How Nam Long built the capacity to play the global game

From a company with just 7 employees to a real estate corporation with hundreds of employees, Nam Long has proven its success through its core values.  

In the 90s, Nguyen Xuan Quang, Chairman of Nam Long Investment Joint Stock Company (HoSE: NLG), founded Nam Long as a playground for the architects. 

Few people expected that the 7-people employee, headquartered in a 28-m2 office in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City would become a real estate corporation with more than 700 employees 3 decades later.

Nam Long in the early days.

Looking back on the journey of the past 30 years, having built a team cultured and capable of globalization is the Chairman’s greatest pride.  

Management team with local and global knowledge

If Nam Long is a living entity with the skeleton being the company structure, and each staff being a living cell, then the brain is the company’s management team, the people who have brought the company to success in the past 3 decades.

During the journey, Quang and his partners have proven their vision and leadership experience through bold but accurate decisions. The biggest turning point was the decision to redirect from a construction company to a township developer.

Started as an architect, having worked in big construction companies and invested in rental properties in the 90s, Nam Long’s founder has nurtured the dream of high quality townships. In 1996, as others were rushing to sell land plots, Long and his partners introduced the “Nam Long House program”, making the company a professional real estate developer in Vietnam.

In 1996, Nam Long introduced the "Nam Long House Program", setting on a different path in the market.

In 2005, the management team drew attention when converting the company to a joint stock company, regardless of the common mindset of Vietnamese about individual ownership. This means that Nam Long will be a mutual investment and open for international shareholders. This is also considered a preparation for future globalization. 

Market understanding and capability help Nam Long prove itself in the domestic real estate market.

Nam Long’s management includes local and global senior leaders, top experts such as Tran Thanh Phong, Vice Chairman with more than 27 years of experience in construction and real estate development; Chad Ryan Ovel, President of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam; Ziang Tony Ngo, Founder and Chairman of Everest Vietnam Holding - Singapore; Kenenth Michael Atkinso, Founder and Senior Advisor Grant Thornton Vietnam, etc.

One of the outstanding members is General Director Tran Xuan Ngoc. Before joining Nam Long, he was Vice President of Global Operations of Shelf Drilling Group in Dubai - UAE, and held various senior leadership positions at Transocean Group in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Cameroon and USA.

The management team with international management ability and understanding of the domestic and foreign real estate market is a strong point that keeps Nam Long’s position as leading real estate developers in Vietnam. 

Building a team: Good is not enough

In fact, the growth of a business depends greatly on the culture and the people. The objective that Nam Long’s management set out was building a global team, capable of future globalization. 

Believing that "good is the enemy of great", the corporation's recruiting strategy revolves around Jim Collins’s "right person right job" philosophy. People are not yet the most important asset of a business. People who fit the culture, strategic vision and commitment are the real valuable assets.

Building a team capable of globalization is what Nam Long’s management is aiming for.

The right human sourcing strategy helps Nam Long adapt to the constantly changing business environment. People work together based on common values instead of overlapping rules. Quang expressed his opinion that when someone is a good fit for the business, they do not need to be managed by principles. They will feel self-motivated by the inspiration from within.

As a result, the group has succeeded in building a different working culture, and creating a clear identity of "Nam Long people" through 3 core values: professionalism, commitment and ownership. This is also a guideline for Nam Long’s human development: Be professional, do what is said, and together you will be a business owner, thereby creating total strength, solidarity, and forming a strong business over time. 

“Standing on the shoulders of giants” to do better

In 2008, Nam Long raised long-term funding of $15 million from a professional international organization, after ASPL (Ireka Group, Malaysia) and Nam Viet Company (100% capital of American bank Goldman Sachs) became a strategic shareholder.

Following this milestone, Nam Long's list of foreign partners has been extended with names like Keppel Land, IFC (a member of the World Bank), etc. At a project level, Nam Long cooperated with companies with hundreds of years of experience including Hankyu Hanshin Properties and Nishi Nippon Railroad from Japan.

International partnership is Nam Long’s strategy to move forward. 

"Why does an enterprise capable of project development still agree to split the profit with international partners? Is there a conflict of interest in this relationship?” are questions made on Nam Long’s partnership strategy. 

According to Nam Long’s management, international partnership can help them do better.  Besides the tangible values such as funding, technology, products, etc, a Vietnamese company also gains intangible benefits such as experience on investing, management and operation according to international standards, which provide it with better standards, better branding, better reputation.

Selecting partners is also based on common values such as strategy, vision, business philosophy, and two-way evaluation process: Not only Nam Long will be evaluated by partners but it can also select a partner to go further".

In the end, growing together and serving the community for “Vietnam’s development” are the most essential, as said by the Japanese general consulate at the Strategic Partnership Signing Ceremony between Nam Long and Japanese Partners. 

International partnership also demonstrates Nam Long’s ability of connecting with worldwide trends, meeting strict standards from governance, operations, capabilities to capital structure, etc. from the "giants".

After 3 decades of development, Nam Long’s founders have started the transforming process, empowering the next generation to follow the group’s mission better. Different from the usual family inheritance concept, Nam Long has become a "playground" of the right people with capability and responsibility, after being converted to a Joint Stock company and listed on the Stock Exchange. 

Back to Jim Collins' philosophy in Good to Great, "In a truly great company profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life but they are not the very point of life. Having a core ideology makes a great company last.” At Nam Long, in the development process, the system is constantly improved in all aspects, in accordance with international standards to develop a reputable and sustainable business.

Source: ZingNews