A good company is like a beautiful lady
In the Vietnam Private Equity Investors’ Roundtable recently held by Asia Private Equity Centre and State Securities Commission, International Consumer Products Corporation (ICP) was invited as a typical success of investment funds in Vietnam. Right after the conference, Mr Phan Quoc Cong – President, ICP – had a small talk with us.
With the increasing number of investment funds, it’s said that it’s easy for Vietnam company to find investment. Do you think so?
It’s right that many investment funds are interested in private companies, and that’s a chance for companies that need to raise capital to expand their production and business activities. A good company is like a beautiful lady; that means there will be many men – investment funds – flirting her. What matters is that the girl will have to choose a good partner to get married to.
You’ve mentioned “a good company”. So in your opinion, what does the word “good” mean to the investment funds?
Profit, growth rate, and market opportunities are the matters that investment fund pay attention to. Besides, management team and visions of founding members are also important factors .
Owning a strong brand is also a factor in which investment funds are interested.. To them, a leading brand will be more important than many brands that are not market leaders. . Reality has proven that only strong brands can create profits and are able to make other brands successful.
In addition, transparency in financial reports is also a matter to which investment funds pay special attention. There will be no wedding if a man can not know all the information about his girl. Therefore, companies seeking for capital from investment funds must have this matter carefully prepared.
What to prepare in detail?
After defining the objectives of partnership, , at first, the company needs to prepare a transparent management and financial system through which information will be shared completely and promptly to investors. That helps investors have the right view on company, and at the same time make trust between others. Besides, there should be preparation in human resources such as forming a team to work with investors during the due diligence process and later cooperation. And the last thing is the internal psychological preparation; that means the company has to inform clearly to all the staff about the benefits and opportunities of this partnership..
Why did ICP decide to seek for foreign investment capital?
For a private company, in order to enter a new stage of development , the company needs large and strong resources. In our development strategy, in the beginning we set our goals of growing by leaps and bounds in growth and maintain that growth rate. combining the existing resources with external resources will help ICP reach the objective rapidly and effectively. Cooperating with investment fund is one step in ICP development strategy.
For more detailed, in 2002 when ICP was first established, our turnover was just 4,6 billions VND but in 2007 – only 5 years later , our expected turnover is 320 billions VND, an increase of nearly 80 times. We have many strong brands such as X-Men, Dr.Men, L’Ovite Paris, Q-Girl New York … This is a leap of development in the company history. We have been preparing for another leap in the future by exploring thoroughly the potentials of these brands. Therefore we need more resources.
When ICP appealed for investment, there are many investment funds in Vietnam. Why ICP chose Mekong Capital for strategic partner?
In each stage of development, ICP set different goals. In the early stage of development, we did not only need financial supporst but also in other fields such as talents recruitment, corporate governance, financial system standardization, etc.We decided to partner with Mekong Capital because they have enough resources to help us reach our goals.
It has been nearly one year since ICP and Mekong Capital signed the partnering agreement, is ICP happy with this partnership?
Because of having set up detailed objectives and having agreed upon the partnering mechanism in the beginning, we’ve reached many good achievements. Apart from financial support, Mekong Capital with its experienced team in different fields helped us in standardizing our corporate governance, , recruiting senior positions, and standardizing our financial system, etc.
Could you give information about how ICP used the capital 6 million USD from Mekong Capital?
We invested in improving production technology, attracting senior human resources, standardizing operating and financial system and specialized software of the company. All is to enhance the working productivity and to able to make the right decision at the right time. decision.
Do ICP intend to call for l more investment in the future?
As already said, in each development stage, ICP sets different goals. In the first stage, we need supports to strengthen the company structure. In the forthcoming plan, we hope to grow rapidly and expand into foreign markets, so we will need appropriate support. We welcome partnership with investors who can help us reach our goals in the future.
What measures will ICP take to attract investors?
Apart from attractive profits, rapid growth and big business opportunities, we undertake transparency in management and finance. Transparency is part of ICP culture since the company was established. We believe that transparency will build trust within the company so that everybody can wholeheartedly build a strong company like today. Besides, we have a strong management team with people who are young, dynamic, well trained and experienced from multinational corporations.
Thank you. Wish ICP success in the future.
(Sai Gon business weekly - 19/10/2007)
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