Dare to decide, dare to let go and dare to accept big investment, Labor Hero Pham Thi Huan – Chairman of the Board of Ba Huan Corporation is determined to digitally transform and transfer operations to bring Ba Huan clean eggs “to the big sea”.
Having been a pioneer in the industrialization of the Vietnamese poultry egg industry since 2006, 2022 continues to mark an important turning point of Ba Huan Corporation (who owns the Ba Huan egg brand) when shaking hands with the Group. FPT to implement comprehensive digital transformation, the goal of realizing the vision of becoming a high-tech and sustainable company, aiming for a standard model of digital transformation for the agricultural industry.
The turning point of digital transformation
According to the partnership agreement signed at the end of September 2022, FPT will advise Ba Huan Company on suitable digital solutions for all areas of operation, including livestock, production, and supply. Besides, consulting for the company to build products, digitize products; automated production management; resource management; building databases, etc.
Within 8 months after the contract was signed, FPT will work with Ba Huan Company to complete the operational solutions, helping the company improve the efficiency in planning and managing all operations. Ms. Pham Thi Huan, also known as Mrs. Huan said “This is the best solution for businesses to grow quicker, stronger and be able to reach out beyond the territory of Vietnam. I have thought about this strategic vision for many years, but with the characteristics of a family company managed by my brothers and sisters, there were not enough resources to implement it” .
In the context of increasingly fierce competition in the field of agricultural production, foreign corporations constantly invest in expanding and participating in all stages and bringing more products to the market. If domestic enterprises are slow to change, they will be pushed back, facing loss of market share to foreign enterprises. This forced Ba Huan Company to enact quickly. “In 2020, I discussed with Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of the Board of FPT Corporation, about bringing technology into the development of the company. Fortunately, I found a suitable partner to participate in running the company, so I accelerated the digitization process “- Ms. Huan informed.
The person that Ms. Huan mentioned is Mr. Tran Viet Hung – a shareholder who has just received a transfer of more than 25% of Ba Huan company shares and has held the right to run the company for about a year.
Ignoring all speculations about the percentage of shares sold and the decision to transfer management rights, Ms. Huan and the new board of directors developed a strategy for the company. A number of skilled personnel in technology and marketing were recruited, and specialized departments were established to professionalize the operations. The digitization contract with FPT Corporation has been speeded up in negotiation and signing for implementation.
According to the proposed strategy, in the process of digitizing all activities, Ba Huan Company focuses on improving production and optimizing livestock efficiency. The loss rate in livestock production is minimized thanks to the combination of traditional farming experience and technology application. Statistics on a flock of 20,000 chickens up to 70 weeks old show that only 7-10 chickens die.
“This is an extremely low loss figure. Currently, Ba Huan Company has increased herds capacity by 20%-30% compared to 2021. The company’s automated farms can measure the amount of food, drink, vaccine, environmental index, etc. for each cage. The company is considering investing in one more digitization project to be able to control the health of chickens in each cage,” Ba Huan said excitedly.
In the distribution stage, thanks to the change in sales operations, the company has almost no fresh egg products. Instead of delivery trucks carrying eggs from the factory to the consumption channels as before, the company opened 5 hubs or connection centers in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong to transport and accelerate the consumption of goods. Currently, Ba Huan Company is promoting procedures to obtain a license to export fresh eggs to Singapore and Malaysia markets. The processed food segment is relaunched, preparing for the launch of several new products and increased presence in distribution channels.
Dare to let go and dare to accept the difference
When mentioning capital contribution partner, Ms. Pham Thi Huan said that Mr. Tran Viet Hung is the son of a friend and has a great passion for agriculture due to him having worked abroad. “I transferred shares, handed over the management of the company to Hung, considering Hung as a descendant of the family and the successor of the family, so I did not hide this secret. My condition is that Hung must keep Ba Huan name for at least 50 more years,” said Ms. Huan.
The madam of clean eggs Ba Huan confided that during 53 years of working with agriculture, she built the company into a leading brand in the poultry egg industry, accounting for about 30% of the market share of fresh eggs in Vietnam. She is constantly worried about how she can maintain the company brand that she and others have worked on so hard.
“Everybody in the industry knows that Ba Huan is a family company with certain limitations that make it difficult to manage according to the modern model. The children and grandchildren in the family also do not follow this profession, so it is likely that there is no one to continue the business. For many years, I have intended to choose a partner to contribute capital to the company, as well as finding the next generation,” said Ms. Ba Huan about the reason for bringing outsiders into the company’s management.
She hopes that with her experience of more than 50 years, the young CEO’s executive ability, flexibility, agility and creativity will create the momentum for Ba Huan’s clean eggs in the new phase.
Explaining the decision to spend more than 1 million USD for digital transformation, Ms. Ba Huan said that this is not a small amount of money in the context of the general economic difficulties but must be spent to create a foundation for the future. “For a long time, Ba Huan entered the market by dinghy, but small boats can only hang around in the pond, it cannot cross the ocean. If you want to go to the sea, you must use a large ship. Innovating technology, equipment and thinking is the inevitable path for enterprises to develop sustainably” – Ms. Ba Huan said enthusiastically
In 2022, Ba Huan Company was strongly restructured and it is determined to grow at a slow but steady pace, only targeting a 10% increase in profit compared to 2021. During the transition between the old-style corporate governance occurs few difficulties. Standardizing the operating model also leads to initial costs, but it is a necessary and acceptable expense. “There may be setbacks, certain losses, but it is also a stepping stone to move forward. Having decided to pass on the mantle, we must dare to let go, dare to accept differences for the common goal, “- Ms. Pham Thi Huan confided.
Ba Huan farmer’s nature has not changed, the business philosophy for Vietnam’s agriculture and Vietnamese consumers has not changed, but the people of Ba Huan Company must change in order to move forward and establish a thriving brand” said Ms. Pham Thi Huan – Chairman of the Board of Ba Huan Corporation.
Pham Thi Huan believes that the company lives up to its profession and conquers consumers not only with stable prices but also in quality, a can-do attitude and the spirit of sharing and accompanying customers. That spirit is reflected in specific actions during the COVID-19 pandemic: although input costs were high, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City allowed the price of eggs to stabilize, but Ba Huan decided not to increase it as a way to help the city fight the pandemic
“If a woman has merit, her husband does not. Ba Huan is also not afraid to compete. When I hear that there is a unit doing it, I am very happy because the market and the economy is developing” – Ms. Huan expressed her opinion and always told the team not to “rest on one’s laurels”, always carefully monitor the market and constantly learn and conquer consumers by give and take.