Mr. Brahmal Vasudevan, CEO of Creador, tells VET's Do Huong about the company's investment plans in Vietnam in the time to come.
Why did Creador invest in Vietnam’s largest retailer, the Mobile World Group (MWG)?
We love the macro trends in Vietnam: a large, young and growing population. We feel economic growth is going to be strong and sustained over the next 10-20 years. With MWG we see a strong demonstrated track record of growth in multiple store concepts and the opportunity for consistent growth going forward. In addition, we think the team led by Mr. Tai is truly world class and has tremendous capability to build a very large business.
What do you see from the company’s development strategy?
The company has four major verticals. While certain spaces like mobile retailing may be saturating, we see a lot of room for growth in consumer electronics (Dien may Xanh), as penetration in Vietnam is still very low. In addition, the latest sector, of mini markets, has tremendous room for growth, as Bach hoan Xanh has only a few hundred stores compared to 9,000 wet markets in Vietnam. We also think the management team has the capacity to launch additional verticals over time as they are constantly thinking about new spaces and ways to grow the company.
What do you foresee for MWG’s growth in next five years?
Their historical growth trend has been amazing. I see the potential for this company to record 20-30 per cent growth over the next five years.
How would you comment on the market’s potential?
We generally focus on consumer businesses, including FMCG, retail, healthcare, financial services and business services. We believe these sectors are due to grow rapidly in Vietnam and our valuable experience from markets like India, Indonesia and Malaysia can be brought to bear.
What are your thoughts on Vietnam’s entrepreneurs?
We like to back entrepreneurs who are driven, focused and action-oriented. Entrepreneurs who possess these traits are able to identify growth opportunities and innovate and scale their businesses quickly. We have seen entrepreneurs who talk passionately about their vision for a fast-growing economy like Vietnam, but not many of them possess strong execution capabilities. This is why we invested in Mobile World, as Mr. Tai and his team are very focused on getting the business model right with disciplined execution, which explains why the company has been ahead of the curve in each of its business segments. I believe the team has what it takes to succeed in Vietnam’s retail industry.
What do you forecast for M&A deals in Vietnam?
We see more opportunities for growth capital than actually buyouts or mergers and acquisitions. This is because entrepreneurs are wanting to retain ownership of their companies and therefore do not want to sell control. They are also very open to taking on a minority partner who can add material value.
What are your plans for M&As in Vietnam?
We are launching our Ho Chi Minh City office on May 7, with a new Country Head. We have already met more than 50 companies and hope to meet many more as we are very keen to seek new investments in entrepreneurs who want to build large and successful businesses in Vietnam.