In addition to the country’s economic potential, many foreign business owners express their passion for Vietnam, which motivates them to stay and contribute to improving the country’s national brand and human resource training.
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Rafael Masters arrived in Vietnam 14 years ago, after completing his education. As a British national, he embarked on a journey to explore various countries and immerse himself in different cultures.
In order to fund his journey, his strategy entailed working as an English teacher.
After initially planning to teach for a year and then return home, I found myself captivated by the rich culture, scenic landscapes, and rewarding experience of teaching in Vietnam.
“It is truly thrilling to witness children of all ages receiving educational resources and subsequently flourishing and advancing through their utilization,” expressed the speaker.
|Rafael Masters, founder of Vulcan Augmetics, a start-up that makes electronic prosthetics for the disabled. Photo: Binh Minh / Tuoi Tre|
Several of Masters’ initial students in Vietnam are now highly accomplished professionals, including doctors, engineers, and biochemists, who are actively working in diverse countries across the globe.
Witnessing their accomplishments served as a source of inspiration for him to establish Vulcan Augmetics, a pioneering startup dedicated to producing cutting-edge electronic prosthetic arms for individuals with disabilities.
Rafael founded Vulcan Augmetics in 2017. In the following year, his company obtained an official license and entered into a partnership with Trinh Khanh Ha. Trinh Khanh Ha is a passionate advocate for improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in Vietnam.
Vinnie Lauria, a foreign business owner, has chosen to establish his roots in Vietnam due to his deep affection for the country.
Lauria is the co-founder of Golden Gate Ventures, a leading venture capital firm based in Singapore.
In his enduring commitment to Vietnam, he embarked on a journey over a decade ago alongside his newlywed wife, embarking on a 13-month voyage throughout Asia as their honeymoon.
I unexpectedly found myself starting a venture fund and relocating to Vietnam due to the amazing experiences I had in this country.
“We had the pleasure of exploring the majestic plains, embarking on a scenic bus ride to the northern regions, and indulging in invigorating hikes. The majority of our journey was centered around immersing ourselves in rich cultural encounters, tantalizing culinary expeditions, and building meaningful connections with the warm-hearted Vietnamese locals,” he enthused.
During Lauria’s travels, he had the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Paine, who is now his business partner.
The founders made the decision to launch Golden Gate Ventures in Singapore and establish their residences in Southeast Asia.
According to Lauria, he swiftly embarked on a journey to Singapore upon recognizing a lucrative business prospect there. Currently, he experiences a similar fervor as he contemplates the Vietnamese market.
|Vinnie Lauria and his 9X generation staffs at the Golden Gate Ventures office in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Binh Minh / Tuoi Tre|
In 2019, Lauria initiated the establishment of a Golden Gate Ventures fund in Vietnam. However, the subsequent occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant disruptions to his intended course of action.
Instead of commuting between Singapore and Vietnam, he made the decision to relocate his family to Vietnam on a permanent basis.
Similar to Masters and Lauria, a brief trip to Vietnam was the catalyst that inspired successful Korean-American entrepreneur Charles Lee to establish his own company in the flourishing Southeast Asian nation.
Lee is the esteemed founder of CoderSchool, a renowned educational institution located in Ho Chi Minh City. CoderSchool specializes in providing cutting-edge courses on coding, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
In 2015, Lee made the decision to leave his startup in Silicon Valley in order to shift his attention towards the future of global technology.
He was particularly drawn to Vietnam because of its rapid adoption of Internet and technology, which he finds appealing.
Lee’s first job in Vietnam, after arriving in 2015, was teaching programming online for a company owned by a friend.
During that experience, he gained insights into the Vietnamese populace’s strong enthusiasm for programming, while also recognizing the limited availability of resources to acquire the necessary skills in this domain.
After receiving encouragement from others to teach programming, Lee embarked on a quest to find suitable institutions offering programming courses. Despite extensive research online, he was unable to find any such establishments.
