Kilco in Vietnam
When I visited Vietnam fifteen years ago the sprawling city streets were full of bicycles. It was the main means of transport and road junctions were dominated by cyclists - often as many as thirty wide and twenty deep, waiting patiently for the lights to change. The bike was the affordable means of getting around and it appeared to represent a new nation on the move with thousands of people going about their day’s business.
What a transformation over the last few years. The bicycles have largely been replaced by motor cycles with the streets resembling a race circuit. Mainly young people – students and office workers – compete for open space on the roads with a non- stop weaving of traffic. The pace is frantic but unwritten rules seem to keep the riders safe. Equal numbers of men and women ride motor cycles. Many carry pillion passengers including elegant ladies often riding side saddle and toddlers sit on small chairs fitted between the main seat and the handlebars.
As well as a means of transport the motor cycle carries anything from food provisions to building materials. Sights included a young man driving whilst balancing a calor gas cylinder on his lap, and a pillion passenger supporting a two metre high sheet of plate glass !
The rapid move from bicycles to motor cycles demonstrates very clearly the speed of growth and prosperity in Vietnam. It is great to see the country leave its recent horrific history in the past and move on. Vietnam is a thriving, entrepreneurial, vibrant country with a real positive future ahead.
I spent time with Nguyen Chi Tien, the owner of Nam Long, Kilco’s distributor in Vietnam. The market has traditionally been one of back yard operators and today produces over 26 million pigs per year. The proportion of animals produced by commercial operators is increasing rapidly and a significant part of the poultry industry is now controlled by major integrators including CP from Thailand. Investment continues and cost efficient protein will be an essential requirement for the ever increasing middle class population in Vietnam.
Several Kilco cleaners and disinfectants including Ecofoam Plus, Viroshield, Virophor and Virex are registered in Vietnam and Tien and his team have embraced the biosecurity programme concept promoted by Kilco. Nam long is one of Kilco’s longest serving partners and the company with 15 salesmen is in a good position to significantly grow its business in 2016 – and beyond.
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