By our third morning, I felt in the swing of things. Today began with a lecture on the development of the Mekong Delta. We learned about the exports and the lifestyle as well as the climate change and upstream development. The Mekong Delta produces 90% of the rice that Vietnam exports and is essential to the Vietnamese economy. The delta also produces and exports fruit, fish, and handicraft work. Climate change and upstream development have potential devastating effects on the region. By 2100, the sea level is predicted to rise one meter and more than one third of the region will be flooded. Upstream development reduces fish and sediment and draws salt water into the delta. When we visit the Mekong Delta next week, we will get the chance to see the products and perhaps some of the negative affects of development.
Later that afternoon, we visited Glass Egg Digital Media. Vietnam offers an ideal location for a company like Glass Egg. As a 3D graphics company that does outsourcing work for video games, Glass Egg holds most of its value in its employees and designs. Glass Egg has to work hard to protect products from hacking and theft. As a first mover for this industry in Vietnam, Glass Egg must extensively train the majority of its employees. An immense amount of time and money is put into creating a talented workforce. Employees are one of Glass Egg’s biggest assets and it is a challenge to recruit, train, and retain such a skilled workforce.
Despite these challenges, Vietnam is an ideal location for a company like Glass Egg. Vietnam offers a fresh workforce that is willing to be trained technically and work for less than employees in America, China, etc. Vietnam is located near many video game industry hubs. However, it is still relatively isolated from the major companies in China and California. As of now, Glass Egg has just one Vietnamese office, but the company has considered the idea of opening new offices in Canada to be closer to clients and recruit more senior technical experts. The Vietnam office employs over 350 people, and there is still more projected growth in the future. With this growing capacity, the company will be able to take on more projects and expand further. There are no current plans for Glass Egg to expand outside Vietnam, but future growth could make it almost necessary.