5 reasons why you should base your startup in Vietnam in 2016

Photo by guido da rozze

Photo by guido da rozze

Dear entrepreneur comrades!

As we all know, it is getting easier and easier for us to start a business overseas as well as to locate your startup team in a foreign country. The reason behind this could be assigned to a less risky, less competitive business environment and a more economical choice than to place your startup’s headquarters in costly meccas of the tech world like Sillicon Valley, Singapore or Hong Kong.

Since Vietnam has been a fairly stable country through world crises in 2015 and it has even won some global agreements that strengthen the country’s economy, I believe that Vietnam is emerging fast as a promising destination for entrepreneurs to explore and grow their firm.

In this article, I will provide you some solid reasons why you absolutely should base your startup in Vietnam in the very next year – 2016.

1. Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is getting stronger than ever before

I am pretty certain that merely one year ago, the only name from Vietnam that you may see on newspapers’ headlines is ‘Flappy bird’, but now, you are being more and more familiar with titles like ‘Vietnamese business receive funds from foreign venture capital’.

The examples are ample: In 2015’s first quater, Google-rivaling Vietnam startup Cốc Cốc attracted $14 million. Just about two months ago, KAfe Group closed US$5.5 million first-round financing to accelerate expansion of first urban fusion cafe chain across Vietnam, or just nearly two weeks ago, food ordering app in Vietnam: Lozi gets 7-digit funding from Golden Gate Ventures, DesignOne Japan.

Not only that, Vietnam’s government is being more serious on building a sustainable and advanced ecosystem for Startups.

To illustrate, in June 2013, Ministry of Science and Technology launched a project calledVietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) to help connecting startup-ers alike, counseling and sharing experiences along with many other supports.

To be even more serious, Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam just helped Vietnam’s startup community to found a national soccer team for startup founders in August this year.

2. Vietnam is good on number, and the already big market is growing bigger real quick

According to Ease of doing business index by world bank group, Vietnam is now ranked 90th, staying at a better position than Indonesia, Malaysia. Vietnam has a population of 92 million people, and is ranked as the 34th largest market in terms of size. In 2015, the total number of internet users in Vietnam is around 44 million and is predicted to be rising to 59 million or even more in 2019.

What is more, according to analysts, the event of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will send a tremendous flow of investment from companies around the world into Vietnam’s market as it is a big winner in this trade agreement. Asia Development Bank estimates that Vietnam will experience a better than six per cent growth rate in 2016, making it one of the leading economic performers in the Asia Pacific region.

Now, If the above reasons are not enough to persuade you, let’s continue by considering less macro-reasons, things that young entrepreneurs like us have to think about everyday:

3. Everything is cheap but in high quality: Food, Rental and Labour

Unlike many other countries, everything in Vietnam are pretty cheap. Vietnam’s average income is somewhere around 2000$/year. Therefore, you can have the best talents of the country work for your startup company for less than 500-700$/month. Many people with reputable degrees and years of working experience would, literally, kill for a job paying 1000$.

Rental is even cheaper. Some startup companies work in office that cost less than 300$/month. For 1000$ monthly, you can have a fully furnished Office in a building near Hanoi’s downtown, or you can even own a mansion that is similar to the one in the movie The social network.

I am proud and confident to say that Vietnam has a food culture that can satisfy anybody with a wide range of unique, delicious and healthy food. 10 out of 10 people coming here say Vietnamese food is awesome.

The low cash burn rates could definitely save you on everything!.

4. The country’s geographic feature makes it a heaven on earth

Another plus point of Vietnam is that working here really gives you a chance of having holiday everyday. With Vietnam having 4000 years of history and more than 1000 kilometres coast line, you can enjoy 4 seasons in a year, all types of sight-seeing, from man-made to natural landscapes like Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang Beach or Sapa.

Travelling is inspiring and it benefits your company in many ways from connecting your employees together, creating a stronger bonds between people in the company. It even triggers people’s creativity to help them think outside the box, be more creative and efficient at work.

Why locking away yourself and your team mates behind the wall of the boring office when you can both work and enjoy life?

5. An open, stable country with many opportunities

During 2014 and 2015, the world keep facing issues relating to problems like economic crisis, terrorism, natural disasters…

Vietnam, as a peaceful country, has yet to experience any of that. There is no record of earthquake or tsunami in Vietnam in recent years. It also remain almost un-impacted by world’s financial and economic crisis.

Also, the market here is open and less tough than others. Every field in Vietnam is relatively new, you won’t have to face harsh competition with other companies in any business sector. The fact that companies like GrabTaxi, Lozi is doing so good in Vietnam really strengthens this point.

                                                                                                                                 By Tung Nguyen - Tech in asia