ROYAL FOODS – Consolidating Brand Position

Realizing the potential in Tien Giang province, in 2007, Royal Foods, a leading enterprise specialized in canned food processing in Thailand, decided to set up a canned fish factory in Tien Giang province with a capacity of over 200 tons of the canned fish per day to provide the market in the South in particular and in Vietnam in general.

Mongkol Banthrarungroj, the General Manager of the company, said that since the starting day, the company has achieved sales growth of 80 percent of the domestic market with the key product being canned fish. Although the product price is 20 percent higher than the competitors, the fish can with three ladies trademark that has a strong presence on the market and is recognized and welcomed by customers for its quality. The success of Royal Foods is made by marketing strategies and effective implementation of the distribution channel. Due to the lists of the gift promotion programs for houses, motors and tours to customers and dealers every year, the brand of the company is increasingly closer to more customers.

To create more attraction for consumers and more competitive advantages, the company has invested in machinery and the most modern technology that preserves freshness, flavour and quality of the fish to keep the natural flavours of each product. The company’s products have been certified by HACCP since 2008. In the near future, in addition to the fish can, the Royal Foods will also produce other series of products such as spices.

Therefore, the three ladies brand is recognized by not only the fish box but also other products such as soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce.

In addition to these successes, the company still has some difficulties. At present, the state is now strictly enforcing regulations that push up transport costs by 120 percent, leading to increasing prices. Meanwhile, the price of fresh fish has been increasing every year; and the sources of fish are not stable, which requires the company to come up with an appropriate procurement strategy.

In this situation, the company has invested in cold storage to stock the fish and buy the fish at harvest or import them from abroad. Thus, even if it is still difficult to buy the raw materials, the company is less affected, which has created momentum for the company to pay its higher efforts to maintain production efficiency.

However, because the company’s market share of the fish cans accounts for 60 percent in Thailand and is ranked first in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar on sales volume; the exports to Thailand are not enough even though production reaches 100 million cans per year. In addition, Royals Foods’ products are extended throughout ASEAN, which forces the company to expand the plants’ operations to produce 500 million cans per year to meet the market demand.

To handle this issue, the company has invested US$9 million in the plant in Tien Giang province and US$5 million to buy the Royal Food Can Plant of the Tan My Chanh industrial park to supply enough products to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, along with the construction of the new plant in Nghe An worth US$25 million, including warehousing to store 15,000 tons of frozen products, which is considered the largest frozen storage in the region, to distribute products on this market. Up to now, the company has had five factories in Vietnam. This motivates the company to be the top canned fish brand in the Southeast Asia.

During the development process, Royal Foods is also interested in improving the living standards of its workers and employees. The company always ensures a steady income for workers and avoids lay-offs during low season. Moreover, the company is also implementing various incentives such as housing assistance, scholarships awarded to children of the company’s employees, students at Tien Giang University, and making regular contributions to improve the humanitarian centre. This social work helps Royal Foods consolidate its position in the market and on customers’ minds.

Thanh Tam

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Tien Giang Creating Economic Boosts, Accelerating Industrialisation and Modernisation

Tien Giang province has achieved many important and comprehensive accomplishments in all areas and asserted its increasingly important position in the Mekong Delta. Vietnam Business Forum has an exclusive interview with Mr Nguyen Van Khang, Chairman of Tien Giang Provincial People’s Committee, on the province’s successes and development orientations. Thanh Tam reports. Could you please tell us the important results Tien Giang province has attained after nearly four years implementing the Resolution of the 9th Provincial Party Congress (2010-2015 term)?

By promoting solidarity and actively overcoming difficulties, the Party, the Government, and people of Tien Giang province have effectively executed the Resolution of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Resolution of the 9th Provincial Party Congress and achieved important results. Economic growth is substantial and economic restructuring is well-directed. Industries and economic sectors are restructured to better tap local comparative advantages; mechanisms and policies are gradually perfected and are producing good efficiency; local potential and advantages are tapped to meet socioeconomic development requirements. Specifically, the province’s GDP growth was estimated at 9.7 percent a year in the 2011 – 2014 period and expected at 9.8 percent in the 2010-2015 period. The scale of social development investment capital keeps going up, to VND21,517 billion in 2014 and totals VND71,751 billion in four years (2011-2014), equal to 31.3 percent of the GDP. The export turnover exceeded US$1 billion in 2013 and was expected to top US$1.17 billion in 2014, bringing the total export turnover to US$4.02 billion in four years (2011-2014). Export growth surpassed the target of the Resolution. Income per capita is expected to reach VND40.5 million in 2014, doubling that in 2010.

