Madam Luu Thi Thanh Mau always projects positive energy to other people. In times of challenging hardship provoked by the pandemic Covid-19, the CEO of Phuc Khang Corporation cannot sit still. She gathered volunteers to join in programs launched by Phuc Khang Corporation to accompany HCMC in the fight against the pandemic and to assist people living in genuine hardship.
More than 500 sickbeds, 5,000 meals for quarantine areas, 2,000 test kits, 10,000 gifts for poor families and more than 40 tons of vegetables are given by Phuc Khang Corporation to hospitals and quarantine areas in HCMC. Recently, Phuc Khang Corporation has funded more than 20 billion VND buying medical equipment for some field hospitals and helping the poor.
Madam Luu Thi Thanh Mau said to Saigon Entrepreneur Monthly: "I am lucky to succeed in business. HCMC has been raising me up for years and it is time to return the favor. I have faith in the fact that our city will soon be back to normal and continue developing the economy."
At present, according to you, how can an entrepreneur or a company contribute to the community?
In my opinion, they don't need to be rich. They need to have a "heart", which means such company has responsibilities for the society. Most importantly, it is the volunteerism. Obviously, the stronger his financial condition is, the more contribution he will make. Let me give you Phuc Khang as an example. We have a vacant 9-floor building which can be used by the city as a field hospital, or 10 cars of our company can be used to serve the fight against the pandemic.
Whether you have a heart of gold really matters. For example, a journalist can write an article to show the spirit of an entrepreneur or a company for the community.
What is happening in HCMC is also an opportunity for an entrepreneur or a company to express their gratitude. In addition to financial support, entrepreneurs should generate possible ideas of maintaining production and operation to the city. If a company both fights against the pandemic and runs with great efficiency, it surely helps itself and even yours.
I think, in this stage, that entrepreneurs and companies accompany each other in the fight eases the burden of the city. That's why every Phuc Khang's campaign is carefully researched before launched to fulfill people's needs.
Do you really think that a company itself needs to develop sustainably if it desires to contribute to the society and sustainable development can create actual values for the society?
It is not a sustainably developed business that creates values for the society. The most basic responsibility of a company is to make profits and pay the staff. A company should take care of its staff first, then society.
An entrepreneur can return the favor by showing the generosity. Thanks to great efforts of Board of Directors and all staff, Phuc Khang Corporation is now in the group of sustainably developed companies in Vietnam in 2020, recognized by the government, HCMC, entrepreneurial communities and social organizations.
With the strategy "sustainable development", Phuc Khang has been promoting the real estate market with global green standard products, creating a better lifestyle for residents.
In Phuc Khang, at the moment, how can your staff be taken care of?
The unpredictability of the pandemic has been placing any company in hardships. Yet, we should challenge and overcome them. There are three lucks in Phuc Khang which have been recently maintained.
First, all staff are full paid. That is what Phuc Khang has been maintaining during hardships.
Second, we ensure each and every staff's life. Specifically, our staff's life, health and spirit are always cared by regular conversation, encouragement, food support, vaccination. Whenever any problem due to social distancing arises, we listen and give solutions immediately.
Now, it is lucky that Phuc Khang Corporation has no severe case of Covid-19. Through internal communication, we make groups to encourage and stay in touch such as "Optimistic F1" "Compassionate F2" and then, we communicate accurate information about the pandemic, publish the guidebook to take care of each other. Despite being in easily-infected areas, Phuc Khang People is always an optimistic team by sharing, empathizing, helping each other and communities.
Third, Phuc Khang Corporation still runs steadily. No staff has been laid off. Despite hardships during social distancing, our staff stay loyal to the company. Specially, in this period of time, we have already hired many qualified staff. Senior staff from other corporations start work in Phuc Khang. Together with experienced management team, I do believe that Phuc Khang Corporation will be accompanied by a full motivation to overcome this hardship with entrepreneurial communities.
In order to do so, what have you done as the CEO in the company?
Challenges require a company to restructure. Phuc Khang is no exception. When Covid-19 broke out, the board of directors in Phuc Khang Corporation seriously acknowledged that the company should be undergoing a restructuring to coexist with the pandemic. Namely, the priority is to build health for staff. Then, maintain the production and operation compatible with Covid-19.
