Vietnam draws the attention of Swiss SMEs

Anyone seeking a good location in the Asia-Pacific region from which to bridge other markets and countries should have Vietnam at the top of their list. Pascal Mangold, CEO of Basel-based software company Magnolia, tells us about his experiences in the socialist, but increasingly market-oriented republic.
Eyes on Ho Chi Minh City
Magnolia: a search for specialists strikes gold in Vietnam.

What prompted Magnolia to expand into Vietnam? Why Vietnam exactly?

Pascal Mangold: The shortage of specialist staff. In Europe there are simply too few good developers for us to be able to recruit quickly enough. Finding developers is becoming increasingly difficult. That’s why we took a look at Asia, and in Vietnam we found a good level of specialist staff that we were able to hire directly. Until then, we had developed primarily in Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Since we are very satisfied with our staff in Vietnam, we have now expanded the office in Ho Chi Minh City and also appointed project managers and sales staff.

What was the expansion into Vietnam like for you?

The most important thing was that we had a reliable partner in situ, who helped us with the expansion into Vietnam. This meant we didn’t have any big problems when it came to expanding the office and recruiting staff. Right from the beginning, we were warmly received and felt very welcome. The staff are very open, and we quickly identified that here in Vietnam the same business values prevail as in Europe and Switzerland.

Were your expectations met?

Yes, our expectations were fulfilled. For us, Vietnam is very important for the further development of the Asian market. We already achieve 8% of our turnover in the Asia-Pacific region, and this figure is rising all the time. But we also need to make significant investments here to achieve the necessary quality. Ultimately, it is appealing in terms of costs, and there is intensive exchange with employees in situ.

Our people who went to Vietnam from our headquarters are investing a great deal in close and good cooperation so that all employees feel they are a fully-fledged part of our company’s strength, a part of Magnolia, a part of our corporate culture, and that ultimately they share and uphold our values. In short, we have successfully managed to apply the Magnolia culture to Vietnam.

Are there plans for further expansion in the Asian market?

Not at the moment. We will continue to serve the Asia-Pacific market from Vietnam. This has been proven to function extremely well.

You can find more information about the involvement of Swiss SMEs in Vietnam at Impulse: Asian Growth Stories” (June 22 in Zurich), in which Patrick Mangold took part as a speaker.

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