Working our way through the week, today was a day almost identical to that of yesterday, with a lecture about rural development in the morning, a Vietnamese language classes immediately following, and then a site visit to Glass Egg Digital Media company in the afternoon. Glass Egg is an interesting digital company that designs cars, characters, backgrounds, weapons, and more for video games. Visiting this company was fascinating because we were able to talk to the COO and also walk through the floor of designers and briefly see what they were working on. Glass Egg was originally created in Vietnam in 1995 under the name of Morgan Interactive and has grown into the influential company it is now by keeping the one location in Ho Chi Minh City. While talking to the COO, we asked him why running a business in Vietnam was advantageous and he actually had many reasons as to why being in Vietnam was perfect. For starters, the general cost of business is much lower in Vietnam rather than in, say, the United States, where the majority of their clients come from. For example, the cost of paying salaries is much lower and it is cheaper to outsource in Southeast Asia. As the COO himself put it, if Glass Egg were to be in the United States, why would a client outsource to them when they can produce the same product at the same price? Secondly, an advantage of being in Vietnam is the ideal location that gives them easy access to many areas of the world and ultimately many clients from around the world. Furthermore, Vietnam is a beautiful country and the COO of Glass Egg mentioned that he has had multiple clients comment that they chose to do business with him because they would much rather come to Vietnam on a business trip than go to Shanghai.
With all of the benefits that Glass Egg receives from being located in Vietnam, there were a couple of disadvantages. According to the COO, many clients overlook their company when deciding who to outsource to because Vietnam basically only has one digital media company, Glass Egg. With such a small market in Vietnam, many clients do not even consider it. In addition, with recent political activity in the United States, an interesting difficulty that Glass Egg has to deal with is the fact that immigration from certain countries is starting to be limited, one of them being Vietnam. Hence, working with US clients is difficult because visiting the clients is such a vital part to any business. With these couple of disadvantages of working in Vietnam comes the many advantages I mentioned earlier, which ultimately make it worth it to do business in Ho Chi Minh City.
Continuing our talk with the COO of Glass Egg, our group asked him about any growth he sees in the future of the company. To my surprise, he told us that they have actually looked into expanding and creating a branch in Vancouver, Canada due to the proximity to the clients, but that was never attempted. Instead, though, he said that they are now looking into developing a branch in Northern Vietnam. In addition, the COO mentioned that the company has expanded from designing just cars into designing characters, weapons, backgrounds, etc. and is currently growing and beginning to design furniture and more. With the constant growth of this company, Glass Egg has established itself as the leading competitor in this market and has little problems getting clients to sign with them.
Glass Egg has contributed greatly to the development of the Vietnamese economy. As the COO explained, Glass Egg has hired around 400 local Vietnamese, as they only hire Vietnamese people because they believe expats will just leave quickly. Furthermore, Glass Egg has created programs in local schools in order to teach them about computer science and develop their knowledge about the business world.