II-VI for I

Today, our group visited two companies located right outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

This morning, we woke up happy and excited to be in Vietnam. We journeyed on the bus for about an hour. We first visited the entrance of Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP). One the chief marketing directors of VSIP led us to a small auditorium to give us an information session about the company. VSIP is a joint venture with the governments of Vietnam and Singapore. The company first launched with the support of the government of Singapore, which helped VSIP organize and prioritize what needed to be done in order to create the large company that it is today. This relationship is very unique as the Vietnamese government does not really enter in there types of deals with other foreign government. Another unique exception is the construction of the Ho Chi Minh City metro, which is a combined effort of Vietnam and Japan.

VSIP serves as a development and real estate provider to companies and individuals all over the world. Basically, they offer either empty land or ready built factories to companies from different industries like Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft. In addition to offering production spaces, they also provide residential sectors and vocational schools for the workers and families. This is convenient for the workers, but it also allows the company to have lots of control over large aspect’s of the workers’ lives. The schools VSIP provides all are focused on the vocational work of the companies in the industrial park. So, a student will grow up in the industrial park and study to work in the industrial park. VSIP right now has two industrial parks that are open and in use. They planning opening five more industrial parks throughout the northern and central sections of Vietnam. The company visiting was interesting, as it also entailed visiting VSIP’s mall for lunch.

Lunch at the mall was amazing! We had Udon noodles and delicious tempora. I also had the opportunity to enjoy my favorite Vietnamese drink, Lychee tea. After lunch, we had an opportunity to explore the mall for a little bit. There I saw many international companies that I had never heard about before. There was also a very large arcade where I enjoyed playing one the high tech dancing arcade games. It was completely motion sensing and so fun to play! After the small break at the mall, we went to our next company that was actually housed in the VSIP complex, II-VI.

II-VI is an international manufacturing company that makes products including speciality glass objects and laser related instruments. These are just a few of their products, as II-VI provides products like Sapphire infused glass used on jet planes by the US military. II-VI distributes its products all of over the world and across many different industries. We were given an informational presentation and tour from the chief engineer of the company. He explained how the company is currently on the brink of becoming a billion dollar company and told us some of the problems that they face as well. The engineer explained that many employees every year return to their rural homes for the long cultural holiday. Once their home, they may or not return after receiving their salary from II-VI. The retention rate of employees is a constant struggle, but II-VI provides generous raises and promotions to retain its employees. The company is headquartered in the US, but all the operations occur in Vietnam, this occurs because Vietnam has many benefits including low labor costs and is a rising economy with more and more opportunities arising. The prime location of being in VSIP not only provides a comfortable piece of land, but it also provides a steady workforce. Many of the employees that work the machines come from the VSIP community. The employees are trained on how to work the machines at the vocational school provided by VSIP. They all only really trained in this field, so they aren’t exposed to many other disciplines or trades.

The trip was still interesting even though it was tailored more to the engineering students. It was cool and important to see the inside view of a global company’s supply chain process and the environment of inside a manufacturing plant.

This is my last official blog for the trip, but I plan writing a few more to reflect my amazing time in Vietnam! Overall, this trip has changed my view on the world and how other people live in it!

Until my next post!

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