Chairman of NLG:” we have plan to overcome crisis, covid -19 pandemic is a golden opportunity to reinforce”

Nam Long has planned for itself not only to respond but also to overcome the crisis as quickly as possible.

For Nam Long Group, 2019 was a year of acceleration. Regardless the signs of decline in project and housing product supplies as well as in transaction volume in the market, Nam Long accelerated. The company simultaneously launched 3 new projects, namely the 26-hectare Mizuki, the 8.5-hectare Akari and the 355 hectare Waterpoint with almost 5000 pre-orders. Nam Long also delivered over 3,000 products of Ehome and Flora product line at their townships. For the first time in its history, Nam Long is listed in Vietnam’s 50 most valuable brands, The trillion-interest club, Top 50 listed companies in Vietnam, Top 50 best performing companies in Vietnam ...

As Nam Long express train was up and running, COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. Nevertheless, 2020 remains an unstoppable year for Nam Long Group. It provides an opportunity to look back and self-improve, followed by building vision for the next 10 years. 

We interviewed Mr. Nguyen Xuan Quang – Chairman of Nam Long’s Group about the upcoming plans. 

Accept, Respond and Overcome the crisis 

How does the company assess the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic to the business? What changes did the company make to respond?

NLG has carefully assessed the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the overall global and domestic economy, as well as on the real estate industry. Based on research and reports from leading consulting companies such as McKinsey, takeaways from previous world economic crises, even learning from the current pandemic response plan, Nam Long has developed a plan not only to respond to Covid-19 pandemic but also to overcome the crisis as soon as possible. Nam Long's 5R Plan: Resolve - Resilience - Return - Reimagination and Reform was designed for various scenarios from the worst, the average to the best to ensure the Company remains in operation and be ready to break out right after the crisis.

Considering the impacts of this pandemic, what policies and programs Nam long will introduce to support investors and customers? Are existing products discounted?

Nam Long Group currently has customer supporting policies such as waiving management fee for 2 years from the notice of handover, special discount of 1% directly on the contract value for apartments from 80m2 and more. In addition, customers who have purchased the Group's products are also allowed to extend their repayment period. NLG is also actively working with major banks to offer fixed-rate loans for multiple years or allow grace principals to further support customers' finances.

Covid-19 is a golden opportunity for Nam Long to reinforce

Due to COVID-19, many companies had to lay off staff to reduce cost, how about Nam Long? 

Up to this point, Nam Long Group has not cut any staff to reduce cost. In the opposite, every plan to recruit talents and enthusiastic employees is still carried on in preparation for the expansion and growth plan for 2021-2022. Retaining staff has been the same as what I had gone through in the 5-year crisis 2008-2012. In those 5 years, there were times when senior managers refused to receive salary and did not cut any employees because we always believe that "people", especially the talented people are the most valuable assets of a business.

If COVID-19 lasts for another 1 or 2 years, will Nam Long have sufficient resource to overcome difficulties with all employees?

Based on current situation, NLG is named as having the best level of stress resistance on the market with large cash on hand and small debt, in the impact report of some securities companies. Partnering with foreign investors in project development instead of borrowing has helped us a lot during this period. Therefore, we believe that we have enough resources to go through this with our employees. 

Besides, if we look on the bright side, scientists, and pharmaceutical organizations such as Novavax, Gilead Sciences ... have started Covid-19 vaccines trials on humans and according to experts, it takes about 12-16 months from trial to production, so hopefully human will win against the disease earlier than 1 or 2 years. 

In the trend of switching to online, has Nam Long done anything? For example, allow employees to work from home, build online sales and consulting platform…? If so, could you please share Nam Long’s methods so that other businesses can learn and develop together?

Digitalise is an inevitable development trend of the world. Since we built Nam Long’s headquarter in 2008, we have integrated "smart" meeting rooms with Internet connected devices. About 50% of our shareholders are foreigners, a lot of Board or strategic partners also live overseas so working or meeting online have been quite familiar.

Particularly, we have built our online sales platform from 3 years ago, after learning from other countries such as Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. However, Nam Long encountered a big barrier caused by the habit of Vietnamese house buyers who always demand to inspect the actual houses and need in-person consulting considering the great value of investment. Who knows, after this pandemic, as customer habits change, Nam Long will certainly launch this system or use it as an additional marketing tool.

In 2019, Nam Long partnered with Vanto Group to build and enhance the corporate culture. Could you please share the essentials of that program and how it was practiced during the time of COVID-19?

Vanto Group is actually an important step in building our strategy and vision for the next 10 years, which we cooperate with McKinsey. Like I have said, “human” is a very important essence of Nam Long’s business. For the 10-year plan to be fully carried out, the entire company is required to be responsible with promises, to be professional, to make the company their second home and take company’s business as their own family business. And Vanto Group has worked with Nam Long for more than a year to help us understand and accept these core values, get ready to move to the next stage.

Reading news about Nam Long during COVID-19, I have a feeling that the company management is very confident and seemed to be dancing in the storm. Could you say a few words to motivate your employees, partners, CafeF readers... so they can be positively influenced with the optimistic thinking of Nam Long’s management?

Nam Long believes that "there is always a chance," as long as you don’t stop. This could be a stop for the outside, but it is a race inside every business, an opportunity for you to train your endurance, creativity, flexibility, and ability to deal with difficulties. Doing business is not easy, and with practice, we build up resistance for our businesses against new crisis. Remember only one thing: "Don't stop!"

Thank you so much!

(Source: CafeF)