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10 powerful female entrepreneurs in Vietnam

The women are leaders of famous Vietnamese companies who have helped their firms overcome difficulties and achieve success.

1. Billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 1

 

According to the latest update from Forbes, with an increase of US$3.1 billion in assets, Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has become the 987th richest person in the world. Among female billionaires, Thao is the 119th richest person.

Thao, 52, is the General Director of VietJet Air and Standing Vice Chair of HDBank. Before returning to Vietnam to set up a business, she had nearly 20 years of doing business abroad. Thao started her business as a distribution agent of electronics, office machines, consumer goods, natural rubber...

Returning to her homeland, she built VietJet Air with the desire to bring Vietnam to the world and pull the world closer to Vietnam. The airline's first flight took off on December 24, 2011, from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Up to now, Vietjet Air holds a large market share in domestic air transport and is strongly developing its international flight network.

Among Vietnamese businessmen, Thao is one of the few who have been honored many times on a global scale.

On March 9, 2017, Forbes magazine announced the list of female billionaires in the world, recognizing Thao as the first female billionaire in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, with an estimated fortune of about $1.7 billion. As of March 7, 2021, Forbes estimated that Thao owned $2.8 billion.

On the Vietnamese stock exchange, Thao is always among the richest people.

In addition, Bloomberg once rated her as one of the 50 typical global leaders.

2. Mai Kieu Lien

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 2

 

For 45 years with Vinamilk, Ms. Mai Kieu Lien left a strong mark as a talented and inspirational female leader.

Lien was born in 1953 in Paris, France in a family of Vietnamese intellectuals. Her parents are both doctors. In 1957, her family returned to Vietnam.

After graduating from high school in Hanoi, she went to the Soviet Union to study dairy and meat processing in Moscow.

Returning home, Lien was appointed as the Director of the Vietnam Dairy Products Company (Vinamilk) at the age of 31. When she became the leader of the firm in 2003, she successfully brought Vinamilk milk brand closer to domestic consumers and 23 countries.

With her dedication and outstanding business and leadership talents, Lien was voted as one of Asia's outstanding CEOs in the field of investor relations. She has also been named by Forbes Magazine four times in a row in the list of the top 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia.

3. Nguyen Thi Nga

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 3

 

For Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga, Chairwoman of BRG Group, "always being proactive before any change" is the key to success.

Nga - Chair of BRG Group and Standing Vice Chair of SeABank - is one of the most influential businesswomen in Vietnam. This "female general" has developed BRG Group from import and export activities to the fields of banking, hotels, golf courses and many other businesses.

Nga has continuously appeared in the list of influential women of Forbes Vietnam. She started her business in the early 1990s. In 1993, she and her husband established BRG Group, a multi-industry investment group and one of the largest private enterprises in Vietnam.

Nga is also well known for her M&A deals, including equitized state-owned enterprises, private enterprises and joint ventures.

Under her leadership, BRG Group has pioneered in many fields such as golf, hotel, real estate. In addition, she invests in a wide range of fields: finance - banking, import and export, retail, tourism and agriculture.

Nga is considered an inspiration to the next generation of female entrepreneurs, that women can confidently build businesses and overcome difficulties to take their businesses to high achievement levels.

In 2006, after divesting from Techcombank, Nga invested in and became the Chair of SeABank.

In early 2019, she left the position of Chair of SeABank to become Standing Vice Chair. In addition to SeABank, she participates in the Board of Directors/Executive Board at a series of businesses in the "ecosystem" of BRG Group.

4. Thai Huong

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 4

 

Ms. Thai Huong is considered one of the powerful people in the financial sector of Vietnam. For two years, 2015 and 2016, she entered the list of the Top 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia voted by Forbes.

Huong was born in 1958 in Nghe An, and us a former officer of Hai Phong Financial Pricing Department from 1982 to 1985. Then she worked as an accountant at the Nghe An Fuel - Building Materials Company. In 1989, she worked at Huong Ha Building Materials Co., Ltd.

At the end of 2017, after nearly 10 years with TH True Milk, Huong left the position of chairwoman of this group to become the General Director of Bac A Commercial Joint Stock Bank (BacABank). However, she is still a consultant for TH True Milk.

5. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 5


Ms. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung is known as a steel businesswoman in the business of gold, silver, and gems. She was born on October 8, 1957 in Quang Ngai Province. She is currently the Chair of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ). Previously, she was both Chair and CEO of PNJ from 2004 to 2018.

She was a founding shareholder (representative of PNJ) and the first chair of Dong A Bank in 1992-1997 after Dong A Bank was established on July 1, 1992.

In 2017, Dung was the 8th richest woman in Vietnam with a fortune of VND 663 billion. Currently, she is in the Top 100 richest people on the Vietnam stock exchange with a fortune of VND1 trillion.

In 2016, she was in the list of 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia by Forbes Magazine.

Under the leadership of Dung, the PNJ brand has recorded brilliant achievements in both domestic and foreign markets. In the world of gold and silver jewelry, she is known as the "female general of jewelry gold".

6. Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 6

 

Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh is currently the Chairwoman of REE Electromechanical Company. After graduating with a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Karl-Marx-Stadt University (Germany), in 1982, she joined REE as an engineer, then she became the leader of this company in 1985.

Since then, Thanh has helped REE get out of difficult situations thanks to the brand of Reetech air conditioners. This was the first company listed on the Vietnam stock exchange in 2000.

Forbes Magazine ranked her 28th in the list of 48 most powerful businesswomen in Asia 2014.

7. Truong Thi Le Khanh

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 7

 

Ms. Truong Thi Le Khanh was born in 1961 in An Giang, known as the "boss" of the seafood industry in Vietnam. She is the founder and chairwoman of Vinh Hoan Joint Stock Company - the largest producer and exporter of pangasius and basa fish in Vietnam.

Khanh studied at the University of Finance and Accounting in Ho Chi Minh City and graduated with a Bachelor of Economics. With excellent academic performance, she was assigned great responsibilities in import-export companies and commercial enterprises.

She established Vinh Hoan Joint Stock Company in late 1997 in Dong Thap Province, with initial capital of VND300 million and 70 employees. At present, Vinh Hoan has 6,000 employees and 6 processing factories.

Khanh was honored by Forbes Vietnam as one of the 50 most influential women in 2019. In September 2020, she was one of two representatives of Vietnam in the list of 25 Asia's Power Businesswomen.

8. Nguyen Bach Diep

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 8


Ms. Nguyen Bach Diep was born in 1972 and is currently the Chairwoman of FPT Retail.

She graduated from Ho Chi Minh City Open University, majoring in Business Administration. Right after graduating from University, Diep started working at FPT, a leading technology corporation and parent company of FPT Retail since 1997.

Since joining FPT Retail more than eight years ago and becoming its Chair in 2017, Diep has developed FPT Retail from 17 stores into the second largest retail chain in Vietnam with more than 630 stores throughout the country.

In 2019, Diep was honored in the list of 50 most influential women in Vietnam by Forbes Vietnam. In September 2020, she was in the top 25 most powerful businesswomen in Asia.

9. Tran Uyen Phuong

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 9

 

Ms. Tran Uyen Phuong is the daughter of Mr. Tran Qui Thanh - founder and Chairman of Tan Hiep Phat Group.

Coming from a business family, from a young age, Phuong had to learn to be independent and disciplined in addition to cultivating knowledge.

With nearly 20 years doing business, Deputy General Director of Tan Hiep Phat Group said that her life has been arranged in the direction of always prioritizing work and achieving goals.

10. Pham Thi Viet Nga

10 nữ tướng quyền lực của doanh nghiệp Việt - 10

 

Considered the soul of the prosperity of Hau Giang Pharmaceutical Company, Ms. Pham Thi Viet Nga, born in 1951, is one of the bravest and most successful "female generals" in Vietnam.

With knowledge gained from her degree in pharmacy, and a doctorate in economics, in 1988, she started working with Hau Giang Pharmaceutical Company, turning this business from a small enterprise on the verge of bankruptcy into a leading pharmaceutical company in Vietnam with revenue of nearly VND3 trillion. The name of this pharmaceutical company also expanded abroad thanks to Nga’s strategies.

The secret of this talented businesswoman is to respect talent, and build a team of responsible and effective employees. Nga was also honored by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful businessmen in Asia.

Mai Lan

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