On October 6th, the Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 took place at the Forever Mark Center, 614 Lac Long Quan Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi with the theme: “Fostering innovation with frontier technologies“. Two founders from VIISA (Mr. Pham Kim Hung – Founder & CEO Base.vn and Mr. Nguyen Khoi – Founder & CEO of Wefit) shared on the topic B2B & O2O.

In the panel discussion on “Build and grow your B2B startup, Hardship & Joy”, the speakers shared about the potential of the B2B market is substantial. Two out of 3 unicorn startup in the world is from B2B. However, this is also a challenging market. Currently, Vietnam has 3000 startups, of which only 15% are in B2B. According to Mr. Pham Kim Hung, Founder & CEO of Base.vn, there are 2 things which are challenging for the startup to solve: product and the market. Products can take years to build until you realize it doesn’t work.

In addition, there are many problems in B2B sector, if the startup does not really understand the problem of business, it will not build the product successfully. Especially in the B2B industry one cannot do as fast as e-commerce, therefore startup should be able to solve the problem for businesses, understand what the business needs and be patient, it takes time. Hung stated that the baseline, which is defined as a common standard for all products in each certain industry, will take 80% of your time to build. And only 20% left for you for new innovations. So the barrier of the entrance is much higher. As for the market: Mr. Hung said that B2B investment is less than B2C investments and market entry barriers are different from B2C. Confidence in Vietnamese products needs to be improved. According to Mr. Hung, the startup will have the specific problem in a specific time with a decisive factor, the challenge of the founder is to find out what is the decisive factor in the business.

Mr. Pham Kim Hung, Founder & CEO of Base.vn at Vietnam Frontier Summit (far right).

In the discussion of the key factor in raising successful capital, Mr. Pham Kim Hung shared that everything comes very naturally and quickly. According to him, startup only convinced investors when making investors love their products. However, he said that there are 3 important factors. The first one is one who works in B2B market needs to be honest about the product, only following that will startup gain trust and add value for the customer. The second is to guide the customer why it’s important and to deliver. The third factor is culture. When the staff grows, culture is important in the company. If employee come to the office with joy, confidence, pride, then that’s when your culture is going in the right direction. Base is building a culture focused on products, all members are determined to build better products for customers. According to him, for a team to work together is not much related to how to support each other but the members understand each other. At Base.vn, all information is transparent among members.

In the discussion on “O2O Market landscape in Vietnam”, speakers shared the view that O2O’s future is huge and the online rate will grow strongly in the future. In Vietnam, Nguyen Khoi, founder and CEO of Wefit, Vietnam there are not many startups in this field. One of the difficulties is choosing the right offline service which is suitable to enter the online market.

Mr. Nguyen Khoi (2 from the left) at panel discussion in Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018.

Mr. Nguyen Khoi stated that the challenge in the industry is that the technology adoption of offline business is low, most are individual business households and not be able to issue invoices. Mr. Khoi shared that O2O model, which is complicated and sophisticated itself. To change the way of payment in COD requiring more time to “educate” the market.

According to Mr. Khoi, maintaining service quality is vital to O2O. Currently, Wefit is applying the method of pre-inspection and post-inspection. Khoi shared that gyms and health care facilities were not rated as well in this market, therefore Wefit had to be the pioneer and rely on internal resources to do this from the start. Based on reviews from customers, Wefit will mark that rate for facilities. Wefit also applied incentive system. When they got high mark from customers, they will get a bonus from Wefit.

Apart from the two sessions mentioned above, the seminar also brought together many quality speakers from various fields from Vietnam and other countries. Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 also gathered 24 booths with notable startup teams such as Logivan, Yolo, Umbala, Finhay, Wisami, etc.

Exhibitors at Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018.

2 founders from IoT startup joining Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 – The Bright Tech brings digital technology products for digital transformation, making the factory smarter by combining smart sensors and artificial intelligence.

Following the success of Innovatube Frontier Summit 2017, this year, with the new name as well as sponsorship of the scheme to support the National Innovative Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam until 2025 (ISEV) – Ministry of Science and Technology and Traveloka, Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 is expected to create a bridge to foster innovation with frontier technologies in Vietnam. Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 focuses on four main areas of technology including Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Blockchain, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality. Vietnam Frontier Summit 2018 aims to promote the development of the pioneering technology ecosystem in Vietnam.

Le Hoang

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