If there is any business sector that is currently on the rise, it is the information technology sector, especially in Vietnam, where there is still much to be done in this area.
Le Petit magazine met with Duc Ha Duong, a Vietnamese-born Frenchman who has spent fifteen years between Paris and Ho Chi Minh City and is the co-founder of Officience, a pioneering outsourcing company. (outsourcing, as they sometimes say).
“I was born and raised in Paris. I first worked for big telecom players in France and then moved and came here in Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City where I founded Officience with a few other bananas, i.e. people who are yellow on the outside like me. and white inside
This is what is called a “declaration of color”… Duc Ha Duong is a “Vietcu” (Vietnamese living abroad) who considers himself as such and, to the limit, willingly brandishes his dual identity in the standard.
Here is the full video interview of our communication with Duc Ha Duong at Officience (exchange and discussion in English):
When he broke into the Vietnamese market, i.e. in 2006, he realized that there are international companies on the one hand, and local companies on the other, the latter are usually less demanding and, above all, less costly for those who offers subcontracting.
Today everything has changed, and the standards tend to equalize…
“Currently, we have a level of expectation from Vietnamese consumers that is partly in line with what can be expected in the Western world,” notes Duc Ha Duong.
Duc Ha Duong champions the vision of a select clientele
As for the clients, Duc Ha Duong does not select them from the highest bidder. He is attentive enough to their vision of entrepreneurship, to shared values …
“…based on our shared beliefs, our vision of sustainability, our belief in social entrepreneurship…,” he tells us.
“We are looking for people who share the same goal,” he adds, specifying that for him it would be almost akin to a confession of faith or some sort of code of ethics.
“Here in Vietnam, this is a human scale company. We try to find clients who know us, know our names and whose names we know,” he added.
What, if not this, is the job of an Officer? The bottom line is to develop IT tools that will allow the partner company to make their products more attractive or improve internal management. From image editing to business intelligence, including data processing.
“Subcontracting in Vietnam” with a win-win vision
However, Duk Ha Duong is not very fond of the term “outsourcing”. He prefers another term, this time an Anglo-Saxon one, namely “sharing”, a term which he thinks has great merit in emphasizing the notion of sharing.
“Being half French, half Vietnamese, we want to help French companies become more competitive,” he explains to us, before adding to the measure, indicating that he also wants to help Vietnamese, especially young people, embrace new technologies.
“It’s really a shared view and we have a mutually beneficial understanding of how we do business.”
Work in IT: attractive salaries
The question of earnings, and therefore salaries, is also one that Officience can provide at least interesting answers to.
As elsewhere, those who start must make do with relatively modest incomes, around $4,000 or $5,000 a month. But the evolution is fast, and in three to five years it is already possible to foresee a monthly income of $2,000 to $2,500.
“We have to consider a very specific side of our niche,” notes Duk Ha Duong, for whom it is important to offer real perspectives, especially to young people.
IT and digital technologies in Vietnam: open sector
What’s more, Duc Ha Duong offers it to both young Vietnamese and young French, whom he recruits through an agency called FrancoViet Career.
It goes without saying that in the fifteen years of its presence in Vietnam, Officience has built a flattering reputation for itself and that word of mouth is at its peak, as is social media recruiting.
When Duc Ha Duong is asked if the information technology sector offers opportunities for foreigners (in Vietnam, of course), the answer is a resounding yes. And yes, especially since the health crisis will attract a large number of expatriates, which is tantamount to there being vacancies at the moment. Good listener!
“I think this is a good time to come back and explore the possibilities. On the other hand, take a plane ticket and come to the place, otherwise we cannot know whether you are really motivated or not,” he advises.
Vietnamese employees, not obedient soldiers
When it comes to the loyalty of its employees, Duc Ha Duong relies on the paramount importance of the family in Vietnamese society.
“We try to make people feel like part of the family when they work with us,” he tells us.
For Duc Ha Duong, an exemplary employee is certainly not the most obedient, it is, on the contrary, someone who will be endowed with a strong enough and, above all, constructive enough critical spirit to move the company forward: rebellious spirits are welcome, and old Confucian beards should only accept it’s for granted!
Digital gateways for the democratization of information technology
When it comes to scouting for young talent, Duc Ha Duong isn’t afraid to break the rules, and that’s how one of his most unique initiatives was born. Where others would be tempted to mix business with pleasure, he combined business with generosity.
He is indeed the president of Da Nang-based NGO Passerelles numériques, whose members travel to the poorest areas in search of young dynamic teenagers whom they introduce into the world of information technology, thus offering them a real perspective for the future.
Here we are again in a win-win situation.