Hai Duong Shoes JSC: Constant Growth

5:56:28 PM | 9/7/2018

After 34 years of construction and development, Hai Duong Shoes Joint Stock Company has overcome numerous difficulties to become stronger, more stable, especially 15 years after going public. To prepare for its relocation to cede the ground for urban projects of Hai Duong City, in September 2018, Hai Duong Shoes will open a VND100-billion factory in Gia Loc district. Although 2020 is the deadline for the relocation, the company still quickly searched for a new location and arranged construction funds to be more active with its business plans. The new facility will create a new vitality and motivation and open a new stage for business development. Hai Duong Shoes is writing on an extended journey powered by greater strength.

Efforts for continued growth
Born in the 1980s, Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga, Vice President of the Board of Directors of Hai Duong Shoes, said, her bond to Hai Duong Shoes seems to be both accidental and predestined. Having graduated from university, she decided to apply to a Japanese FDI company with the biggest aim of working in a professional environment. After she got married, she started with Hai Duong Shoes and she was encouraged by her family and trusted by shareholders.

At that time, in 2016, Hai Duong Shoes is not an outstanding profitable company, but the provincial government always actively supports it since it stands out with a yearly revenue of VND70 - 100 billion and provides jobs for 700 workers. These figures are not significant to other local enterprises and even very modest to industry leaders. Luckily, the effort and devotion for the company by generations of leadership and staff are the pride of a well-performing business model after going public. 34 years ago, Hai Hung Tanning Enterprise was established. In 1984, the enterprise initially purchased cattle for hide and made leather products. After four years, in 1988, it started official operations. Not long later, its main market was hurt by the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1992, former Hai Hung province renamed it to Hai Hung Footwear Enterprise. In 1993, it merged with the Porcelain Enterprises and, in 1995, changed its name to Hai Hung Shoes Company.

In 1995, the company invested VND7.4 billion in building a shoe factory with an annual output capacity of 1.5 million pairs. The then bold decision made a turning point in the company’s operation and created a solid foundation for it in the years to come. In January 1997, Hai Hung province was split up and the company was renamed to Hai Duong Shoes Company. In 2003, the company went public with the task of manufacturing leather shoes for export. Many years later, despite numerous difficulties, thanks to the efforts and determination of the leadership and staff, Hai Duong Shoes signed many orders to export its products to EU market.

However, in recent years, Hai Duong province has attracted many domestic and foreign enterprises, especially its competitors, placing rising pressures on its recruitment and employment. Whenever local apparel companies announce recruitments or after the Lunar New Year holiday comes, Hai Duong Shoes feel very anxious and seek every measure to keep its employees. Average monthly income of an employee of VND5 - 7 million is not low in the province, but not actually high among garment companies. The workforce shrinking from over 1,000 employees to 700 and the revenue falling from VND110 - 120 billion a year to less than VND100 billion have challenged the company, particularly its leader. Assuming Hai Duong Shoes in that context, Phuong Nga felt very, very anxious to think about how to maintain production and business operations and further develop Hai Duong Shoes. This is a hard-nut-to-crack matter for a newcomer like her. She took care of executive duty, orders from customers and new factory construction on the one hand and went to school to seek new ways for her and write down new chapters for Hai Duong Shoes on the other.

Taking care of employees’ lives
Right after returning from her long business trips, Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga rushed to factories to see how her employees work, share her trip outcomes and encourage them.

She said, up to 70 per cent of employees of Hai Duong Shoes are female. They work at the company on the one hand and care for their families on the other, thus they have to shoulder very heavy duties. As a woman, she truly understands this. As soon as she assumed the leadership here, apart from salary, bonus and insurance policies, she has paid high attention to encouraging and creating close relationship between managers and employees. This is also a difference that she wants to make at Hai Duong Shoes - the place she wants is not only a workplace but also a common roof of all employees. Although she is young and inexperienced, her good educational background and work experience in a Japanese company made her understand the importance of human resources. For that reason, her governance is employee-centred. She believes that employees are key actors for her to realise her ambitions at Hai Duong Shoes.

With her right thinking and unremitting efforts, after two years of her leadership, business results of Hai Duong Shoes looked up firmly. The company made 1.26 million pairs of shoe and earned VND110 billion of revenue 2016 and 1.36 million pairs and VND120 billion of revenue in 2017. In 2018, although it is carrying out the new factory construction, Hai Duong Shoes will strive for equal business performances as in 2017. The company not only received many orders with sophisticated requirements. Its footwear exported to the European Union (EU) market is highly appreciated by customers and partners. Hence, it maintains good jobs for more than 700 employees whose incomes are on the rise: from VND5.5 million a month in 2016 to VND6 million in 2017 and over VND6 million in 2018.

That initial success is further confirmed by veteran worker Nguyen Hong Hai (born in 1969) with nearly 30 years working for the company. He worked here since the company was Hai Duong Tanning and Leather Processing Enterprise. Through every twist and turn of its history, the company grew substantially in recent years, especially after Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga assumed leadership. What he perceives most clearly is employee policy, corporate culture, her intelligence and business sense, as well as the link between foreign specialists and its employees, between Hai Duong Shoes with research institutes and the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association and internship students. The very effort of Phuong Nga has brought in a new breeze of vitality with strong impacts on the thinking and attitude of all employees who are now completely devoted to the integration and development of Hai Duong Shoes.