Steelmaker Hoa Sen chairman embarks on ‘final’ push before turning Buddhist monk

By Phuong Dong   March 22, 2022 | 10:08 pm PT
Hoa Sen Group chairman Le Phuoc Vu said he is trying his best to leave a “legacy” before entering monastic life as a Buddhist in 2026.

He participated in a Buddhist ceremony taking refuge in The Three Jewels in July 2020. The ceremony is an important step for one who accepts Buddhism, according to the news portal of the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam. It does not require a person to become a renunciate and stay full time in a pagoda.

He has lived in the mountains since, returning only once a month to attend to business.

But he said he is staying in the office now to focus on converting Hoa Sen into a distributor of building materials and furniture, his "final effort" for the company and its stakeholders.

Hoa Sen Group’s chairman Le Phuoc Vu at the latest meeting on March 21, 2022. Photo courtesy of the company

Hoa Sen Group’s chairman Le Phuoc Vu at the latest meeting on March 21, 2022. Photo courtesy of the company

He said it was incumbent on him to achieve the transformation.

He had announced the plan last year, the company’s 25th, along with his own to quit and become a monk.

Hoa Sen is at the top of the Vietnamese corrugated iron, steel and plastic industries, and so there is little room for further growth, he said to explain why it should change its focus from manufacturing to distribution to take advantage of its network.

He considers revenues of US$5-10 billion feasible for the distribution network, sending his company's share price up from the current VND30,000-40,000 ($1.31-1.75) to above VND100,000.

While his efforts would be unstinting, the company’s employees and shareholders should not to be impatient since it would take time for the vision to become reality, he said, elaborating that it would take at least two years to perfect the distribution system, technology, personnel, and sales policies.

The steelmaker, which relies on exports to the U.S. and Europe, eyes revenues of VND46.4 trillion for financial year Oct. 2021-Sep.2022, down 5 percent, and profits of VND1.5-2.5 trillion, depending on costs.

Such a goal is "exciting enough [for the management]" without needless stress, he said.

It reported VND638 billion profits on revenues of VND17 trillion in the first quarter of this year.

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