24-year-old Vietnamese entrepreneur rides out COVID-19 pandemic with hard work

media, startup, entrepreneur, COVID-19, Comusun

The novel coronavirus dealt a blow to businesses around the world, but a young entrepreneur in Vietnam has managed to survive his own way.

With a bachelor's degree in information technology, Nguyen Hoai Duc, 24, CEO of Comusun Media Company, decided to build a career in the communication and advertising sector.

Duc offers services like consultation and visual production to produce commercial videos and promotional products for corporate clients.

Like other businesses, Comusun encountered numerous difficulties early on mostly because its brand remained unfamiliar to local customers.

"After working hard for a year, even with some unprofitable contracts, our efforts eventually became fruitful. We have won confidence from customers and been given projects worth billions of dong," said Duc. (VND1 billion = US$43,000)

Currently, the company is dealing with challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's fortunate that Comusun has obtained enough contracts so far thanks to Vietnam's effective measures to fight the pandemic,” said Duc.

"Still, there are a lot of obstacles that make me worry."

Financial problems are among the biggest challenges Duc and his co-workers have encountered.

Although they can 'survive' due to support from their families and relatives, Duc said financial management should be the toughest lesson for all firms.

In his opinion, it is not easy for entrepreneurs to take out bank loans if they do not possess properties or reside in Ho Chi Minh City.

He also said that he has been lucky because there are abundant opportunities to learn and improve experiences thanks to the Internet, TV, and newspapers. 

Although Duc has participated in short business administration courses, he said he has gained much of his experience from reading.

"I have a small bookshelf at the company and always ‘update’ it with fascinating books I found. Any staff can bring books home for reading,” Duc told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

"My most recent book is 'How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else' by Michael Gates Gill, concerning a CEO from a world-leading trademark,” he added.

As an advertising and marketing agency with many young staff members, Comusun is interested in building a corporate culture with youthfulness, dynamism, and innovation.

Understanding that creativity is the key in the advertising industry, the company's workplace features many trees in an environment-friendly space.

Apart from working, employees can watch a movie and find comfortable places to chat to relieve stress.

"Maybe, thanks to this culture, most staff have stayed with us since the very first days though our benefits may not be as good as other companies',” Duc said with pride.

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