Coming back to Vietnam in 2009 after seven years studying finance in the UK, Le Thi Hoang Yen, first daughter of Muong Thanh hospitality corporation founder Le Thanh Than decided to follow and expand her family’s business thanks to her parents’ support.
Since then, with considerable knowledge and huge passion, she has quickly developed the hotel brand, which is named after the largest paddy field in the North West of Vietnam.
Yen was promoted to CEO of Muong Thanh in 2012 when she created a remarkable transformation for the brand with a more professional image as an eagle flying cross the S-shaped country and its neighbour, Laos.
Just after six years, she has raised the number of her family’s hotels from 13 to 54, including one in Laos. Earlier in 2017, Muong Thanh was conferred the Indochina Record Certificate by Vietnam Book of Records and Indochina Book of Records for “Largest chain of private hotels in Indochina”.
Yen says her deep understanding and years of experience in the hospitality field are the biggest reasons for her consistent involvement and desire to develop Muong Thanh brand.
In addition, Vietnam has a huge potential to develop tourism with heart-touching sceneries, lovely weather, rich culture and friendly people. Operating nearly 60 hotels with more than 11,000 rooms, Muong Thanh has welcomed hundreds of thousand international guests a year.
“It would be a great loss if we could not join hands to promote Vietnam’s image to international friends. Moreover, Muong Thanh’s principle for the past 26 years has always been attaching its business to the development of the country,” Yen said.
The desire to develop the hotel brand owned, operated and managed by Vietnamese people is the reason why she decided to expand the brand not only across Vietnam but also to other countries. However, Yen says that each investment decision, especially oversea projects, needs thorough market research.
She claims when many hotels select international hotel operators, Muong Thanh remains steadfast with preserving the pure Vietnamese image, basing on the values of Vietnamese people.
The first Muong Thanh hotel was built in Dien Bien Phu when the French was defeated in 1954 after a long war. Each Muong Thanh hotel inherits the exquisite features in the cultural cradle of the Thai ethnicity in the northwest region, highlighted with the images of local apple wine, flower, traditional clothes of the Thai ethnic people.
The pure Vietnamese beauty in Muong Thanh hotel system is created by the intersection of the northwest mountain region’s typical culture and the sincere service in the soul of Vietnamese people, she says.
Despite referencing many brands in the world, Yen affirms that Muong Thanh does not rely on any specific model but builds and trains a management system with its own identity.
Muong Thanh hotels attain high occupancy due to its strategy of low price but excellent service. Its 4-star hotels’ prices are much lower than those of foreign investors.
“You could not develop your business sustainably if you focus only on pricing. We offer customers other added values. Tourists coming to Muong Thanh hotels would always feel the most sincere and warmest welcome,” says Yen.
Yen has faced a lot of difficulties since she started the business and became a CEO. She decided to start from the smallest things including check-in, check-out to harder tasks like department management. Yen says that the key to developing a hotel lies on the different services offered to customers. All of them look easy but complicated in reality.
Yen says that the biggest challenge is human management because of the limit in the quality and quantity of human resources in the hospitality field.
To solve this problem, Muong Thanh has always prioritized training. Around 90 per cent of the brand’s current employees are the locals.
In order to effectively manage her 12,000 employees nationwide, Yen follows the philosophy of human resource centralization.
Being the first daughter of famous Vietnamese businessman Le Thanh Than, Yen draws for herself a lot of lessons after years working with her successful father. However, that is also the pressure pushing her to express herself and develop the family business.
Pressure is always there but Yen says that it helps her to get mature. That pressure has been a momentum for her to help Muong Thanh eagle flying higher and further.