In late 2010, Kinh Do Corporation (KDC) announced the merger of North Food Kinh Do (NKD) Joint Stock Company and Kido JSC into KDC.

It was identified as the first step for long- term strategic economic development direction to expand the food industry which will help Kinh Do not only become a leading food corporation in Vietnam but also enhance its position in the Southeast Asia region.

After passing one year on the new steady advance, Mr. Tran Le Nguyen - CEO of KDC had a talk about the "ambition" in the early year.

Despite the "price storm”, KDC keeps growing

Mr. Nguyen said: "The merger of NKD and Kido into KDC has been started since late 2010, so any plans of new business activities are done in 2011. After merging for 1 year, KDC revenue has increased 30% from 3317 billion VND to 4,200 billion VND, profit of the food industry has reached 500 billion dong, an increase of 45% over the previous year.

These figures have shown operational capacity of the Corporation, especially in the economic situation the world is not out of the crisis, Vietnam's economy are facing with many difficulties: increase in inflation, unstable raw materials, slippage in prices...

In addition, we are also proud that in the difficult business conditions, many companies must reduce the quantities of employees, cut down salaries and bonuses but the income of KDC’s staffs will be ensured. Board of Directors of Kinh Do Corporation has determined not only to maintain a stable living for employees but also find all ways to raise revenue to keep them continuing with their works.

The merger - acquisition (M & A) is considered to bring more business opportunities for the Enterprises but it is also risky. As Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, what is your experience?

I think opportunities and risks are objective factors that any company can also be received or dealt with but the most important thing is subjective factor – Board of Management of the Company. There are ways of operation, scientific and efficient management which help not be lost the opportunities and avoid risks.

For our company, after the merger of one year, Kido revenue has increased 40% compared to the period of private operation thanks to funds adjusted by KDC. Turnover of North Kinh Do Food has risen 30%. Management methods of leadership have created favorable conditions for members support each other in all aspects, from management to finance field. Thus, compared with the year plan, it can be said that Kinh Do is developing well and makes us proud.

Kinh Do’s capital has come up from the food industry, the Corporation has now expanded its operations into other fields. How have these fields worked out?

Currently, Kinh Do is operating with diversified business lines with the fields of food, retail, real estate and finance. However, our strategy depends on each period and actual market then the focus will be on the specific one.

Over the past year, many projects need to be invested but the market is not crowded, Kinh Do temporarily cancels. Accordingly, Kinh Do will concentrate and develop in the food industry during next 5 years.

Linked relation helps be stronger

Could you tell me more about this direction?

As everyone knows, food is the core business line of Kinh Do. Its revenue in 2011 has been entirely gained from food. Furthermore, Kinh Do is one of the few developing companies with the good operation results and did not have to adjust the plan in the stock market. Its business lines are not only to produce confectionery and ice cream but enlarge in other essential foodstuffs namely Growth Well fresh milk, condensed cream, cheese and yogurt.

In the financial aspect, Kinh Do will also focus on the investment and the attraction of investment in the food sector. We have worked with many major corporations in Asia and selected some leading partners in the region. The partners will work with Kinh Do and cooperate along with expansion of essential foodstuffs to meet the daily demands.

 In addition to Kinh Do, there are also some corporations specialized in food consumption in Vietnam, even they are quite strong in terms of finance and has taken a step forward Kinh Do. Thus, do you know why the partners chose Kinh Do? And what are your strategies in the competition?

Kinh Do has an advantage that attracted the foreign partner most- it is market. The confectionery accounts for 90% of domestic market share. With the depth distribution system in nationwide, it is not difficult for us to widen the consumer products.

In addition, now the personnel apparatus – the leaders in the industry have experience in working in multinational corporations, Kinh Do is a reliable partner.

In the field of food consumption, Vietnam is a potential market so competition will be fierce not only between domestic companies but also foreign enterprises and corporations.

Hence, one of the criteria selected partners is the associated enterprises that have strength in materials or technology in order to create differences in both quality and form of competition.

"The recipe" for retaining the talents

You have talked one of the strong points of Kinh Do Corporation is personnel apparatus so how can you draw the attention of the talents from the multi-national corporations to work for your company?

Well, until now, it can be said that I feel satisfied with our personnel apparatus. One of the key conditions to attract the talents is the treatment policy. However, in order to retain them the problem does not lie in income. It is a proverb that the talented people work not for the purpose of money but for being devoted.

In Kinh Do, we manage by delegating powers and creating "space" for subordinate officers to show their creativeness. I always give direction and the target but I do not interfere with the implementation method, my subordinate staffs will actively promote their professional capacity. And I also consider a thing that I am never true my officers have the opportunity to express their opinions with me and I listen as well as absorb.

I heard that you used to cook as a "chef" at a party for nearly a hundred of employees in your company...

Well, I like cooking and enjoy decorating for the dish. I am not pushy but I dare to say that few people working in the food sector are skillful than me. I am passionate about food, like studying food so my hobby in the relaxed time is cooking. I would be able to go shopping, buy materials and cook for a party, from starters, main courses and cocktail ...

For me, cooking is a way to reduce stress. Occasionally, I also cook by myself to treat my friends, relatives and partners at weekends.

The Company is developing well, family is happy and you are working in the beloved field. Do you expect anything more?

My wish is the longevity of Kinh Do brand. And in order to achieve, every task is done to ensure the long- term survival of Kinh Do Corporation.

Thank you and wish you satisfy with your wishes!

According to the Saigon Businessmen