Against foreign competitors, Vietnamese man perseveres in putting homeland ceramics on map

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE One Ho Chi Minh City resident has spent the last decade making a name for his Vietnam-made ceramic products in a domestic market dominated by Japan and China. Hoang Viet Hai, 30, has spent ten years turning his company, Yen Lam, into a household name in Ho Chi Minh City. Over 100 restaurants, many of which are famous in the southern city, and a number of local residents use Yen Lam products. The company’s path to success was not an easy one, however. Periods of intense competition often forced Hai to draw on his creative prowess to keep the business alive. Hai’s first failure occurred after he opened a shop specializing in traditional Vietnamese ceramics on a street in District 5, an area where Chinese ceramics have already replaced Vietnamese pottery. The entrepreneur was undeterred by competition and created a line of aroma lamps, then unavailable in the local market, which garnered numerous orders from essential oil producers and put his company on the map. However the appearance of Chinese-made lamps that sold at half the price sent his business in a downward spiral. About five years ago, his business suffered another blow when Japanese pottery became a hot item in Vietnam. Resignedly facing the reality, Hai became more inventive in his approach to the pottery business, introducing novel designs for a variety of ceramic products, each with its own distinctive signature beauty. Now, with a catalogue of bowls, jars, plates, flower… [Read full story]

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