How startups in Vietnam overcome the pandemic

By Tat Dat   August 23, 2021 | 04:39 pm PT
How startups in Vietnam overcome the pandemic
A worker examines a motorbike produced by Dat Bike. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Binh
Startups in Vietnam are doing all they can to ensure income for their staff while making necessary strategical changes to adapt to the unpredictable Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Espinas, CEO of education company MoveUp, it is prioritizing keeping the same number of employees.

The company, which provides e-learning services, has an adequate number of staff for each project and therefore does not need to let anyone go, he told VnExpress.

MoveUp dedicates 15 minutes each day to online meetings to ensure the well-being of everyone.

Eighty four percent of small and medium businesses are reporting difficulties, with dwindling market demand and shortage of cash, according to a survey by the Ho Chi Minh City of Business Associations.

Over half have cut down their number of employees and 14 percent reported a disruption in their supply chain, said the survey, which polled 100 companies.

Amid the outbreaks, hotel booking startup Go2Joy also seeks to ensure the income and sense of security of each employee.

It has not made any cutbacks in either staff or their incomes, said CEO Simon Byun.

The company believes investing in people and reducing costs in other categories, not cutbacks, are the keys to achieving sustainable development beyond the pandemic, he said.

However, Byun admitted the longer-than-expected social distancing periods are making revenues fall while regular expenses like salaries, rent and taxes remain.

The imbalance in revenue and expenses is also occurring in other companies, he added.

For motorbike producer Dat Bike, the main priority is to ensure its manufacturing goals are not majorly delayed. Cutting down costs is not its main priority.

Financial and operating director Pham Duc Nam Trung said if the company were to cut expenses to a minimum, the process of developing new technology and products would be slowed down.

This will in turn affect the company’s ability to raise more money later, he added.

Trung considers the pandemic an opportunity to improve management in order to accommodate faster growth.

"If any principle does not prove to be suitable with the market, it needs to be changed as quickly as possible," he said, adding that the speed of making decisions is the key to helping Dat Bike overcome and develop during the on-going chaotic situation.

Go2Joy CEO Byun also said companies need to analyze their business models and make necessary changes to adapt to the pandemic.

The company also requests the government to provide tax breaks or a delay in payments so startups could survive and thrive after the pandemic.

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