Pham Phu Ngoc Trai shared valuable experience with over 200 entrepreneurs in the seminar named "Partnership Strategies", which has recently been organised by YBA (Young Business Association of HCMC) at Le Meridien Hotel.
"Without cooperation with the outside world, enterprises will lag and lose their advance".
According to Trai, any business strategy should start with the characteristics of the company, the vision and leadership capacity of the leaders and the external influences (macroeconomics, integration in both short and long term).
He explained: "Vietnam's macroeconomic growth outcomes over the past 30 years have depended heavily on macroeconomic policies and economic integration of the country.
Without cooperation with the outside world, enterprises will lag and lose their advance.
For example, in the sectors of agriculture, textiles, footwear, electronics, our enterprises still cannot develop a strong brand. Our shared profits in the value chain are negligible compared with other countries in the region and the world.
Competitiveness improves through efforts to enhance efficiency in the production, processing and supply process of products, regarding both quantitatively and qualitatively. Embracing and integrating into the development trend of industrial revolutions is no longer an option, but an urgent requirement for the economy and each enterprise.
In the past, we have not utilised partnership strategies to enhance our competitiveness yet. An enterprise started with the eliminated technology of another country, which ends up in crises, bankruptcy, or detrimental effects on the environment, community and society.
How to overcome barriers in thinking to cooperate and develop sustainably together?
According to Pham Phu Ngoc Trai, “partnership” can be understood as the collaboration of two partners or more. They share responsibility in every aspect, including the benefits and risks of failure.
Partnership strategy is an integral part of the whole business strategy, which aims at enhancing competitiveness and sustainably developing the companies. A strategy is a continuous process, not a one-off one.
On the analysis of the opportunities and risks to see the internal and external strengths and weaknesses of businesses, we can identify strategies for partnership based on branding, sales, production, finance,… and the interrelated relationships of stakeholders (from consumers, customers, suppliers, authorities, the media, NGOs). Notably, about internal relationships, it is the human resources of businesses.
An essential element in directing a strategy is that "Partnership strategy is determined by the leadership of the enterprise."
According to a recent MIT Leadership Center study, four most important skills for a leader can be identified as follows.
First, it is the rationalisation skill; one that cannot anticipate the problem will not be able to find the right direction to start the idea. Second, it is the ability to connect; one that cannot connect people in a group will not be able to make them work together. Third, it is the vision-building skill; one that cannot promote a shared vision among the staff will not be able to make them collaborate. Fourth, it is the “tectonic” skill; without proactive, constructive actions, a broad vision is useless.
These are skills that are both independent and interrelated.
There is no perfect leader. There are only successful leaders, who know their strengths and weakness to find someone to help them.
Emphasizing the severe limitations in thinking that has collapsed numerous collaborations, Trai said: "Usually, things do not work out in cooperation because we do not create shared values in the long term. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and full compliance with the law is also a shared value needing to be created."
According to Trai, if there are differences in the view of profit, which will lead to differences in the vision of short- and long-term benefits. Consequently, it will create interest groups, not the interest of businesses, the whole community, society, and 90 million people in Vietnam.
Regarding the internal strength, Trai believes that there must be a clear vision of the mission of business and culture. The staff should be carefully selected for a strong organisation, whose all departments have close links to one another.
This famous CEO concluded, "Improving competitiveness is not enough, we should create values for the society, including investing in the social and environmental goals and creating shared values in the long term. Otherwise, we can hardly keep people. The economic, ecological and social benefits will create institutions and culture. Creating shared values is always the best choice for sustainable business."