Startups should 'solve one problem at a time': FPT chief

By Phuong Nguyen    November 19, 2018 | 09:00 am PT
Chairman of FPT Corporation Truong Gia Binh gives young startups an advice on not being too ambitious at first. was one of 15 shortlisted startups that made their pitches to the jury in the 2018 Startup Viet contest in early November. is an application that connects buyers with shops within a radius of a few kilometers. It tells users in a certain search area which brands are retailers and about properties for rent, jobs available and transport, entertainment and beauty options.

When asked about the difference between it and its major competitors in the same industry, Nguyen Trung Khanh, founder and CEO of, said the advantage of his platform was its packing of multiple points of sale in a single app.

Users can download it to reach thousands of brands in various industries, he said.

The surface of application. 

The interface of

But Truong Gia Binh, chairman of FPT Corporation and one of the 2018 Startup Viet contest's judges, said having too many kinds of services in one product is a weakness of a startup rather than an advantage.

"When I first started business, I wasn't too ambitious. My advice is think simple, start with a service and do it well, take small and steady steps.

"A startup should only solve one problem at a time before thinking of expanding its product ecosystem." 

He pointed out that some big global companies started with a single product: Amazon was a website selling books, Uber and Grab only provided ride hailing services and Airbnb offered rooms for rent.

Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT Corporation giving advice to young startups on top 15 Pitching Day. Photo: VnExpress

Truong Gia Binh, chairman of FPT Corporation, giving advice to young startups on top 15 Pitching Day. Photo by VnExpress is now in the testing phase with 500 points of sale for six brands. Each point of sale has an average of 200 transactions per day.

The app, which was launched November 25, targets achieving 5,000-15,000 transactions a day within the next three years and revenues of VND90-100 billion ($3.87-4.3 million) in the second year.

The 15 startups made their pitches in the final round of the 2018 Startup Viet from which five were chosen and rewarded. All the contestants won acclaim for applying cutting-edge technologies like AI, big data and IoT.

The startups that made the final round were in e-commerce, real estate, education, tourism, and cyber security. Each team had six minutes to make its pitch and answer questions. The jury scored each company based on criteria like products, business model and founding teams.

The jury members said the quality of this year’s top 15 was good, with many startups already earning revenues and even profits and attracting investments. 

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