Dear friends and members,

Before I introduce our Summer edition of [C] Vietnam, I would like to once again thank everyone who has supported the Business Executive Network during testing times for many businesses. Even with the challenges, we’ve been delighted and thankful to see such high percentages of members renew their memberships, coupled with a steady stream of new members, who seek the benefits of this community.

I continue to see the same level of determination and focus from members to fulfill their company missions, but I’ve also observed a level of weariness amongst some of you as you work harder than ever before—in many cases, with fewer resources than in pre-covid times—to achieve your goals. This issue is dedicated to surviving and flourishing under various circumstances.

Those who know me, know that I love history. I recently had a conversation about the famous English warship, the HMS Victory. Helmed by Admiral Lord Nelson, the Victory sailed into the Battle of Trafalgar and successfully changed the course of British naval history. My interest is not in the fact that Nelson won his battle, but that he won it with a crew of sailors, many of whom were conscripted to the ranks against their will. It was common practice in those days (in the early 1800s) for the Navy to have ‘press gangs’ which took men into the Navy by compulsion, effectively kidnapping young able-bodied men, often by violent coercion, to act as crew for their ships. This was a legal right – to crew a ship in times of war by any means necessary. It begs to wonder, how Nelson gained trust from these coerced souls? And how he got the whole crew of around 850 to work in choreographed unison?

I often think of running a company like being at the helm of a ship, navigating choppy waters as they appear. Luckily, our employees have the freedom to choose where they work and we, as executives, have the mission to lead with respect. Yet, even if we’re not up against the same tribulations as Nelson and his crew, for many, these last few years have seemed insurmountable. The real estate ‘standstill’ in Vietnam has affected some of our members who are involved in the property sector, and the ripple effect has been felt throughout our community. Many of you report seeing clients continue to cut back on spending as they look for ways to save money; Vietnam cannot escape the impact of world markets, and it is particularly difficult for those who are in the export manufacturing sector.

Yet, despite struggles, we sail on … eyes open for hidden icebergs and visible storms. In this issue, you’ll find the stories of those who have met challenges with open arms, finding energy in new beginnings. Our in-depth articles cover C-Suite professionals such as Dr. Ramesh Ramachandra (Founder and Managing Director of Singapore-headquartered Talent Leadership Crucible) and Minh Nguyen (Country Lead, Vietnam, Allianz Partners), as well as unraveling upcoming trends in AI, Real Estate, Branding, and Executive Coaching, amongst others. We hope, within these pages, you’ll find inspiration and reason for hope. Many of you have expressed a short-term outlook for your businesses as one of “cautious optimism” with executives continuing to view Vietnam as better positioned for business than other countries in our region. Stay the course… there might just be calmer waters on the horizon.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in joining our dynamic group of executives for regular meetings and events in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Danang. 

By Victor Burrill

Chairman & Chief Connecting Officer

Business Executive Network

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.