September 12, 2012
A Thai venture formed by Berli Jucker Plc (BJC) and Mongkol Group plans a 1-billion-baht investment to open a supermarket chain in Vietnam to capitalise on the booming retail business. Moving into retail business will enable the venture, Thai Corporation International, to have its own sales outlets after distributing goods in the country for two years.
The company was formed in 2010. BJC is a leading manufacturing and trading firm in Thailand while Mongkol Group has been doing retail business in Vietnam since 1993.
BJC, the 130-year-old firm under the umbrella of tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, said earlier it would set aside about 3 billion baht to establish retail and distribution businesses in Vietnam.
Supermarkets will enable Thai Corporation International to generate at least 5 billion baht in income in five years, with 2.3 billion estimated this year, said Mongkol Banthrarungroj, vice-chairman and managing director of Thai Corporation International.
Though the name of the supermarket has not been revealed, he said it would distribute 30% Vietnamese products and the rest from Thailand.
The joint venture is aimed at strengthening Thai brands in Indochina, with the goal of increasing demand in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
“A Thai supermarket will be a channel for goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises to access overseas markets,” said Mr Mongkol.
He noted young urban dwellers are strong consumers and represent over 60% of 90 million people in Vietnam.
High quality and reasonable prices make Thai products popular among Vietnamese consumers, he said.
“About 10,000 visitors came to the recent Thai Trade Fair in Ho Chi Minh City and bought many products,” said Mr Mongkol, whose Thai Corporation International sells canned fish, Red Bull energy drink, Mama instant noodles, Dutch Milk dairy products and Cellox tissue to local supermarkets.
He said retail business in Vietnam has good potential due to the high purchasing power and demand of urban customers. But Thai investors must have an efficient distribution system, said Mr Mongkol, who began selling Sam Mae Krua-brand canned fish 20 years ago.
He will open a canned fish factory in Vietnam next year with the capacity to make 100 tonnes of canned sardine and mackerel per day.
“There is still opportunity for canned fish investment in Vietnam because of abundant raw materials,” he said.
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