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My Southeast Asia Ventures: I am an F&B blogger and advisor in Vietnam. Typically, that you must bend the foundations to get issues completed

I have been working within the meals and beverage (F&B) business for nearly 13 years — and I like it.

In 2019, I grew to become the top of F&B retail advertising at AirAsia and was residing in Kuala Lumpur, however then the pandemic hit.

I took a major pay lower, and after months of function modifications, I knew I wanted to depart.

For months, I struggled to seek out data to assist me determine on my subsequent transfer.

Nonetheless, there wasn’t a lot helpful knowledge on market shifts, client preferences or know-how for the F&B business in Southeast Asia. So, I made a decision to make it occur.

At the moment, I run an F&B-dedicated weblog in Vietnam that has garnered greater than 120,000 distinctive hits and greater than 100,000 month-to-month impressions since March 2021.

Once I’m not busy filling the data hole, I run a advertising consultancy serving to F&B companies navigate and succeed within the nation.

I moved to Vietnam in January 2021 as a result of it was open on the time. I noticed that it had ample alternatives and financial progress throughout my time on the airline, and we had launched many routes to and throughout the nation.

Once I first moved there, it was an enormous tradition shock particularly in enterprise and authorized issues.

First, all the things is completed on paper. Once I bought vaccinated, for instance, we had a sheet of paper as proof. It was solely months later that this was digitized.

Many legal guidelines are unclear — you may go to totally different attorneys they usually can doubtlessly let you know various things.

Doing enterprise the “proper method” will be inefficient and generally to your detriment, so it’s important to be savvy—and in some circumstances be keen to bend the foundations and suppose good.

For instance, increasing as a foreign-owned enterprise in Vietnam takes a very long time. In the course of the course of, chances are you’ll have to make selections that problem your individual ethical compass.

I used to be as soon as provided to get a faux enterprise license, which was a fraction of the particular value and would permit me to “arrange” my enterprise in solely two weeks. In fact, I did not do it.

When navigating enterprise in Vietnam, you want an area contact or somebody you may belief.

Constructing belief is generally completed via social actions and occasions. Work relationships usually are not too formal, with the lunchtime break essential for bonding along with your group.

There are numerous cultural elements in Vietnam which might be nonetheless rooted within the nation’s communist previous and really totally different from Singapore — the place it is upright, environment friendly and clear.

I first launched my weblog as a consultancy web site, and relied on my credentials, comparable to corporations I labored for and the place I went to highschool. I cold-called restaurant house owners and F&B companies each different day and failed miserably.

Nonetheless, after I began running a blog and specializing in including worth to restaurant house owners, I gained their belief. Inside three months, I had companies desirous to work with me.

Since then, my precedence has been so as to add worth. This implies discovering business issues and creating options and techniques that assist to unravel them.

My recommendation to Singaporeans who wish to expertise life in Vietnam is — do not assume.

Vietnam is a fast-developing nation and it is easy to hurry in to introduce the most recent development for the sake of it.

Many individuals usually do not understand how comparatively nascent many industries within the nation are.

Typically, a brick-and-mortar enterprise, whereas “unsexy” within the tech business, is a revolutionary product right here.

So many issues taking place in Vietnam proper now are the “first of its form”. Each day there is a new restaurant, know-how, or product being launched that may affect how companies run or customers eat.

I really feel so excited to be on the middle of a rustic on the precipice of transformation.


Ms Jovel Chan, 29, is the founding father of Jovel Chan F&B Consulting, a boutique F&B consultancy serving to companies to navigate and reach Vietnam. She can be an teacher at OneCycle, Vietnam’s first rhythmic biking studio.

If in case you have an expertise to share or know somebody who needs to contribute to this collection, write to voices [at] along with your full title, deal with and telephone quantity.


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