Making it happen

 

An entrepreneur’s perspective: Viet Nam.


 







 Truong Anh Tuan is the CEO of iWay JSC (Information Way Joint Stock Company), an IT company based in the Dong Da district of the city of Hanoi in the north of Viet Nam. The 35 year-old Tuan founded the company in April 2004.

Was it easy or difficult to start your business?
Starting a business in Viet Nam is generally very easy. Our legal system has been upgraded in recent years, and this is a positive factor favouring the establishment of a business. From a business point of view, it’s not difficult to choose a sector in which to invest, but it’s difficult to run a business once it’s created, because there are always unexpected factors occurring that prevent the business from operating effectively.

Our enterprise had a smooth start-up.

What are the key factors contributing to the growth or development of your business to date?
One of the most important factors up to now has been our strategy. Having properly identified our strengths, market demand, and our competitive capacity, we have moved our strategy from software and IT solutions in general, to more specialization in providing such services and solutions as consultancy, deployment, training, support, maintenance and custom development, based on free/libre and open source software – FLOSS.

The second most important factor has been human resources. iWay currently has a staff of 20 people who hold bachelors and masters degrees in IT and economics, and who have a specialized knowledge of IT products, services, and solutions.

What aspects of your business give you the most satisfaction?
Our enterprise is well aware that FLOSS applications can bring huge benefits to the business sector, as well as to the whole community and society. We have been making a great effort to meet the market demand for FLOSS-based services and solutions.

What is currently the biggest problem for your business, and how are you dealing with it?
The biggest problems that we are facing – but ones that are gradually being fixed – are the government’s policies on, and the public’s awareness of, FLOSS. Although FLOSS is established in other parts of the world, it is a very new sector in Viet Nam. The government’s policies in this regard are quite advanced and constantly updated, but they are not always issued in a timely fashion. This limits people’s awareness and slows down the demand for FLOSS applications in terms of both quantity and specification level.

What do you expect to happen to your business in the next 5-10 years?

Our aim is to become the largest supplier of FLOSS application-based assistance services in Viet Nam and the region.

 

Interview by FRANCESCO RUSSO, UNIDO

Note
:
The term open source refers to software in which the source code is freely available for others to view, amend, and adapt. The basic idea behind open source is very simple: when programmers can read, redistribute and modify the source code for a programme, the software evolves. It can be improved and adapted. Free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) has become the preferred choice of many governments and companies in the Asia-Pacific region.