Hoa Lam set off as a motorbike manufacturer under the brand name of Halim over 20 years ago. In 2004, Hoa Lam turned itself into a multi-industry company by changing its name from Hoa Lam Car and Motorbike JSC to Hoa Lam Development and Investment Company and establishing a joint venture Hoa Lam-Kymco to manufacture and trade scooters under the Kymco brand.
As the motorbike market became saturated in Vietnam, Hoa Lam divested of the joint venture to invest in properties serving the healthcare sector. This has become the major business arm of Hoa Lam in the past 10 years or so.
In 2006, Hoa Lam spread its wings further into the financial sector, with a considerable investment poured into VietBank. The bank has grown a network of 95 branches across the nation over the years.
In 2008, the group was assigned a 37.56-hectare plot of land in Binh Tan District in Ho Chi Minh City to build a so-called ‘Medical City’. Such mega complex consists of six international hospitals and various supporting facilities including laboratories, clinics, outpatient departments, residential housings, healthcare exhibition centers, shopping malls, commercial apartments, international schools and community areas.
Hoa Lam received its investment license to build the Hi-Tech Healthcare Park on the land from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee in July 2008. As per schedule, the construction of the healthcare park is expected to complete in 10 years.
The $1-billion project is developed by Hoa Lam Health Co., Ltd. (Hoa Lam Shangri-La), aiming at providing a healthcare system meeting the needs of millions of people in the country. The joint venture is 72 per cent owned by Aseana Properties Limited and the remaining parts are taken up by Hoa Lam and other investors including Malaysia’s Ireka Development Management (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ireka Corporation Berhad) and Parkway Group.
City International Hospital and Gia An 115 Hospital have been the two hospitals being completed so far and put into operation.
The joint venture also joint Japan’s retailer AEON to establish AEON Mall in Binh Tan District in 2013. The Aio City apartment complex is currently being built next door by the business entity.
Apart from its properties dedicated to healthcare services, Hoa Lam Group now owns a number of properties like office buildings Lim Tower 1, Lim Tower 2 and VietBank Building in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meanwhile, Vietnam Thuong Tin JSB (VietBank), in which Hoa Lam owns 35 per cent stakes, has officially been traded on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCom) on July 30, being the 17th bank that gets on the board of stocks in Vietnam.
The founders of Hoa Lam are currently filling in the board of directors at VietBank, with the group’s founder Duong Ngoc Hoa being the chairman and his son Duong Nhat Nguyen as vice chairman. Hoa’s family is known to hold some 15 per cent of the bank’s stakes.
Although hardly covered by local media, Hoa Lam has been nominated by Forbes Vietnam as one of 20 leading family businesses in the country. Tran Thi Lam, Hoa’s wife and also founder of Hoa Lam at the early stage, has also become one of Forbes Vietnam’s 50 most influential women in 2019.