Facing the fluctuations of the world economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SAPA Thale Group, billionaire Mai Vu Minh, shares investment strategies for today’s constantly changing world
Try to ignore the panic over COVID-19 and look on the bright side and you will realize the development trends of the current global economy. One of them is ICT adoption and technology integration.
The biggest global business story before COVID-19 was that technological progress is rapidly accelerating and businesses are undergoing transformation to ensure continued growth Relatively new companies like ServiceNow and Atlassian have quickly emerged in this sphere. Big technology companies have strongly gone into the COVID-19 crisis and remain powerful despite the global downturn. Tech businesses’ customers, despite the pandemic, have not slowed down their investment; their CEOs prioritize speed. Their biggest requirement for technology is a faster return on investment—in weeks, not years.
Of course, like many other financial investment businesses, SAPA Thale has grasped this trend and is focusing more on technology investment. Currently, we are heavily investing in several technology start-ups in Southeast Asia.
The reason we have chosen Southeast Asia is because for the last few years we have been able to see a remarkable growth of the region’s technology sector with the launch of many startups in Fintech, artificial intelligence, technology, real estate and logistics. Now, countries in the region are the destination for many electronics companies and suppliers such as Samsung, LG, Intel, and Foxconn.
The start-ups that we choose to invest in have a lot of motivation to innovate due to the fierce competition between countries in the region. Young entrepreneurs in these countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, are helping transform Southeast Asia from a region focused on the economics of manufacturing goods to one focused on exporting intellectual properties.
I see their success. They remind us of Jack Ma, the man behind the success of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who started his business without strong financial resources, rich family backing or government support. He saw a computer for the first time at 25 years old. Within 15 years, without any support from the government, he built what is today the second largest e-commerce corporation in the world. Thus, success is not related to where you were born, and what you got from the government; rather it relies entirely on the strength of your ideas.
In fact, we recognized this trend even before the COVID-19 pandemic and have prepared for it. Since 2019, SAPA Thale Group has implemented a bilateral cooperation program with the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and leading businesses of that country. Previously, in 2018, SAPA Thale also signed a bilateral investment cooperation program with Dubai FDI. Currently, enterprises participating in such programs are joining us in these projects.
SAPA Thale Group is proud to have the first products that will be placed on the market from investment in the aforementioned technology start-ups.