Vietnam's coffee queen has visions of a global empire

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-06 07:14

Peter Tsang, Trung Nguyen's general manager in charge of the Chinese mainland, echoed Thao's statement, saying the Chinese market's potentiality is huge and cafes are mushrooming there and becoming indispensable for Chinese youths.

"Most of China's population is used to drinking tea, but many Chinese people, especially youngsters, like to drink coffee," he said, adding that Vietnamese coffee exported to China enjoys preferential treatment, including tax incentives.

There are three key factors leading to the success of Trung Nguyen coffee in China, namely Vietnam's fine coffee beans, the firm's know-how, and the use of European machines and technologies, Tsang stated.

"We hope that we will attain the sales target of $1 billion in the Chinese market by 2020," he said.

Now, over 1,000 Trung Nguyen cafes are set up home and abroad.

However, two decades ago, Vu, born in 1971, was a medical student with poor parents. Motivated by the aspiration to make a fortune for himself and his country by selling processed coffee, Vu, in 1996, opened a coffee roasting facility in Dak Lak, with a total workforce of only four, including himself and three of his friends.

Having practically no money or experience, Vu struggled to make his business survive while still having to attend classes. Time went by, and so did the money Vu invested in his small production base. His parents had to sell their own house to contribute capital to the base.

According to local media, Vu, burdened with financial difficulties but wanting to realize his dream, met Thao, a 20-year-old lady, who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth (her father is a gold jewelry tycoon in Buon Ma Thuot), and agreed to marry.

Vietnam, the world's second biggest coffee exporter after Brazil, shipped 467,000 tons of coffee worth nearly $1.1 billion overseas in the first quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Thao expressed her strong belief that TNI King Coffee will be a huge success, especially in international markets, like the previous brand G7.

"My greatest vision is expanding the Vietnamese brand all over the world, and for it to be able to compete with multinational companies in the coffee industry," she said.

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