Dairy queen wants to reign supreme

Madam Mai Kieu Lien has been named among Asia's 50 most powerful businesswomen four times by Forbes magazine.
Madam Mai Kieu Lien has been named among Asia's 50 most powerful businesswomen four times by Forbes magazine.PHOTO: VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

HANOI • Vinamilk is Vietnam's largest dairy company and its chief executive Mai Kieu Lien has been key to its growth from a small, state-run firm to one of the most profitable brands in the country.

Known as the "dairy queen", Madam Lien is the only Vietnamese woman to be named among Asia's 50 most powerful businesswomen four times by Forbes magazine.

Once called the "Margaret Thatcher of Vietnam" by CNBC, Madam Lien is a pioneer in making milk a regular source of nutrition for the Vietnamese people .

Vinamilk was publicly listed in 2006 and its market capitalisation has since increased to nearly US$9.8 billion (S$13.4 billion), based on July 31 share prices. In terms of sales, the company was ranked among the world's 50 largest dairy companies by KPMG last year.

Apart from its 13 factories in Vietnam, Vinamilk has invested in a milk plant in the United States, one in New Zealand and one in Cambodia. The company exports to more than 40 countries, with export turnover last year surpassing US$250 million. In South-east Asia, Vinamilk has a presence in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Looking to take advantage of more business opportunities in the Asean Economic Community, Madam Lien said Vinamilk always welcomes healthy competition in the dairy industry as it is good for both the company and consumers, who get more choices and better prices.

The company has set a target of earning 80 trillion dong (S$4.8 billion) in revenue in 2021.

 

  • $4.8b

    The equivalent of the 80 trillion dong revenue target that the company has set for 2021.

Revenue from the domestic market is forecast at 61 trillion dong, making up 75 per cent of the total, while the remaining 19 trillion dong is expected to come from overseas markets.

The company's annual revenue growth rate in the domestic market is projected at 10 per cent.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Dairy queen wants to reign supreme'. Print Edition | Subscribe