During the remaining time of the current term, based on the adjusted master development plan to 2020, with orientation to 2030, the Tien Giang Province People’s Committee will direct relevant agencies and local governments to mobilise investment resources and speed up administrative reform; build and implement industry-based restructuring projects (firstly agricultural restructuring); and seek solutions to existing difficulties facing businesses. In addition, the province will effectively enforce the Resolution of the Provincial Party Committee on trade and services development. The province will focus on developing service sectors with high added value, promoting the development of other production and services sectors; and actively generating economic growth momentum to pave the way for Tien Giang province to sustain development, industrialisation and modernisation.

In 2004, the Tien Giang Provincial People’s Committee and the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee signed a socioeconomic development cooperation programme on the basis of mutual benefit. Could you tell us the remarkable cooperation achievements of this programme over the past 10 years?

The 10-year socioeconomic development cooperation programme between Tien Giang province and HCM City has brought positive results. Tien Giang has so far attracted 38 investment projects valued at VND12 trillion from HCM City and 203 enterprises with a total registered capital of VND5,653 billion, particularly the VND1,487 billion petroleum and LPG depot and port invested by Saigon Petro Co. Ltd in Go Cong Dong district. The project was granted its investment certificate in April 2014 and the investor is now quickly preparing the detailed plan for approval.

However, the cooperation between the two localities still has certain limitations. To overcome these limitations and promote the connectivity in the future, the Provincial People’s Committee of Tien Giang will concentrate on eradicating obstacles and difficulties and increase support for investors. It will also further promote investment attraction and exchange information with enterprises, helping them tap cooperation potential between the two localities.

Could you tell us the main contents of the Tien Giang Socioeconomic Development Master Plan to 2020, with orientation to 2030? What specific solutions has Tien Giang province sought to carry out the master plan?

In late June 2013, the province announced the adjusted plan for socioeconomic development of Tien Giang province to 2020, with a vision to 2030 (which modified the overall planning for Tien Giang socioeconomic development). The plan has been submitted to the Prime Minister for approval. The core contents of the master plan are the formation of growth engines, key industrial zones in Southeast Tan Phuc and Go Cong areas, concentrated industrial and economic zones in the southern region; employment; and labour restructuring. The province will develop synchronous infrastructure systems, gradually modernise traffic systems in rural and urban zones, and modernise communications systems. It will also complete power and water supply networks and treat environmental pollution to meet necessary requirements for a regional economic hub. Tien Giang province will invest to create key products of every industry and field; form farming zones to supply materials for processing for domestic consumption and for export; upgrade and build new crop and livestock farming centres and high-tech agricultural forms to boost organic, safe and high-tech farming in the northern bank of the Tien River. The province has also accelerated the pace of urbanisation, the development of urban centres, urban peripheries and countryside residences to create a new population distribution.

To carry out the plan, Tien Giang province will concentrate on directing solutions, particularly those relating to improving the investment and business environment and attracting FDI capital. To fully implement and apply State mechanisms and policies in the way that most benefits investors, especially large-scale projects and prioritised fields, the province will strengthen coordination with central authorities to review projects and planning and cooperate with other localities in the Mekong Delta as well as the southern key economic zone for development.

To realise the goal of making Tien Giang a comprehensively developed province of the Mekong Delta by 2015, transport infrastructure plays an extremely important role. How has the province addressed this?

To develop infrastructure, the Tien Giang Provincial Party Committee issued Action Plan 19-CTr/TU on synchronised infrastructure system construction to 2020. Besides, the Provincial People’s Committee collaborated with the Development Strategy Institute under the Ministry of Planning and Investment to adjust the overall Tien Giang socioeconomic development plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030; joined hands with the Vietnam Economics Institute to work out breakthroughs in Tien Giang Socioeconomic Development Strategy in the 2011 – 2020 period, with a vision to 2030, and outlined infrastructure development plans for three economic regions of the province.

Infrastructure construction is also an important content in rural development. In addition to centrally funded capital, the province also mobilised all available resources to build rural infrastructure systems in order to realise all objectives stated in the Resolution of the 9th Provincial Party Congress and the Action Plan of the Provincial People’s Committee.

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