The youthful, charming, decisive and innovative CEO Vo Thi Phuong Lan is often called “Lady Champion of Vietnam’s Logistics Industry”. The success of Amerasian Shipping Logistics (ASL) company may make you feel curious about how a logistics business is managed by a woman, yet the response from CEO Phương Lan would surprise you: Women are very suitable for managing logistics businesses!
Ms. Vo Thi Phuong Lan – CEO of Amerasian Shipping Logistics (ASL) – Executive Board Member of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association, in charge of training; Member of the Logistics Learning Outcomes Validation Council, Department of Vocational Education and Training; Participant in Aus4Skills Program; Supporter of colleges and universities.
Wave the flag once it’s in your hands!
In 2004, Ms. Vo Thi Phuong Lan became Business Manager at an American forwarding company, in which she was responsible for managing most activities of the company in Viet Nam and Cambodia. While working, she took an MBA course at Maastricht School of Management, Holland.
Ms. Vo Thi Phuong Lan - CEO of Amerasian Shipping Logistics (ASL)
At the time, she had no idea about start-ups or running a private business. Accidentally, a business partner noticed her entrepreneurial potential and made a suggestion to her. “I was confused and felt doubtful as I had not accumulated enough resources at the age of 30.” – Ms. Lan recalled.
As they say: Wave the flag once it’s in your hands! Entrepreneurship seemed already to be in her blood. Ms. Lan took the opportunity and “waved the flag”. Fortunately, the person who made the suggestion became her business partner. They offered to invest in her business if she could demonstrate a full business plan with well-analysed opportunities, challenges and contexts.
Bearing in mind that this was the opportunity she could not miss, Ms. Lan tried whatever she could to understand the current logistics industry. The knowledge she had learned from MSM-MBA over the first four months helped her develop a comprehensive and practical business plan. Two weeks later, she got the offer from her business partner to invest in starting up the current ASL. The trust of the ‘inspirer’ in what Ms. Lan could do was a huge motivation for her. To date, ASL has celebrated its 15th anniversary, received a series of awards and is continuing to grow.
148 shades of emotion!
Ms. Lan recalled a statement of Dr. Vo Tri Thanh at the recent forum in Hanoi on "Start up with Logistics": “Men only have 28 shades of emotion, while women have 148 shades. The richness of their emotions makes women multitaskers, and they are suited to industries like logistics”. Ms. Land had some doubt about this statement, but later she found out that in fact most logistics companies in Vietnam are led by women.
It is often seen that logistics is more suitable for men as it requires decisiveness, frequent travel, long working hours, while women should better focus on housework. However, Ms. Lan has strong confidence that women can succeed in any profession if they have enough passion and will, though it is not easy for women to become entrepreneurs.
Seeing herself as a careful, precise, patient and determined woman, Ms. Lan thinks that these characteristics help her minimize the risks and mistakes in making deals. The willingness to take risks made her stronger in leading the company to overcome many challenges. Ms. Lan always feels grateful to her family, friends and colleagues for their support in making her career a good success. “I’m so grateful to my husband for sharing the housework and being by my side in dealing with all ups and downs of my business” – CEO Vo Thi Phuong Lan shared.
Lady Champion in Logistics
With more than 23 years of experience in the industry, including 15 years of running her own business, Ms. Lan sees great opportunities for Vietnam’s logistics to prosper. In her job, she has had the opportunity to visit many countries, work with various partners with strong experience in logistics all over the world. Ms. Lan has learned a lot and applied the latest technologies in her business, which has helped ASL reduce operation costs, increase sales and improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese businesses.
In response to questions about how a woman-led logistics business is different than others, Ms. Lan said with big smile: “Vietnamese women are well known for their heroism, determination, faithfulness and resourcefulness - these qualities have significant impact on the way women run a business. I think businesswomen are all able to bring their softness and flexibility in dealing with their co-workers. I treat my staff with love, and I receive theirs in return. I bring a mild temper into negotiations with business partners or clients. In my opinion, female entrepreneurs are quite cautious in taking risks so they normally are able to overcome crises.
“Before starting up my business, I was taught by a professor at the MSM-MBA program on three key factors for success and I found these to be true. First: Goal. Put your mind on the goal you set, develop a detailed plan for what you want and need to achieve in the given timeline. Second: Change. Change old habits and be confident in yourself to get what you strive for. Third: Confidence. You need to remove all negative thoughts from your mind, be confident in yourself, never stop learning and be patient with what you do. I’ve made it and I believe that young people will be able to make it, too.”” – CEO Vo Thi Phuong Lan.
Source: Women News
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