O Mai Hong Lam: Seeking for collective strength instead of individual talents

By Tran Anh - Apr 08, 2018 | 11:58 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERHaving served in the army for years, the owner of O Mai Hong Lam now relies more on the collective strength than individuals.

O Mai Hong Lam: Seeking for collective strength instead of individual talents
Nguyen Hong Lam, the owner of O Mai Hong Lam

Founded in the 1990s, Hong Lam Joint Stock Company has been leading regarding brand, sales and market share in o mai products which are commonly known as sugared or salted dried fruit.

Learning from 16 years of serving in the military and the Japanese management method, Nguyen Hong Lam, the owner of O Mai Hong Lam, believes that a company must summon the collective strength to be successful.

Do not put all eggs in one basket

"You now live in a flat world and can learn things much more easily than we used to. I once had many well-educated employees from major universities, but those advantages undermine their dedication, so they did not last long," said Lam.

Therefore, instead of seeking for talents, Lam's human management style is all about finding suitable people for each position, just like creating perfect teeth for the gears. The better the gears fit with each other, the smoother the company works.

For example, for the production line, Lam prefers to hire rural women aged 35 to 40.

Female workers wrapping the products

"They are older workers, who international companies are less likely to recruit in fear of difficulties in training, but I find them perfectly suitable for making o mai. They are very conscientious," Lam explained.

Also, for the R&D team, the company does not need exceptional talents. Instead, Lam accepts new graduates, providing them with the background knowledge, and guiding them to practice. In fact, no matter what they learned at university, they still need to be trained for at least one to two years.

"After they have mastered the knowledge and developed the new one, we turned it into a common asset of the whole company. Hence, the collective strength can be promoted, and we do not have to depend on any talented individuals," Lam shared.

Maximize the power of 'ordinary people'

To do this, Hong Lam combines the military experience and the management style of a Japanese partner. His philosophy covers the two issues: discipline and systematisation.

Systematisation is shown by a KPI system closely following each worker. Hong Lam,.JSC assign KPI to every level of personnel so that they understand their functions, tasks, and jobs.

"For workers, every two hours, there shall be a report on the progress or the difficulties if any," Lam clarified.

Human resources should also be optimised for each task to ensure that labour productivity is maximised. The production peak season of o mai does not usually go in line with its business peak. O mai is sold the most during the Lunar New Year, but it is often produced during spring and summer, the fresh fruit harvest. Therefore, workers have to be transferred flexibly between tasks.

A retail store of Hong Lam JSC on Lac Long Quan street

At each retail store, the inventory data should be statistically analysed, thereby building an optimal human resource management software for each store. Clear rules will help both employees and employers better manage their work.

Nguyen Hong Lam emphasised that in a community that does not necessarily need excellence, what matters most is the attitude of the workers.