Vietnam’s success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic could not be without the active response from both the business community and their customers.
Local enterprises are looking at e-commerce as a solution to mitigate Covid-19 impacts. Photo: Quynh Linh.
Amid the complicated progress of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese enterprises have been working on solutions to adapt to a new situation.
Chairwoman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City (FFA) Ly Kim Chi said during the first outbreak of the pandemic, many enterprises were hit severely and unable to come up with a plan to deal with an unprecedented crisis. However, at present, the majority of the business community, especially those in the food and consumer goods sector, have adapted well, she noted.
Ms. Chi pointed to the fact as while many countries are facing food shortages, the situation in Vietnam remains as usual. Notably, prices of basic necessities are stable and even in case of fluctuation, the government has immediately intervened to keep the prices stable.
Moreover, Ms. Chi said despite facing difficulties from the Covid-19 pandemic, local firms still prioritize quality of their products and services.
Vice Director of the Vietnam Animal Industry Company (Vissan) Phan Van Dung said prior to the Lunar New Year period in February, pork supply was heavily affected due to the African Swine Fever, leading to hikes in prices of pork in the market.
The company, however, remains committed to stabilizing the prices during this period, stated Mr. Dung.
“We have to buy in live hogs at high prices of VND90,000 – 95,000 (US$3.88 – 4.10) per kilogram, but continue to sell the final products at the same prices as before,” he added.
Managing Director of Masan Meatlife in the North Hoang Chuong said the company has been put in place strict measures to prevent Covid-19 infections during the outbreak. While these measures have led to high production costs, the company considers these steps essential to keep operation running and stable supply of products to the market.
Diversification of sales channels
Along with efforts to stabilize market prices, local enterprises have to look for solutions to ensure continuity in operation, as such, e-commerce is seen as the most effective sales channel in the current context.
Mr. Dung from Vissan said this year, the company plans to set up an e-commerce platform. “Online sales were the only way for us to survive through the social-distancing period in April,” he said.
With 55 stores in Ho Chi Minh City, Vissan turned them into their own distribution network to ensure fast delivery to customers. Meanwhile, the company also takes their products to e-commerce platforms such as Lazada or Tiki.
General Director of Karofi Vietnam Tran Manh Hien said despite being a manufacturer of water and air purifiers, Karofi has quickly adjusted their production chain to be able to produce anti-bacterial face masks amid growing public concern over health issues during the pandemic.
Hoang Chuong from Masan Meatlife said the company had already identified online shopping as an inevitable trend in the future, and the Covid-19 pandemic would only accelerate this process in Vietnam.
“We are using multiple platforms to sell our products, including website, Facebook fanpage, among others,” Mr. Chuong noted.
Deputy Director of the Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thi Minh Huyen said it is vital for local enterprises to incorporate e-commerce platform into their operations.
Ms. Huyen, however, also urged local customers to check on products before proceeding with the transaction, as many may take advantage of the online platform to sell fake or low-quality products.