Ms. Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai is honored by the Vietnam Association of the Elderly as an example of an older person who has started a successful business. (Photo: VOV)
Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai’s family was once poor and worked at many jobs, including selling rice and fruits. Despite hard work, they earned very little income.
When Vietnam began its open-door policy in the early 1990s, Ms. Mai took a chance and started a business buying longans and drying the fruit for export to China. Once Mai had some income, she expanded her business and became one of the first large-scale exporters of dried fruits in Cho Lach district. In 1998, Mai’s business flourished and became widely known in the region.
Mai is currently focused on buying fresh durians, rambutans, and dragon fruits for export to China. She has expanded her business into other provinces. Mai’s family business buys and packages thousands of tons of fruits for export, earning approximately 13 million USD per year, and employing more than 500 people.
“I always try to build trust with my customers. I ask the farmers to grow highly-qualified agricultural products to meet the export demand,” said Mai.
In addition to running a successful business, Ms. Mai actively participates in charity work. Each year, she raises about 43,000 USD from her family business and other donors to build public works, support revolutionary contributors and poor people, and give gifts to disabled people, Agent Orange/dioxin victims, orphans, and the elderly. Mai’s family business hires local poor people to help them stabilize their lives.
Mr. Huynh Truong Giang, Chairman of Son Dinh commune, where Mai lives, said: “Ms. Huynh Mai is very active in social work, especially in helping revolutionary contributors, and poor people, and in renovating temples and pagodas. She also runs a successful business and helps lots of local farmers.”
Having experienced hardship in her own life, Ms. Mai is sympathetic and generous to people in need.
“I will pass down my business to my children and will do more to help disadvantaged people and contribute to society,” she said.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai has been honored by the Vietnam Association of the Elderly as an example of an older person who has started a successful business.