming for standardisation, and streamlining. Vietjet owns one of the latest and most modern fleets in the world, along with a team of employees from various countries who are young, enthusiastic, and have a high team spirit.

The journey of Vietjet, like many other businesses, has been through ups and downs, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was an extremely challenging time for the entire global economy. However, it was also a time when resilience overcame difficulties, and the spirit of creativity and innovation was most clearly demonstrated by the Vietjet team.

During the time when passenger transport was suspended to prevent the spread of the pandemic, Vietjet strategically shifted its focus to freight transport. Leveraging this advantage, the airline capitalised on the opportunity to expedite its recovery process. Vietjet has carried out hundreds of flights to transport anti-pandemic forces, medical equipment and supplies, vaccines, among others, to epidemic-stricken areas and facilitated the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of passengers from epidemic zones. They have supported mass-testing with over 2 million testing samples and millions of vaccine doses. Though the pandemic forced Vietjet to temporarily delay some plans to expand into new markets, the airline has made every effort to make up for lost time.

The pandemic was not deemed as a barrier, but rather an opportunity for Vietjet to innovate, rise with confidence, and emerge stronger than ever. Immediately after the pandemic was brought under control, the airline within the last year has led the opening of 33 new international routes, becoming the largest airline flying to Australia and India, while continuing to expand in established major markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, and new destinations in its traditional market of Southeast Asia.

People and history have shaped Vietnam as an outward-looking country. Vietjet has become the bridge that brings Vietnam to the world and vice versa. Anyone flying with Vietjet feels proud and moved when the melody of the song “Hello Vietnam” resonates. That song represents the global mindset of Vietjet and its chairwoman, billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, to build an airline that not only belongs to Vietnam but also to the region and the world, and helps to connect Vietnam with the world and bring people from all cultures together.

The Trendsetter

A Billionaire’s Dream Bridging Vietnam with the World
Madame Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Chairwoman and CEO of Sovico Group, and Mr. Jean-Yves Le Saux, Director of Strategic Planning at UNESCO, signed a cooperation agreement to implement the project “connecting World Heritage Sites and Creative City recognized by UNESCO in Vietnam” in the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and UNESCO Director General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay.

In the Vietnamese business community, it is never a difficult feat to find a talented female leader who has made significant contributions to the country’s economy. However, successful women in the aviation industry like Madame Phuong Thao are rare gems worldwide, as it has traditionally been considered a male-dominated field.

As a female billionaire, Madame Phuong Thao always places the protection and promotion of women’s rights at the core of the corporate culture and actively works for gender equality. Vietjet has provided opportunities for many women to pursue their dreams of becoming pilots, captains, aircraft technicians, and information technology workers. This diversity stems from Madame Phuong Thao’s respect for the differences of women.

Like many other Asian women, Madame Phuong Thao undoubtedly faces the pressure of balancing work and family responsibilities. This pressure forces women to work twice or three times as hard as men. However, she has never felt constrained by her gender.

In addition to establishing Vietjet, the multi-industry female entrepreneur Phuong Thao, armed with her knowledge as an economist and an expert in automation, takes an interest in various sectors of the economy. She even goes beyond that and starts to pay attention to other fields such as technology, education, and healthcare to bring about a better life for the people.

Her businesses, operating closely with the entrepreneurial community, have played a pivotal role in advancing the development of the private sector and fostering an image of Vietnam as an integrated, self-reliant, innovative, and progressive nation.

Madame Phuong Thao advises female entrepreneurs to be at the forefront of business trends, technological advancements, and automation. They should aim for a multinational and multicultural environment to realise their dreams and aspirations for happiness and prosperity for every member of their organisations.

Madame Phuong Thao is a well-known figure among those who take an interest in the development and integration of Vietnam’s economy and stock market. She aims to contribute to bringing the Vietnamese stock market to a level comparable to major markets like London and New York by 2045, creating a brighter future for the country’s economy. In 2021, when the HOSE stock exchange was repeatedly overloaded and orders were congested, Madame Phuong Thao proposed a technological solution to “rescue” HOSE sponsored by Sovico Group and FPT. This solution later became a highlight of the financial and economic sector in Vietnam, especially in the context of the widespread impact of the pandemic on the economy.

Dreams from a Kind Heart

A Billionaire’s Dream: Bridging Vietnam with the World
With her compassionate heart, the female billionaire has made many dreams come true

Every Vietnamese woman is taught about the spirit of sacrifice, caring, meticulousness, elegance, generosity, and putting others before oneself. Women are also often dreamy and romantic. For billionaire Phuong Thao, dreaming is actually aspirations that stem from a kind heart to bring the best to the community.

She has spread and realised these dreams for all her employees and the community through various charitable activities. During the Covid-19 period, her businesses operated numerous free flights to airlift medical personnel, vaccines, and supplies to pandemic hotspots, provided hundreds of thousands of meals in Ho Chi Minh City, sponsored ambulances and testing kits for localities, and played a leading role in building an online contribution website for the Covid-19 Prevention Fund to mobilise donations from both domestic and international sources. The fund has raised nearly 12 trillion VND (approx. MYR 2.28 billion).

During the Lunar New Year holidays, Vietjet and HDBank have regularly organised free flights to bring poor workers and orphaned students back to their hometowns to reunite with their families. Each takeoff brings happiness to every household.

On weekends or during holidays, Madame Phuong Thao regularly dedicates her time to go to places where she can turn dreams into reality. She often visits and gives gifts to young children in orphanages and cooks charity meals. Tens of thousands of gifts are also sent by her to remote areas across the country during the Lunar New Year every year.

The success of the multi-industry female entrepreneur Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, together with her team, and the success of the business community and Vietnamese women, though in a quiet manner, have significantly improved the well-being of the people, fostering happiness, and propelling the development of the country and last but not least, constantly bringing Vietnam closer to the world.

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