The road to turn Vietnam into an AI leader in Asean is paved by FPT Software

The road to turn Vietnam into an AI leader in Asean is paved by FPT SoftwareSource: FPT

FPT Software: Here’s how Vietnam’s largest ICT company is turning the nation into the next IT outsourcing powerhouse

  • Even with clients from around the world, FPT Software sees a huge potential within Vietnam itself as the country is expected to be one of the fastest-growing internet economies in the next 10 years.
  • The company sees a strong digital transformation drive in Vietnam, especially since the pandemic.

Over the last decade, the unique combination of high-quality services and affordable prices have easily made Vietnam one of the most attractive offshore locations for software development and IT services.  In fact, data shows that using Vietnam IT outsourcing saves about 90% of business costs compared to other countries such as China, the United States, and others.

Though a small nation, Vietnam is growing to be a mighty and young outsourcing powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific, more so since the Covid-19 pandemic. The country’s outsourcing success has become a competitive concern for its Indian counterpart as companies like Intel, IBM, Samsung Display, Nokia and Microsoft continue to invest in Vietnam.

Among the main factors that led to Vietnam’s rise as an IT outsourcing powerhouse is its  growing tech workforce. While the rest of the world were scrambling to brace the impact of the pandemic, the communist Asia Pacific state was in the midst of an IT development boom, mainly due to its young, tech-savvy working force, a growing middle class and above all, an investor friendly government. 

The Google, Temasek and Bain, e-Conomy SEA 2021 report flags Vietnam to be the fastest-growing internet economy in Southeast Asia in the next 10 years. It estimates that, by 2030, Vietnam’s internet economy will rank second in Southeast Asia, growing by 11 times to hold a $US220 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV).

Even the International Monetary Fund’s 2021 annual assessment of Vietnam’s economy reported that “Despite Covid-19, Vietnam’s economy has remained resilient, expanding by 2.9% in 2020—one of the highest growth rates in the world, thanks to strong economic fundamentals, decisive containment measures and well-targeted government support.”

That being said, Tech Wire Asia (TWA) recently had the opportunity to speak with the leaders of FPT Software, the subsidiary of one of the largest information technology service providers in the country, FPT Corporation. The company houses 25,500 employees in 27 countries , delivering services in smart factories, digital platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), AI, IoT, cloud, augmented reality/virtual reality, business process outsourcing, and more.

The interview was held on the occasion of the inauguration of FPT’s new headquarters in Hanoi. Themed as “Thrive in the new future,” the event included a technology conference with the participation of executives and experts from global companies such as Accenture, Schaeffler, SAP, Toshiba, Standard Chartered. 

The one-day event included a technology exhibition showcasing FPT Software’s digital capabilities in AI, intelligent automation, cloud and analytics, cybersecurity, metaverse and blockchain, among others. For part one of the interview, TWA came in conversation with FPT Software’s Global Director of Digital Transformation Frank Bignone. He discussed the digital transformation approach FPT takes and the industry it focuses on.

How has FPT Software managed its digital transformation journey?

FPT Software’s Head of Global Digital Transformation.

FPT Software’s Head of Global Digital Transformation.

For the Vietnamese market today, due to the size of FPT Software, we can’t really compete head-to-head with other increasing numbers of smaller firms, mainly due to pricing. So to engage with Vietnamese companies, we will have to tailor the solutions according to their needs and problems they have.

The kind of engagement we focus on is educating our clients on how to solve their problem, and sometimes educating them how to think about the problem in order to understand the kind of solutions required. We also run the solutions with them, so all in all, it’s a very end-to-end relationship with our clients.

Which industries is FPT Software primarily focusing on lately ?

Today we are looking at almost all the verticals. Manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare are very important for us. Even banks, finance, security and insurance (BFSI) are very important for us, and we see most activities happening around this segment. However, other sectors like construction and real estate are also important for us.

Has the approach to digital transformation changed in a post-pandemic world?

I think that the pandemic has helped to accelerate how we engage with transformation. I will not say change, but I will say it has placed more emphasis on how a country like Vietnam develops its digital transformation strategy, especially with the rise of new technologies. Overall, it was more of accelerating the efforts than changing them entirely. 

When it comes to digital transformation, is it more about talent than technology?

For the alchemy to work, there has to be a business view on a particular digital transformation plan. We have to look at technology as an enabler, look at the business as a viability of the transformation and look at the talent as the functio. To me, that is the right mix, the right alchemy, for digital transformation to really take off.