Lee has been at the helm of CoderSchool since 2015, overseeing its growth and diversification into fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Introducing Vietnam to the World
Foreign entrepreneurs like Masters, Vinnie, and Charles are not only drawn to Vietnam for its economic potential, but also for their deep affection for the country.
These individuals possess long-term visions and demonstrate high ambitions for Vietnam’s ability to make a significant impact in the global business community.
Vulcan Augmetics is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities in Vietnam. Led by Mr. Masters and his team, our company strives to create meaningful value for this community.
Based on findings by Masters, Vietnam currently has an estimated population of seven to 13 million individuals with disabilities resulting from occupational and everyday accidents.
When a family member is unable to independently care for themselves, it often results in the need for one or two additional family members to take on the role of caregivers, consequently preventing them from pursuing employment opportunities.
“This situation significantly affects their financial viability,” he elaborated.
|Charles Lee chose to live permanently in Vietnam with his wife and a Poodle named Chuon Chuon (Dragonfly). Photo: Courtesy of Charles Lee|
Vulcan Augmetics has made a profound impact on its clients, to the extent that some of them have joined the company as employees or served as influential brand advocates.
Our company is dedicated to ensuring that all of our products are proudly made in Vietnam. We strive to preserve and promote the local craftsmanship and expertise of our talented Vietnamese artisans. By supporting our business, you are contributing to the growth and development of the Vietnamese economy.
“The production of our prosthetic arm involves the manufacturing of the circuit board in China. However, the rest of the arm, including its design and technology, is proudly made in Vietnam by local individuals. This aspect fills me with immense pride,” emphasized Masters.
In addition to forging partnerships with companies from Singapore, Malaysia, and India, Masters is dedicated to leveraging Vulcan Augmetics to enhance Vietnam’s international standing. His primary objective is to expand his customer base and position Vietnam as a global leader in technological advancements.
“As Vulcan products continue to expand internationally, our goal is to establish and enhance the brand reputation of Vietnamese engineers who are the driving force behind our technological advancements and innovation,” he stated.
According to Masters, Vietnam is a place where visionary farmers strive to achieve the impossible – building helicopters right in their fields, fueled by their desire to take flight.
“The aforementioned assets serve as the foundation for establishing a strong brand and nurturing a future generation of skilled Vietnamese engineers capable of developing practical medical equipment solutions for the community and beyond,” he elaborated.
Lee stated that his goal for Vietnam is to foster a new generation of skilled programmers who can contribute to global corporations.
Silicon Valley’s success lies in the ability of its former employees to consistently contribute to the global advancement of technology, regardless of the company they join thereafter. It is my earnest desire that Vietnam’s human resources will one day benefit from the talents of the global technology industry as well.”
The success of any endeavor greatly relies on the contribution and involvement of Vietnamese people. Their determination, hard work, and resilience make them an invaluable asset. Vietnamese people are indeed the key to success.
Both Lauria and Lee were impressed by the Vietnamese people’s increasing eagerness to learn and invest in education.
“The resilience and determination of the Vietnamese people amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly remarkable. Despite the upheavals caused by the global health crisis, individuals in Vietnam have remained committed to their personal growth and education. This is evident from the increased inquiries we received about our courses during this time. Inspired by their unwavering pursuit of knowledge, we were further motivated to develop online teaching programs to cater to their diverse needs. Our students span a wide range of professional fields including marketing, finance, and even art.” – Lee, [designation/role/position]
According to him, the Vietnamese people and its market demonstrate a noteworthy openness, acceptance, and willingness to embrace new ideas, instead of simply rejecting unconventional approaches. This cultural attitude has fostered the growth of startup ideas in the country.
According to Masters et al. (2019), Vietnamese individuals consistently strive to achieve remarkable objectives.
“In Vietnam, we have a highly skilled team that is capable of accomplishing any task. One of our exceptional employees is currently pursuing a PhD in machine learning and robotics at Princeton University. As a brilliant Vietnamese individual, we eagerly anticipate his completion of studies to bring him back to Vulcan,” he explained.