All-round localization, joint development make TCL successful in Vietnam (China Daily)

HO CHI MINH CITY – To gain big market shares in the global market and the Vietnamese market in particular, Chinese electronics giant TCL has focused on all-round localization strategies to tap deeply into Vietnam’s economy for joint development.

TCL, which has ranked the third in the Vietnamese market in terms of TV sales, has spared no efforts in building up and promoting high-quality brands, to manufacture and then sell first-grade products with preferential prices, to localize its products as well as its human resources, and to prioritize corporate social responsibility, Deng Yanan, General Manager of TCL Vietnam Corporation, told Xinhua recently.

TCL Vietnam’s General Manager stressed, “Localization has actually helped TCL have a strong foothold and sustainable development in the Vietnamese market… Our localization strategy has not been limited to capacity of factories, distributors or salespeople, but has expanded to human resources and corporate social responsibility.”

After churning out products which have become more and more modern and suitable to Vietnamese people, promoting them and selling them at competitive prices and offering good after-sales services, “we have broken down Vietnamese consumers’ prejudice that Chinese goods have poor quality,” Deng said.

“That is an invaluable experience during our 16-year-penetration into the Vietnamese market,” he noted.

When penetrating into foreign markets like Vietnam or any other markets, all Chinese enterprises have to experience periods full of tough competition in terms of price, product quality and brand image among other issues. Right after setting foot on Vietnamese soil in 1999, TCL set targets of developing its own brands, own distribution networks and own technologies, Deng said.

Now, TCL Vietnam has over 200 authorized dealers and distribution networks of more than 3,000 outlets throughout the country. At over 200 the first-class dealers, TCL products are displayed in separate zones. The firm also has over 150 facilities nationwide to provide after-sales services. “TCL has reached a full coverage of the Vietnamese market, and has become a favorite brand of Vietnamese consumers,” Deng said.

TCL Vietnam has over 500 staff, most of them are Vietnamese, the general director said, noting that its Chinese personnel are fewer than 10. At present, the firm’s factory employs over 250 people, including no more than four Chinese nationals. Vietnamese people assume all the important positions.

Regarding product distribution networks, TCL Vietnam also has over 250 staff, all of them are Vietnamese, excluding those holding the positions of general manager, and heads of finance and market departments.

Besides its headquarters, TCL Vietnam has five representative offices in Hanoi, Hai Phong City, Da Nang City, Ho Chi Minh City and the Southwestern region. Among the five representative offices, only the head of the Hai Phong office is Chinese.

“In addition to supplying new products to the market, we have created jobs for over 500 local people. We have trained many Vietnamese staff so that they will become managers or qualified workers,” TCL Vietnam’s General Manager said proudly.

TCL Vietnam has also participated in social activities and charitable endeavors so frequently and so effectively that local authorities have recognized the firm’s contribution. “Regarding localization’s contribution to brand development and recognition, what really matters is that the brand becomes a member of society. Business development does not necessarily means increasingly bigger revenues, bigger contribution to the state budget, more and more new products, but includes a bigger contribution to some social fields such as healthcare and education,” Deng emphasized.

He added, “When investing abroad, Chinese enterprises should have strong localization and high sense of responsibility for public benefit in the country they produce goods or do business.”

After gaining a strong foothold in the Vietnamese market, especially in terms of brand recognition, TCL Vietnam continues to strive for greatness. Regarding consumers’ awareness of a certain product, there are three levels: recognizing the brand, then getting to know the product’s quality, and finally becoming loyal to it.

“Our current goal is raising the TCL brand to the second level and then the third as soon as possible,” Deng elaborated.

According to TCL Vietnam’s General Manager, Vietnam’s economy will continue to develop at a high speed, making its sectors, especially economic ones, attractive to foreign investors. He predicted that the rosy future of Vietnam’s economy, especially its purchasing power in association with the Chinese strategies of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will bring about breakthroughs for both Chinese investors and Vietnamese consumers.

“Through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Vietnamese consumers will have a better understanding of Chinese enterprises, products and brands. Thus, they will choose Chinese products more frequently, helping bring Chinese brands to a new height,” stated TCL Vietnam’s General Manager.

The two strategies will help place China in a new position in the global market, which is beneficial to Chinese enterprises. Besides, the Chinese government’s desire for more Chinese investors abroad will be realized and become more and more effective through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Deng explained.

He said that there is still room for the Vietnamese market to develop remarkably, while Vietnamese people’s conceptions about the market and consumption are much similar to Chinese.

Vietnam and China have many things in common, including culture, manners and customs and even consumption habits. Vietnam relies on agriculture, and has a young population who find it easy to accept and embrace new things, including new brands and products. All of these prove that “what China has experienced is the future road of Vietnam,” said TCL Vietnam’s General Manager.

Founded in 1981, TCL is one of the largest consumer electronics enterprises in China with a global presence. It owns four listed companies, namely TCL Corporation, TCL Multimedia Technology, TCL Communication Technology and Tonly Electronics, with major consumer products including color TVs, mobile phones, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and small appliances.

In 2014, TCL’s brand value stood at 66.859 billion yuan (about $10.78 billion), continuing to be the number one brand of Chinese color TVs.

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