When I think about what kind of company THP will be at the end of 2022, I know one thing for sure: everyone who works for us and with us will feel more connected than ever before.

Last year, we initiated a five-year program to accelerate digitalization, broken down into two distinct parts. During the first phase, we’re laying the foundations, while the second involves migrating to the cloud so that we can service our business partners, customers and colleagues more seamlessly and efficiently.

We all know how important digitalization is and if there’s been one positive from Covid-19, then it’s been the opportunity to speed things up. Seizing new opportunities is also something that my family members always relish.

Embracing technology is a key one for us. In the space of just two years, for example, my father went from owning his first computer to implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system at THP using SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) software.

This program, which he launched in 2010, enabled us to replace paper with electronic management of our core processes.  Indeed, my very first job at THP, when I came back to Vietnam after university, involved this program. I was literally thrown in at the deep end.

Last year, we embedded more SAP technology. In March, we became the first Vietnamese beverage company to implement SAP Ariba, a cloud-based B2B procurement and supply chain platform. This not only connects buyers and sellers online, but also enables us to conduct every process from sourcing to payment digitally.

THP’s commitment to digitalization is such that the whole team (from our IT specialists to senior management) worked through Tết (Vietnam’s lunar year) to put SAP onto the cloud.

Overall, THP is now operating a hybrid-working model, with some people on site and some at home. Physical location no longer matters as we’re all connected electronically through Microsoft Office applications such as SharePoint and Power Automate.

Tele-working hasn’t involved a sudden cultural shift since the process was already underway. But even minor adjustments require people to change engrained habits and sometimes, that can be hard.

So we put a huge emphasis on skills training and emphasizing the opportunities that digitalization brings: serving our customers better, finding new sales leads and interacting with each other more effectively.

Digitalization is also a national priority. At the 13th National Party Congress, the government set a 2045 goal for Vietnam to attain developed nation status.

Government officials and official bodies such as the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) know the country will only achieve this target if more Vietnamese businesses embrace digitalization.

In December, Bùi Thu Thủy, the deputy director of the Enterprise Development Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, noted that Vietnam is behind Indonesia and Thailand in key aspects such as digital payments and more general online business transactions.

The government has set some ambitious targets under its National Digital Transformation Program 2025 to rectify this. One of the main ones is achieving a 90% digitalization rate for government processes at the ministry and provincial level, plus 80% at the district level.

The VCCI is also prioritizing helping the business community to speed up digitalization. We’re proud to be at the vanguard of this process in Vietnam. We know that it not only helps us to compete domestically but achieve our ambition of being one of the region’s leading beverages companies too.