5/9: Putting Vietnam on the Map

IMG_0633Today, we heard a very interesting lecture about the Mekong Delta which I am sure we will revisit when we visit the Mekong later in the trip. After that we had an exciting language class where we bonded with the Vietnamese students and learned how to say things about ourselves. After that we had lunch which was amazing as always!

 

 

After lunch we headed over to Glass Egg Digital Media. I was really excited for this site visit because it’s my company. When we walked into Glass Egg we were met with a case of blue suit jackets. We asked the woman who worked there about them and she explained they were awards given to esteemed employees of Glass Egg. The award isn’t based on skill, but on honesty and integrity. This tradition shows a lot about Glass Egg’s family style workplace. The offices were open-concept. There were small barriers dividing computers but there were no cubicles. You could easily walk around and talk to your colleagues. It was so cool to see them working on actual pieces of art for games while we were there. They were zoomed in and polishing the littlest things.

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We met Guillaume Monier, the COO of Glass Egg. He was a fun guy with an interesting personality and he knew a lot about the inner workings of Glass Egg. Glass Egg, like any company, faces a variety of challenges. We talked a lot about cybersecurity as a big challenge, it’s hard when you work as an outsourcing company because bigger companies need to be able to trust you with top secret information. He also mentioned security is very costly.

When it came to being located in Vietnam, it was clear from Guillaume’s tone that the advantages outweighed the costs. He mentioned the location is challenging at times because not everyone looking for an outsourcing company thinks of Vietnam. Now that Glass Egg is becoming so popular however, that is less of a problem. He said while Vietnam is hard to travel to from the East Coast of the US, most of the market they work with is on the West Coast anyway. With tighter immigration laws, meeting with people in the US is sometimes hard, but they’ve found was around it. He said there were many advantages to being located in Vietnam. First, people like to travel here. It is beautiful and fun and nothing like other cities these same people visit which are often dirty and not fun. Also, the costs are incredibly low. This allows them to give really good deals to American companies, making them stand out from competitors. Vietnam also has a great education system which helps them when looking for artists.

Glass Egg is in a good position right now, they are an established company which means a lot in this market. Guillaume said relationships are everything in this industry and Glass Egg is one of the 3 oldest companies in this market in the world. This means they’ve had time to build great, long-lasting relationships with their clients. This leaves them a lot of room for growth. Guillaume talked about the possibility of opening up a second office. Also from what he was saying it sounds like they have a lot of small teams working on things which means they could easily expand those to be the size of their vehicle and environment teams.IMG_0642

Glass Egg adds a lot to the city of Ho Chi Minh. They employ 400 people, pay taxes, and draw national attention to not only the city, but Vietnam itself. Having high-tech companies like Glass Egg in Vietnam helps them to move away from the rice growing, farmland stigma. This adds to their development and growing tourism.

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