VIETNAM'S COFFEE QUEEN HAS VISIONS OF GLOBAL EMPIRE
Le Hoang Diep Thao is the chief executive officer of Ho Chi Minh City-based Trung Nguyen International Corporation (TNI), part of the Trung Nguyen Group (TNG).
Her husband, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, who has been recognized as Vietnam's coffee king by Forbes Asia and National Geographic Traveler, is the co-founder and co-owner of TNG, a leading coffee firm in Vietnam, specializing in instant coffee, roasted and ground coffee, cafe trading and coffee export.
After the couple successfully brought the G7 coffee brand to more than 60 countries in the world, Thao launched TNI King Coffee and is aiming to conquer the hearts of coffee lovers all over the world, including over 1.3 billion Chinese consumers who are used to drinking tea.
"In the last 20 years, we have focused on the coffee business only. We provide full services, from coffee bean plantation to blending and roasting," Thao said.
"TNI's coffee beans are finely chosen from the best coffee beans in Buon Ma Thuot (the capital city of Dak Lak central highland province, Vietnam's coffee kingdom).
Combined with advanced technology, production equipment imported from Europe, and the secret recipe from Trung Nguyen, TNI coffee is distinctive," the graceful woman, wearing a long, red traditional dress explained.
In late April, Thao put into operation a big TNI King Coffee factory, with an initial capacity of churning out 9,000 tons of roasted coffee beans and 19,800 tons of instant coffee a year, in the southern province of Binh Duong.
King Coffee has been exported to many countries in the world, including the United States, Australia, Russia, China, India, South Korea and Singapore, and is expected to be available in 129 other markets in the future.
"King Coffee for the king market," Thao said, implying that China is world's biggest coffee consumer. In China, King Coffee has advanced to become one of the four best-selling brands on T-Mall Supermarket, one of three key e-commerce websites of online trade platform Alibaba.
In March, at the 96th China Food and Drink Fair held in the Chinese city of Chengdu, Thao announced that TNI will strive to meet its sales target of 1 billion U.S. dollars from the Chinese market in the next few years.
"More and more Chinese young people like to drink coffee and regard it as a casual lifestyle," Thao stated.
Peter Tsang, Trung Nguyen's general manager in charge of the Chinese mainland, echoed Thao's statement, saying the Chinese market's potentiality is huge and cafes are mushrooming there and becoming indispensable for Chinese youths.
"Most of China's population is used to drinking tea, but many Chinese people, especially youngsters, like to drink coffee," he said, adding that Vietnamese coffee exported to China enjoys preferential treatment, including tax incentives.