|Mr. Tran Dinh Toan, Deputy General Director of OSB Investment and Technology Company, a partner of Alibaba.com in Vietnam (Photo: vietnambiz.vn)
Reporter: How do you see the prospect of online export?
Dinh Toan: Online export has become more popular, especially during the COVID epidemic, when businesses have had no choice but to export online. In the most recent reporting period, the number of visitors on Alibaba.com grew 46% in the US market and 36% in China. Globally the number of shopping inquiries increased 47%. Those indicators show a trend toward e-commerce and online export during the pandemic.
Reporter: What challenges are faced by online export in Vietnam?
Dinh Toan: The first barrier is that, while businesses are aware of e-commerce, they don’t know how to do it correctly. That’s very important because e-commerce requires a change of mindset. Digital transformation must begin with the business leader’s mindset.
The second barrier is that a business needs a team of qualified employees to deploy online export activities effectively, because online export requires a high degree of adaptability. For example, some businesses have a rule that employees must reply to an inquiry from a foreign customer within 2 hours. This type of performance measurement, called a KPI, is applied because these days it’s easy to lose customers if their demands are not met quickly.
The third barrier is that businesses need to take the initiative in all their operations. I mean they must actively reach out to the buyers to optimize transactions, not just set up an online booth and post a lot of products. Finally, businesses need to digitize and standardize their operations. Otherwise, it’ll be too difficult to put them online.
Reporter: You mentioned ‘qualified employees’. What qualifications do employees need?
Dinh Toan: The most important thing is that the human resources must be compatible with the nature of the business. They need to be appropriately trained. We offer training programs for businesses and set up teams of trainers who are Alibaba veterans of long experience. I think adaptability and appropriateness play an extremely important role.
Reporter: What policies and administrative procedures should be removed to make online export more effective?
Dinh Toan: I think online export is essentially an online channel that connects buyers and sellers. Once they meet each other, all other aspects of export and import – delivery, payment, after-sales services, issuing a Certificate of Origin – can be done as they’re done now. All those procedures and processes just need to be transparent and digitalized. That’s what will make the digital transformation of businesses effective.
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. Tran Dinh Toan, Deputy General Director of OSB Investment and Technology Company, for granting VOV this interview.