Lions and Tigers and Two Site Visits in One Day, Oh My!

It was another beautiful day today in Ho Chi Minh city as we woke up and got our usual breakfast at the hotel. On our agenda today we had our last two company site visits featuring a stop and lunch at a local mall. We drove about an hour to the first site, VSIP, which is a company that sold land to multiple companies and established an industrial park in the city. The industrial park features housing for locals and workers, sport fields for people to enjoy, factories that provide employment for individuals, and even a mall for entertainment. Seeing how VSIP has provided jobs and housing for many individuals made me happy to see and really showed how companies and communities are embracing this development and urbanization in Vietnam. There is so much room for growth and by giving people the opportunity to live in a secure area that provides the needs of a family to grow is planting a seed for more and more development in the future.

Model of the Industrial Park

After our visit at VSIP, we went to mall within the industrial park and had two hours to hangout and shop around before eating at a Korean Udon restaurant. The mall was very clean and modernized, except I recognized very few stores and really didn’t know where to begin when shopping. Although I didn’t purchase anything, I did spend less than two U.S. dollars to ride a little train around the mall which was very refreshing! We finished up our time at the mall and were full from a tasty lunch as we hopped on the bus to go to our fifth and final company site visits of the trip, II-VI Vietnam.

Colorful Umbrella Decorated Ceiling at the Mall

The final site visit was actually a part of VSIP’s industrial park, so we only drove around five minutes from the mall to our location. II-VI Vietnam is a manufacturing company that specializes in semi-conductors and thermo-electric coolers. For everyone out there who is wondering what these items do because I had no clue as well, they are used in items such as computers to make them work smoothly by transmitting data and regulating temperature. We were given a general company overview and why they chose to work in Vietnam as the headquarters for II-VI is actually in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. Like mostly all companies looking to expand in Vietnam, they came for the cheap labor cost and tax incentives. II-VI made a deal with the government of Vietnam that they would be charged no income tax for the first four years that they were established and then the tax would slowly increase as the years went on. I don’t know how anyone could refuse that! After the company overview, we took a bus over to the manufacturing factory where the parts for their products are made and assembled by trained workers. This was my first time in any plant of this nature and I found it very interesting to see how the flow of everything works in a place that. With so many moving parts, it was surprisingly organized and everyone was hard at work as we toured around. We learned that everyone in the plant was trained and specialized to do one job meaning they do the same job day in and day out. This is one difference between how work of this nature is done in the U.S. compared to in Vietnam. People in the U.S. get degrees and train to do many different areas of work, however people in Vietnam are trained for only one job, which sounds like it would get very old after a while. As a business student, a lot of the machinery and processes in the factory was over my head but I was glad to have seen the other side of a business as I am used to focusing on the monetary and management portions of corporations. We finished up our tour and said goodbye to the company representatives as we got on the bus and started our hour drive back to the hotel. Some friends and I cracked open a bag of Brazilian BBQ Pork Rib Lay’s chips (which are VERY good), and took a nice nap to end one exhausting day.

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