VLC: Time Makes Maturity and Steadiness

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Hai Phong Paint is a popular name to those following the constant growth of the port city. From a small oil painting chemical enterprise, the stakeholders arranged works, outlined development directions, and utilised every single opportunity to get ahead, building from the ground up to reach prosperity.

Growing up with the country

Mr Nguyen Van Vien, President of VLC, said, in 1960, the oil painting chemical factory was founded by Phu Ha Paint Firm and some bourgeois. The enterprise was one of seven member enterprises of the then Hai Phong Department of Industry and Handicraft.

During 15 years of war (1960-1975), the enterprise allocated its machines and equipment to My Cu commune, Thuy Nguyen district and arranged a war-time production mechanism where workers were also soldiers in case of necessity. The enterprise made paints for pontoon bridges, ferries, boats and barges.

In the 1976-1989 period, the enterprise received some aided equipment from socialist countries, including three-axis mills made by Poland and some other equipment. The workforce was thus expanded. The enterprise was assigned by the Government of Hai Phong to research on paints for ships and offshore structures. In this phase, antifouling paints with bitumen origin for ships with a shelf life of 12 months were successfully made. This was also the basis for the enterprise to be renamed to Hai Phong Paint Factory in 1989.

Together with the country’s doi moi process, from 1990 to 2003, Hai Phong Paint Factory made a big progress in technology, scale and product. It worked with the Transport Institute and scientists to successfully make rubber-originated highly chlorinated paints for oceangoing ships with a durability period of 18-24 months in 1990. In 1992, Ca Voi (Whale)-branded products were introduced. In 1993, Hai Phong Paint Factory was renamed to Hai Phong Paint Company. In 1994, the company borrowed money from SIDA Organisation to buy an Alkyd resin production line from Germany and the company met over 60 percent of its demand for high-quality Alkyd resin-based paint production from oil-base paint. In 1996, the Company was transferred Chugoku Marine Paint technology (Japan) which enabled the company to make world-quality paints with durability period of 3-5 years.

The company also changed its operation model to a joint stock company in 2003. In 2009 and 2010, the firm invested in five member companies and two joint ventures to form VLC Group. And, the clearest evidence for the powerfulness and steadiness of VLC Group is the presence of a 24-storey trade centre (No. 12 – Lach Tray – Ngo Quyen.

Focus on corporate governance

Business field and scale expansion is always a goal and destination for any business on the path of development. But, in reality, realising the above objectives is not a simple job. Enhancing corporate governance is a key factor to make a difference.

Mr Nguyen Van Vien said VLC Group is not the sum of eight member companies but the growth and maturity of Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company and other companies closely linked together. Each business is an independent entity but it can generate resonant power to create common position in the marketplace. They looked to build a multi-business economic group with paints, cosmetics and detergents being key products. VLC was formed by combination of companies where there is a parent (holding) company and voluntary-joining companies which respect independence, autonomy and initiative of member companies and are willing and ready to create a powerful economic force. Particularly, Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company can be considered the root as it contributes capital in all member companies. It is also called the founding member of the group. In recent years, the group has maintained average annual revenue growth of 20-25 percent and expanded both domestic and export markets.

Defining that personnel is the driving force for the company’s entire development, Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company and its member companies always pay attention to upgrading expertise and experience of engineers and workers in all fields.

For years, Party and union construction is always a top priority at Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company and later VLC Group. This is also a way to build the corporate culture and improve spiritual life of workers. In 2012, the Party Committee of Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company was honoured the Top 100 outstanding Party organisations.

Strength from the inside

Through its 50-year history, Hai Phong Paint always tied to long-term sustainable development plans. Perhaps, that is why the company has withstood a plenty of difficulties and challenges to maintain stable development. It is also a prerequisite and driving force for VLC Group to make steady progress in the past stormy years.

More than 20 years ago, Hai Phong Paint made right outlook estimation while it decided to work with scientists to perform research and development on its products. When the country opened its door to the world, Hai Phong Paint boldly acquired advanced technologies from other countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, the UK, the USA, Germany and Japan to make products meeting European and international standards.

Besides, during its development history, Hai Phong Paint always attaches great importance to environment-friendly production and applies environment-friendly production processes to protect the health of workers and the community. The firm also studies to make environment-friendly paints like antifouling paint, high-solid paint, lead-free paint, chrome-free paint, and paint solvent meeting IMO Convention requirements on environmental protection of maritime paints. Therefore, the company’s paints are provided for ship and offshore structures.

In investment field, VLC Group always chooses Japanese companies. Explaining why his company opts for Japanese partners, Mr Nguyen Van Vien said “Japan always leads in technology. They value prestige and go with partners regardless of hardships or good development. VLC Group’s strengthening relationship with Japan partners like Chugoku Marine Paint Company (CMP) and DPI has brought in the present success of the Group.”

Since teaming up with Chugoku Marine Paint in 1996 and making official partnership in 1998, Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company has expanded its market rapidly. Many big projects have chosen the company’s paints like Vietsovpetro oilrigs, very big oceangoing ships, Rong Bridge in Danang City, Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi, Binh Bridge in Hai Phong, and roads along the North – South Road. Hai Phong Paint has emerged to become a leading paint supplier in Vietnam.

Chugoku Marine Paint is also a major shareholder of the company with over 10 percent of stake. As a major shareholder, CMP has proven the trust and desire for long-term cooperation with Hai Phong Paint.

In recent years, the VLC brand has outshined not only with impressive business results but also with noble acts for a happier community. In spite of being a new company, VLC always tries to fulfil its corporate social responsibility through meaningful social welfare activities. Based on its deep humanity policies and collective culture, VLC has constantly improved itself and built a nice corporate culture, not only limited to its employees and their families but also extended to ill-fated people in the society.

VLC Group’s members

- Hai Phong Paint Joint Stock Company with main products of paints for marine works

- Vico Co., Ltd, established in 1994, manufactures washing powder and detergents with the popular brands like Vi Dan, VF and Two Lemon.

- Sivico Joint Stock Company, established in 2002, makes reflective thermoplastic paints for traffic works with the annual output of 3,000 tonnes in the first phase and 6,000 tonnes in the second phase. It has built a new thin-film package plant with a monthly output of 6.5 million products.

- Vilaco Joint Stock Company, established in 2003, produces liquid detergents and outsources washing powder for P&G, Metro, Japan, Cuba and others.

- PetroVietnam Paint Joint Stock Company, set up in 2008, manufactures paints for marine works, marine construction, industrial woks, transportation works and consumer products.

- Paint Joint Stock Company No. 2, established in 2007, makes electrostatic coating powders and decorative paints.

- Asia Real Estate, Paint and Chemical Joint Stock Company, trades in real estate, invest to build infrastructure, and carries out SHP Plaza project.
- VLC Packaging Joint Stock Company, set up in 2010, makes packages.

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