However, for entrepreneurs who are no longer young and who have built their business decades ago in the traditional way, are finding it difficult to make changes to their ways of working and keeping pace with the current digital trends. Although there are some who have made the switch with pure determination.
Passion for business
Mr. Đỗ Phước Tống, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Duy Khanh Mechanical Company, has been in the mechanical industry for more than thirty years. However, his passion and enthusiasm for his profession has not diminished after all these years. He says that in terms of age he is in the older bracket of entrepreneurs, but in terms of enthusiasm he is still ready to keep pace with the new changes in the world and move his business forward by adopting new trends. In no way does he feel inferior to the youth of today. This is probably also the reason why seven years ago when the concept of digital transformation in enterprises was still quite new, Mr. Tống decided to adapt it in his business for the simple reason that his company must continue to be in sync with the current changing times.
Mr. Tống talks about his business renewal journey and does not immediately talk about the difficulties his business may be facing but mentions the advantages first. There are two advantages for Duy Khanh in its adaptation process. The first is the initiative from the top leadership and second is the accumulated experience of decades, which has helped Duy Khanh get financial resources for this long-term journey. The difficulty only lies in convincing the whole team to gradually begin to accept a new way of doing things. Most of the team workers have for decades been working in the traditional way and change for them does not come easy.
Mr. Tống says that in the beginning everyone had to do it both in the old way and the new way, and the work increased by one and a half times, although the effect was not immediately visible. If the leadership team is not drastic and creates a mechanism, it is not easy to break the burden in the middle of the road. Pushing the whole apparatus to change is not a simple thing. But when it gets better, the staff is more comfortable, the process is smoother, the management is stronger, and the subsequent benefits are worthwhile. Of course, the transformation journey is still long, and there is much more Duy Khanh has to do day by day.
Mr. Phạm Xuân Hồng, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sai Gon 3 Garment Company, and also Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Textile, Embroidery and Knitting Association, is now a veteran in the textile industry. He is proud to say that many businesses in the garment industry have now concertedly made efforts to transition at digitalizing their processes. This process not just extends at refreshing the production and management departments but also transitioning to the information processing stage, hence including production stage till it encompasses the entire supply chain.
Mr. Hồng said that many entrepreneurs in the garment industry are constantly learning and changing their ways of thinking, and now clearly see that their business path must be in this new era. Mr. Hồng says that even an elderly person like him, who was only used to doing work on paper and receiving reports from employees in hard copy, is now gradually transforming his thinking towards digitalization as he sees no reason how businesses can go on forever doing things in the old way.
Mr. Hồng said that the older entrepreneurs will make businesses catch up more slowly towards the digital era, but old age has accumulated experiences that young businesses cannot immediately have. In addition, in each enterprise, the training and supplementing of young management forces takes place regularly. When the management team and employees of the whole enterprise are united and promote the spirit of innovation and creativity, immersing in the digital era will be much more convenient.
Mr. Hồng said that he has read and liked the saying that leaders are the ones who lead change, but the success or failure of enterprises is not entirely up to them. Not only each enterprise, but each industry as a whole is also changing. Talking about the textile industry, many people immediately think that this is a labor-intensive industry. In addition, because textiles are mainly processed, production and management will happen in the traditional way. However, that is only the half-truth as the garment industry still uses a lot of labor, but many businesses are choosing to invest in a new path to become more competitive in the global value chain.
Digital technology and digital transformation play a particularly important role in this change. This is probably also the reason why businesses and entrepreneurs cannot help but step into the path of transformation in the digital era. The development of digital technologies, large amounts of data, and artificial intelligence, will collectively change businesses in the direction of comprehensive digital transformation. By using more technology and gray matter content to improve business methods, businesses can optimize their production process.
Of course, on the journey to entering a new path, there will be many difficulties and failures as well. The causes of failure are also plenty, such as a lack of determination to move the team, lack of suitable partners, lack of resources or over-expectation in technology, and the expectation of rapid changes at the very start of the path of transformation towards digital technology. But each failure is a lesson for entrepreneurs to become more stronger and closer to success.
Vietnam is aiming to form a team of entrepreneurs with a technological vision. In recent years, Vietnam has developed rapidly at an average rate of 7.4% per year. Along with the strong growth of enterprises is the growth of the entrepreneur. Vietnam currently has about seven million entrepreneurs, an increase of 250% compared to 2013, in which there are many entrepreneurs associated with brands and corporates positioned in the international market. This year, on the occasion of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day on 13 October, the change towards innovation and digital transformation will certainly continue especially spirited by a younger generation of entrepreneurs, along with the support of entrepreneurs who have been in the market for last few decades.