(BGO) – In 2010, when working as a receptionist and
tour guide in Sa Pa town (Lao Cai province), Vu Thi Thao, born in 1985 in Vo
Tranh commune of Bac Giang province’s Luc Nam district, decided to quit her job
to do business in farm produce. After 10 years of starting her business from
zero, Thao is now Director of Tan Keo Honey Company Limited in Ao Ve village,
Vo Tranh commune (Luc Nam district). She is striving to ship local honey to
Vu Thi Thao (right) receives the Safe Food Award for Community Health 2017 in Hanoi.
A lesson worth billions of Vietnamese dong
In 2008, after graduating from the Hotel and Tourism Technical College in Hai Duong province, Thao went to Sa Pa town to begin her job as a receptionist and tour guide. The active working environment, stable job and fair income were supposed to keep the young lady in the town of mist. However, through some of her friends in China, Thao recognised that there was a high demand for Vietnam’s farm produce in the neighbouring country. She thought deeply of her decision and was determined to pursue her dream though she understood there would be many obstacles ahead.
After switching job, Thao hired a van, gathered vegetables from remote villages in Lao Cai and some other northern provinces, and then transported them to China for selling. Each shipment brought in huge profits. Three years later, Thao’s asset reached billions of dong. She gave her parents part of her profit to repair their house, while using the remaining for her business. In late 2013, due to lack of management skills, her business reached a deadlock, resulting in a loss of nearly 10 billion VND. In addition to the loss, Thao got into a debt of 2 billion VND (87,780 USD) that caused great anxiety for her families.
After the failure, Thao learnt her lesson that she should secure her asset by investing in various areas, instead of pouring all money into a single field. Then, she moved to trade of fashion products, gradually paying off the debt and earning profit.
Pave the way for export of local specialty
Tan Keo honey products.
Vu Thi Thao's childhood was about following her parents to forest to collect honey, then sell them in highland markets. Recently, honey in the communes of Vo Tranh, Truong Son, Binh Son in Luc Nam district and many other local areas are abundant, but households mostly do traditional processing and sell to merchants at low prices. Till late 2016, Thao struck an idea to form a large-scale production zone and the Tan Keo Honey Co. Ltd. was born by her as Director.
Thick forest yellow honey are bottled and labeled with clear origin. Besides distribution in the province, the company's products are present in Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Lao Cai this year. She now has a swarm of nearly 1,000 honey bees. Apart from more than 10 hectares of forest owned by her family, Thao hired additional 10 hectares as shelter for bees and employed neighbours as workers. The total volume of honey manufactured, procured and distributed by the company is estimated at nearly 20 tonnes this year. In March, the Tan Keo Honey Co. Ltd. was awarded with the title “High-Quality ASEAN Products and Services 2018” by the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs’ Club. Thao also travelled to Singapore as several partners signed contracts to buy the company’s forest honey. To satisfy demanding foreign clients, she invested in a honey extracting and bottling line to ensure food safety and hygiene. The firm plans to deliver the first shipment to Singapore this May.
In addition to doing business, the female Director is also an active member of a charity group in Luc Nam. She donated money and travelled with her friends to regions in and outside the province to donate money and objects to poor households. She told herself that life is really meaningful when one has dreams, always shares love and compassion to the unfortunates.