Bear it in mind, most of the indexes in Phuc Khang were changed to concentrate on the two major issues: internal healthcare and financial stability. We have restructured the company by applying technology to help staff work online more efficiently and communicate with each other more easily to follow up assigned tasks. It is one of Phuc Khang's success in the past two years.
Phuc Khang takes advantage of social distancing period to hold events online to improve management and professional skills for staff. Consequently, our staff always feel like staying connected to the company. We created groups to take care of health of our staff and their families, making them connected in social distancing period.
Besides, Phuc Khang restructured the business model. Phuc Khang has majored in selling retail products on the market before. But since Covid broke out, Phuc Khang has activated M and A with foreign partners. We also restructured our finance and projects for investment, which helps generate revenue and profits for us. Hence, the two wars which Phuc Khang has been recently fighting are staff's healthcare and financial stability.
Being flexible but persistent in green building development, you were once considered "abnormal"?
At first, I am really lonely. Yet, in business, there are, in my opinion, two important things: do what people need and orient consumer's tendency. In Vietnam, green building standard is rather new. We would like to pioneer and promote the creation of a better lifestyle for public health and sustainable humanistic ecological environment in accordance with global green standards.
We started up with a motto "We can do what others can." We believe that time will tell. And up to now, Phuc Khang has had certified green buildings. In Phuc Khang, we have the philosophy "Practice makes perfect and self-destruction to rebirth". We are not satisfied with what we've got to better our products for the community.
According to you, what are advantages and disadvantages when a woman runs a real estate company?
I don't call it an obstacle. Phuc Khang has ten years of development thanks to the founder's passion and responsibilities and the whole team's devotion. Any development requires both pressure and motivation. Lack of any of them will create imbalance. It is a process. Happiness is not a destination but a journey of experience.
Since start-up, has Phuc Khang experienced any rough and tumble? If it had, how would you have overcome it? After all, what conclusion have you arrived at?
I myself started up my business, so I face obstacles calmly and overcome them wisely. Phuc Khang was established when the real estate market was in a slowdown, even worse, a crisis. My business was born in a situation with no advantages and I learned many lessons; yet I believed that I would succeed. Any company has its own challenges. In Phuc Khang, we always define obstacles as challenges. We don't say "TRY" but "DO OUR BEST." It is Phuc Khang's culture. On real estate market exist two terms "Bottom fishing" and "Market top". Each stage has its own challenge.
I consider everything in good faith that obstacles will be gone soon. We have to act aggressively alongside. Our society will become better thanks to actions. Regard obstacles as challenges. I believe that the pandemic will be gone soon. But how we act, accompany the city in the fight against Covid-19 and support people in hardships really matters.
Any development requires both pressure and motivation. Lack of any of them will create imbalance. It is a process. Happiness is not a destination but a journey of experience.
In a company run by a female CEO like Phuc Khang Corporation, is feminism highly appreciated?
I don't think so. Women struggle a lot to be recognized. Female leaders in Phuc Khang is 35 percent. Our goal is to reach gender equality in the company. We encourage, create conditions for female staff to both maintain work performance and cement their roles as wives and mothers.
In Phuc Khang, female staff are asked to take legal maternity leave, which means that they cannot go to work earlier. Male staff whose wife is in maternity leave is also asked to stay home taking care of her on some first days. Phuc Khang always creates conditions for female staff to be trained with updated knowledge. In Phuc Khang, there exists no gender gap. Competency, devotion and sharing are recognized.
May you share Phuc Khang's plan after Covid-19?
We continue building resources, organizing operations compatible with Covid period and even after it, continue completing legal procedures to start our projects soon, contribute to community's healthcare. We continue diversifying our investment channels, making better use of foreign resources.
Phuc Khang realizes that old methods don't really work, therefore, we focus on developing green buildings in the center where density concrete is extremely high. Furthermore, we also focus on developing nearby urban areas in Long An, Dong Nai, Binh Duong. Phuc Khang always develops sustainable green buildings to transfer values to next generations.
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