SAO DO BREAKS THROUGH WITH BRAND POWER
From a small business with charter capital of approximately VND6.8 billion ($298,480) in 2002, Sao Do has become a conglomerate and listed among the “trillion dong” businesses in Vietnam. The point that piques many people’s curiosity is how Sao Do has achieved such spectacular success during its 16 years.
Grasp opportunities, tackle challenges
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sao Do Investment Group, Mr. Tran Van Thang, said that one of the most important things that helped Sao Do achieve rapid growth is adopting the right business strategy and having the ability to seize an opportunity. For a private enterprise like Sao Do, the difficulties following establishment and in the early stages of development were by no means small. If the company was unable to resolve problems and identity the most appropriate path towards development, the possibility of failure was very real.
Now with a multi-sector business focus, in its early stages Sao Do was almost exclusively involved in real estate. It then used its position and profile in the sector to move into other associated business fields. This approach also contributed to limiting the dispersion of investment capital, as all activities are conducted within a single project site.
Nam Dinh Vu Industrial Park in Hai Phong Port City (Photo from Sao Do Group)
After its establishment, Sao Do embarked on investment in and the construction of two urban area projects: Sao Do 1 and Anh Dung 2. Both were completed quickly and soon became model projects in the northern port city of Hai Phong, featuring all the key items found in the real estate industry: houses, villas, public works, trees, sports areas, and shopping centers. Seventy security cameras were installed, and each urban area had its own security and sanitation team.
So it was unsurprising that the two projects won a Gold Medal for infrastructure planning at an international exhibition held in Hai Phong in 2004 as well as a Gold Medal for beautiful architecture.
The early success of the young business created momentum for Sao Do on its path towards development. Having gained the trust of customers and partners, it began to be involved in a series of large projects, expanding its scope of operations and business fields.
Sao Do is now a multi-sectoral private conglomerate with four subsidiaries: the Sao Do Petrol JSC (Sao Do Petrol), the Sao Do Construction JSC (Sao Do Construction), the Sao Do Materials Co. (Sao Do Materials), and the Hai Phong Port JSC. Sao Do also has holdings in companies such as the Nam Dinh Vu Port Company, the Nam Dinh Vu Power Company, and the Nam Viet Environment Treatment Company.
In 2017, the Sao Do Group recorded total production value of over VND1.3 trillion ($57.06 million). Revenue reached over VND724 billion ($31.7 million) and profit over VND70 billion ($3.07 million), while more than VND75 billion ($3.2 million) went to State coffers.
Branding as the core
“Outstanding success like this doesn’t come easily,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong, General Director of the Sao Do Group. Vietnam’s market economy and ongoing integration means local enterprises will probably face relatively tougher challenges in the years to come.
Interestingly, the key to success for the company is its brand. At its inception, Sao Do determined that its brand development strategy, with branding at the core, was the foundation for promoting the development of the business.
Mr. Phuong believes that its brand is not a tangible asset. A brand grows from prestige, product and construction quality, investment efficiency, and customer satisfaction. To achieve all these, every job must be done well.
In recent years, Sao Do has worked hard on specific tasks such as studying and evaluating scientific projects, investing in designs suitable to each project, surveying and offering reasonable quotes, and honing and improving the skills of its sales staff to advise and attract customers.
“When it comes to building or participating in major projects such as the Hanoi - Hai Phong Highway (material supply) and the Nam Dinh Vu Industrial Park and Nam Dinh Vu Port, customers fully support the company,” he said. “Even in the construction phase of the Nam Dinh Vu Industrial Park, Sao Do attracted businesses to lease out more than 33 ha. I think the success Sao Do has found will continue to benefit from the company’s development strategy and from the brand values Sao Do’s employees have created.”