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Young entrepreneur inspires start-up

TTH.VN - Investing in a modern showroom, creating a space to showcase products visually for customers, building a team of skilled personnel, and having a workshop full of modern machineries for production... these are the strategies used by “Outstanding Young Entrepreneur” Nguyen Van Lam, CEO of Song Nguyen Interior Co., Ltd., to affirm the brand and creat confidence to soar in the Year of Dragon and many more years to come.

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 Nguyen Van Lam (center) at the outstanding young entrepreneurs honor ceremony.

Tran Duc Minh, Chairman of the provincial Young Entrepreneurs Association, shared that the young entrepreneur Nguyen Van Lam, who was awarded the title of “Outstanding Young Entrepreneur” in 2023 by Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association, is one of the enthusiastic young entrepreneurs who can inspire entrepreneurial motivation in today's young entrepreneurs. Also in 2023, Lam was appointed as the Chairman of the Hue Entrepreneurship Club by the provincial Young Entrepreneurs Association.

Curious about this young CEO, I arranged to meet him at the end of the year. Following Lam from his office to the factory, I could feel his enthusiasm and passion for his work. Behind his scholarly appearance, tall and slender figure, and gentle smile lies the image of a dynamic and creative young entrepreneur.

His company not only stood firm against the post-COVID-19 hardship and inflation caused by the recession but also remained strong and set the stage for future growth. Lam is grateful for being able to celebrate the Year of Dragon with his family in 2023 as his company continued to ensure stable employment, income, and benefits for all employees, both directly and indirectly. Despite the general difficulties, the company continued to invest in upgrading, expanding showrooms, and equipping them with a full range of modern furniture products manufactured and installed by the company, creating a space for customers to experience as well as a professional and modern workplace for employees. Particularly in financial management and investment, Lam was able to control the cash flow without resorting to borrowing, thus avoiding pressure.

“We are ready with a trained professional team, modern machinery systems, modern production plans, and various proactive business strategies to expand our customer base in the Year of the Dragon. The moment the market regains momentum, we will seize the opportunity to soar,” young CEO Nguyen Van Lam confidently stated.

Ten years ago, after graduating from university, Lam headed to the South to work for a large company to earn money and gain experience. Two years later, he returned to Hue and joined a construction company. During his time on construction sites, he noticed a high demand for modern furniture among people while the market was less competitive. Many customers had to resort to products from other provinces or cities. With keen observation, sharp thinking, and a desire for wealth nurtured since entering university, Lam spent time researching and investigating the modern furniture design market. He believed that the future belongs to modern alternative materials, opening up vast business opportunities.

Combining many necessary factors, in 2017, he decided to establish Song Nguyen Interior Co., Ltd., specializing in consulting, designing, and supplying smart, modern equipment for residential interiors. The company also established a website, YouTube channel, fanpage, hotline…, utilizing e-commerce channels to promote products.

Lam threw himself into the business tirelessly. Whenever he saw a residential construction site, he approached and contacted the customers to introduce his products. The difficulty for him at that time was convincing customers to trust the company's products and change their perceptions of pressed wood products. In customers' minds at that time, mentioning pressed wood immediately brought to mind low-quality products prone to dampness and mold.

“I repeatedly sought to change customers' perceptions of modern pressed wood products and quality substitutes for natural wood that the company is currently distributing through explanations and evidence, even if they didn't use my products afterward,” Lam shared.

“For customers who trusted and signed contracts, we ensured quality construction and the best customer service policies possible. Trust and satisfaction led to many customers referring new customers to the company after using our products. Once, after completing a project for a villa in a nearby neighbourhood, the homeowner introduced us to many other projects nearby,” Lam said.

Juggling roles as a boss, a worker, and a marketer to every customer, Lam's perseverance, hard work, and devotion to maintaining the reputation and product quality brought initial success to the company. From designing, constructing, and providing kitchen equipment, Lam expanded into whole-house interior design.

Nearly two years after launching the company, as the number of customers grew, Lam began to experience management and operational challenges. He was perplexed by incidents, events, answers to short-term and long-term plans, staff arrangements, financial management, and so on. The young CEO's original aspirations were not reached.

While struggling with managing the company's operations, Lam was introduced to and learned about the Hue Entrepreneurship Club. Through the club activities, Lam found resonance with many CEOs before him and received many suggestions from them, as they had faced challenges similar to the ones he was facing.

That was when Lam realized the gap in his knowledge of business management. He had been managing the company spontaneously all along. To fill that gap while managing the company, Lam enrolled in business management courses. Upon completing the course, he equipped himself with valuable knowledge of managing business operations. Lam confidently returned to his CEO position with a new mindset. He realized that a good CEO is one who utilizes a skilled technical team with deep expertise rather than managing both technical and managerial aspects. He focused on building specialized departments. “Currently, the company has a full range of departments, from design, technical, sales, and marketing to production workshops, with a professional team of personnel with expertise and technical depth,” Lam said.

Not only being dynamic and decisive in seizing business opportunities, Lam is also known as a friendly director who cares about the employees. He doesn't give slogan to the staff, but he understands their purpose of dedicating themselves and their efforts to the company every day.

“Concern for the livelihoods of the workers and creating an environment for us to unleash our creativity and maximize our abilities are the aspects I like the most about Director Lam," said the Head of production plant Thai Van Phuong.

Nguyen Van Lam shared that the “Outstanding Young Entrepreneur” title was an inspiration and incentive for him to continue working and improving in his career. “I consider this title an important motivation to improve myself every day and to become a more contributing entrepreneur to the development of the business and the community”, he said.

As the Chairman of Hue Entrepreneurship Club, Lam enthusiastically guides and shares knowledge and experiences with members to help them succeed together. Lam honestly said that he learned a lot from Hue Entrepreneurship Club, gaining many experiences in balancing work and life and fearlessly daring to think and act. “Young entrepreneurs, when given the opportunity, should participate in organizations and movements to learn from many good friends and connect with other entrepreneurs,” said Lam.

Story and photo: HAI THUAN
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