Vietnamese business scion's book published in US comes home

By Van Pham   October 22, 2018 | 10:50 pm PT
The first book by a Vietnamese author published by U.S. publisher ForbesBooks is now available in Vietnam.

Speaking to an audience at the release function at the Hanoi Opera House, its author, Tran Uyen Phuong, said "Competing with Giants" is a book about love.

"Love was the motivation for me to finish this book. It was the love for my company," Phuong, vice chairman of her family-owned company, Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group (THP), said.

At the core of the book lies the belief that nothing is impossible, she explained.

From being a small local company, THP had entered the beverage market and faced foreign "giants" who were dominating the industry.

As a guest speaker at the event, FPT chairman Truong Gia Binh said the book gives readers faith to turn a desire into actions.

To go from "I want" to "I can", a person must overcome his/her fears, and the book gives people the inspiration to do so, he said.

Vo Tri Thanh, an economist, said the book doesn’t have fancy prose unlike a work of literature but attracts readers by telling an excellent business story.

Justin Batt, chief revenue officer of ForbesBooks, said: "Competing with Giants" is bigger than a business book; it's a mirror that reflects the history of the Vietnamese people and their culture.

Reading the book helps people see the future of business in Vietnam and the world, and that is why the book has global significance, he said.

Justin Batt, chief revenue officer of ForbesBooks

Tran Uyen Phuong, author of "Competing with Giants" and Justin Batt, chief revenue officer of ForbesBooks.

Phuong brought the book to many countries for two months before returning to Vietnam. She addressed Harvard University students and appeared on a Bloomberg TV show to speak about her and her family’s business philosophy.

The idea of writing the book came to her when she was participating in the Owner President Management course for businesses with revenues of over $10 million at Harvard.

Many fellow students were keen to know how a company like THP could compete with multinationals.

Phuong decided to write a book like a case study to motivate them and make them see that if THP could do it so could other businesses.

"Competing with Giants" was released on August 30 in the U.S. and 20,000 copies have been printed in this country.

Phuong said the reason for this success was that the book tells people about the business environment in Asia and in Vietnam.

What adds value to the book is that it tells real stories of how real people have to pay the price for their successes and failures.

One of the highlights of the book is how Tran Qui Thanh, Phuong’s father and CEO of THP, rejected Coca Cola’s offer of $2.5 billion for a majority stake.

His decision reveals the business philosophy, values and spirit of THP, which were actually the inspirations for his daughter to narrate the story in her book.

Phuong, who co-wrote the book with two others, said it took four years to finish and has been published by one of the world’s leading business media firms.

"Competing with Giants" is available on Amazon at $27.61 for the paperback and $9.99 for Kindle ebook versions.

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