Encourage innovation to restructure successfully: An interview with Bui Quoc Viet from VNPT

Apr 30, 2014 | English, TheColumnist, Vietnam

Mr Bui Quoc Viet, Director of the Information and Public Relations Center, and Group Chief Editor of Information & Society Magazine and spokesman of Vietnam Posts & Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has more than 23 years of experience in telecommunication sector & corporate governance and more than 15 years of experience in market research and analysis. VNPT is a state-owned service provider that laid the first stone for the development of the Posts and Telecommunications sector in Vietnam. The Group has played an important role in bringing Vietnam into the top 10 nations with highest posts & telecommunications growth rate. The Columnist talks to him about achievements of VNPT and strategies of the group during this transition period.

The Columnist (TC): Would you share your opinion on the importance of the Information and Public Relations Center in bridging VNPT and customers?

Bui Quoc Viet (BQV): With advanced telecommunications infrastructures, a service network covering 64 provinces and cities of Vietnam, VNPT is considered the leading service provider in Vietnam, accounting for 60 million mobile service subscribers. Over the past 30 years, the Information and Public Relations Center of VNPT (IPC) has played the role of a bridge between VNPT and its customers.

On one hand, IPC uses marketing campaigns, public media channels and social media to communicate the core messages of VNPT to customers and communities, and to share information about VNPT’s products and services. This helps increase VNPT’s brand awareness. We always strive to innovate and constantly improve the quality of products and services to better serve our customers. This is also helps build an image of an economics corporation that always journeys with the development of Vietnam through social responsibility and talent nurturing activities and programs.

On the other hand, IPC often consolidates customer feedback on products and services through different channels and then propose specific solutions to the management for strategy adjustment and  new product developments to better serve customers and communities. Our engagement with more than 40 million customers in a proactive manner is very crucial to us. IPC works very closely with the Customer Feedback division to create various channels, such as websites, customer service hotlines to constantly improve our customer service quality.

TC: In your opinion, what is the role of VNPT in the Vietnam economy as well as in the global ICT value chain? How would the development of VNPT impact the future of Vietnam? Would you share more about the vision of VNPT  in the coming years?

BQV: VNPT has a long and established history of almost 70 years. Being the first enterprise in the ICT sector in Vietnam, VNPT has contributed to the development of the country and brought about the merits of opening the telecommunications sector.

VNPT laid the foundation on which has become the development platform for other market players. Currently, VNPT contributes 93% infrastructure for fixed telephone lines, almost 60% infrastructure for nation-wide mobile phones, nearly 70% for internet infrastructure and VNPT has been the only owner of satellite information network (Vinasat 1.2) in Vietnam. Over the past few years, the growth of VNPT has slowed down due to the requirement of State-owned-enterprise operation policies, thus VNPT is now undergoing holistic restructuring and setting a strong focus on Posts and telecommunications.

But thanks to the trust of customers, consisting of 60 millions of mobile service subscribers and nearly 3 millions of mobile broadband subscribers in Vietnam, VNPT strongly believes that these are our core strengths to leverage on to make VNPT become the excellent brand in the region, to achieve the vision of becoming the top 10 fastest growing ICT enterprises.

Our strategic goal in years to come will be to transform the corporation into a flexible, dynamic economic institution that meets the requirements of the ever-changing ICT industry. We will strengthen our position as the key national representative in the ICT industry, continue to build the VNPT brand to become the leading national brand and strive towards becoming one of the top 10 ICT firms in Asia.

TC: In your opinion, what is the role of organisational culture in the restructuring of VNPT under this strategic period?

BQV: Our traditional values are described in our slogan – commonly known as our golden words “loyal- courageous – dedicate – innovation – magnanimous” – help remind ourselves that good behaviors of VNPT’s early generation are encouragement for younger generations. Under this period, faced with market’s challenges and changes, we  understand that organisation culture plays stategic role in restructuring the whole Group successfully. Developing organisational culture is considered top priority of VNPT so that every employee is aligned and committed to contribute to the success of VNPT. In my opinion, organisational culture is accumulated and can be only achieved by time, we can not rush. What VNPT really needs now is encouraging and motivate employees to achieve unity to overcome transitional challenges.

During the restructuring period, are new slogan is “specified – different – effective”. This slogan means: providing services professionally, thriving for better products and services for customers; focusing on developing new products and services and maintain brand awareness of VNPT as a brand of creditability, difference and thriving for customers’ benefits; respects the value of every work for sustainable development and balancing customers’ satisfactions and employees’ benefits.

Recently we have applied new polices and frameworks, such as, changes in performance evaluation system, applying modern technology in work evaluation, organising regular training activities, creating modern work environment. We launched campaigns such as “VNPT Smile” to encourage staff to be aware of their role as being a friend to our customers. All of these activities are among a series of programs to build and nurture corporate culture, instead of simply putting slogan on the board.


Annual VNPT Smile Award. Source: VNPT Bac Giang

TC: As the leading corporation in Vietnam’s Posts & Telecommunication sector, VNPT needs great talent to lead the Group as well as its 100 subsidiaries. What roadmaps and programs have been applied to continuously nurture and develop talents of the Group?

BQV: Nurturing and developing talents has been a top focus of VNPT since its early days. VNPT is the only posts, telecommunications and ICT business in Vietnam that owns a national university – the Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT). Our Institute nurtures great talent not only for the Group but for all companies in Vietnam, and the region. Last year, we started the Talent Evaluation Framework, for all strategic positions within the Group starting from team leader to the highest level of CEO. Each position has a list of requirements, including: thought leadership, vision, ability to encourage and create changes. We also have specific talent recruitment & training strategies based on development strategies of the Group for each subsidiaries and companies. These strategic actions are key to internally train and develop leaders to lead our Group move forward.


Mr. Bui Quoc Viet train staff on corporate communication. Source: VNPT

TC: Posts & Telecommunication sector is an industry dealing with data and innovation. What plan does VNPT have to develop open and innovative cultures to encourage innovation within the Group?

BQV: Not only Posts & Telecommunications sector but other sectors are facing rapid changes. Technology and big data has forced us to choose: change and innovate or we will die. Therefore, we understand that innovation is key to create difference and lead the Group move forward. Since 2008, we initiated programs such as “VNPT Innovation” group-wide. This has been not only a campaign but it has become a culture of VNPT.

After nearly 6 years of implementation, this program has helped us exploit intelligence and contributions of all staff in the Group and their devotion in providing solutions, ideas to solve strategic challenges and missions of VNPT. Besides Annual Innovation Awards, we also apply incentives and pay rises for individuals with creative ideas. We also organise regular programs to honor distinguished individuals to encourage them to shine.


Distinguished individuals on VNPT Innovation Day Award. Source: VNPT

TC: Vietnam is one of the top potential markets, however, the customers’ demand is changing rapidly as Vietnamese are very open with global technology trends. So what does VNPT do  to stay relevant and continuously engage with customers and secure market share?

BQV: I agree that global technology trends are changing customers’ demand especially seen in OTT services in Vietnam.

The OTT demand is the challenge for service providers like VNPT. However, in my opinion, these challenges are also motivation for us to innovate and create products that more appealing to users. We welcome all these trends and we have a cooperative mindset to all competitors. At the end of the day, what is most important is creating the most interesting services for customers.  New trends are opportunities for us to reflect ourselves to become better. I think that’s the basis for us to control what we have achieved and always innovate to become bigger.

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