5 lessons for aspiring unicorns from Uber CTO and VNG chairman

5 lessons for aspiring unicorns from Uber CTO and VNG chairman 980 546 C-Suite Network

What does it take to create a unicorn, especially in a nascent tech market like Vietnam?

The local ecosystem has been twice inspired by Internet group VNG Corporation first as it became Southeast Asia’s first unicorn and then as it announced its plan to list on Nasdaq. Also heartening for the country’s startups is success stories of American Vietnamese who make it big in large global tech conglomerates such as Uber CTO Thuan Pham.

Uber’s Pham and VNG Corp chairman Le Hong Minh spoke at a fireside chat jointly organised by the UberExchange initiative and Vietnam-based Up Co-working Space on Thursday.

DEALSTREETASIA picks 5 lessons Pham and Minh shared with aspiring unicorns from their talk:

1 – Foresee the opportunities and trend

Having been in business in Vietnam for 13 years and having been a unicorn for four years, VNG’s Minh suggested that startups should have the ability to foresee the opportunities they can make the most of.

“Four years ago, we said ‘Mobile is going to be big. What will be the number one thing people want to do with mobile? Messaging. Communication. This is going to be a new opportunity. Let’s do it,” he said.

Starting with game distribution, VNG is now a behemoth in e-commerce, payments, media and entertainment. Its Zalo messaging app has gained a 70 million-strong user base across Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

2 – Work with what you have

In Silicon Valley, people get access to thousands of skillful engineers, experts at titans like Microsoft, Google and Facebook, and billions of USD of capital, as well as a culture of technology and entrepreneurship.

Building a unicorn in Vietnam is different because the ecosystem in…