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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Experts share ways to develop digital startups

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Representatives of South Korean food delivery app BAEMIN, English learning app ELSA Speak, Vietnamese audiobook app Fonos and handcrafted board games Maztermind, have shared how digitisation helps startups develop post pandemic.

At the recent RMIT Entrepreneurship Forum titled “Smart startups – How digitisation helps your startup journey,” held virtually by RMIT’s Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurship disciplines, Jinwoo (Chris) Song, managing director of Woowa Brothers Vietnam (BAEMIN), said the application of digital technology helped the company and its F&B business partners recover and thrive during and after Covid-19.

“As a food delivery platform operator, technology has brought us the chance to approach potential customers, reduce fixed costs, understand customer insight, and optimise operations while improving the speed and quality of delivery services through a network of delivery people,” Song said.

“I can predict that the capacity to build a unique platform, that can satisfy the customers’ needs and the ability to analyse digital data from various sources will determine the winner of this emerging market.”

On the other hand, Maztermind Vietnam founder Toan Nguyen believes there is a huge room for e-commerce cross-border for small and medium enterprises.

“According to data by Amazon, exports of Vietnamese SMEs selling with this international platform have increased 48% between 2020 and 2021,” Toan said.

“Growing social media marketing, flexible digital payment options, easy access to international online selling platforms for both sellers and buyers, and cross-border shipment are key factors that impact a local brand’s reach out to international audiences.”

Fonos co-founder and chief operating officer Nguyen Minh Xuan emphasised the international standard that a startup should consider when starting a business.

Xuan added, “When a startup is building a new business in Vietnam, they should think about the ability to compete with international players as customers will compare a local product with the same brand that they have experienced. They don’t define based on geography, they define based on their experiences.”

She also mentioned the difference in getting customer insights compared to the past thanks to technology and insight data in real-time through different ways of customer interaction.

ELSA Senior Director of International Expansion Natalie Do said the number of startups incorporating AI into their businesses is increasing in Vietnam. It will facilitate a robust ecosystem for tech startups.

RMIT Head of Management Department Associate Professor Trung Nguyen said that being a true entrepreneur is all about creating values through innovation and creativity.

Digitisation and smart transformation are giving easier access to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the market. Yet, a true smart entrepreneur would also continuously learn the local context to develop and adopt the best platform and application for bettering the customer experience, Associate Professor Trung noted.

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