Business Business

11/01/2023 - 07:42

Hue businesses: Innovating & creating together

Innovation in thinking, creativity in products, ways to approach customers, standardizing in the processes - these are the ways that Hue's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) assert themselves.

Introducing new products to customers

Continuous innovation

During the weekend, I met Truong Thi Le - a girl I knew from an experience class on hand-embroidery not too long ago. At that time, Le was the owner of a children's fashion shop as well as a check-in cafe in Phu Thuan, Phu Vang.

After an “off the grid” period when her business activities were halted due to the pandemic, and the impact of the storms, Le “re-emerged” as the founder of Dinh Vien Tea.

According to Le, the fashion shop's input was difficult during the pandemic, so she had to close it down. The coffee shop was also devastated after the storm in 2021.

At that time, Le devoted herself to taking care of her family. She had the opportunity to frequently useof ginger, lemongrass, and herbs to boost the immune systems of her whole family. Since it was quite inconvenient to have to boil water every time she wanted to make tea, Le was determined to find her own recipe, making a type of tea “tablet” that can be used immediately and can be taken to everywhere, with the most optimal preservation time.

As a result, the startup idea in a new field took shape from there, and she began researching the product. After meeting with a few difficulties and through feedbacks from relatives and customers, the tea tablets gradually got improved. Le’s products are currently available in Hue Co-op Mart and numerous gift shops throughout the country.

Or, for example, consider the daily self-renewal story of Pham Thi Dieu Huyen, the business owner of Moc Truly, who, in my opinion, is a “multiform person” in business because, after each meeting, I see in her very “strange” things.

Not only has she begun restoring lost cake and candy products as gift items, but she also breathes lifeinto each product with a very personal story. Moc Truly is a pioneer in gaining access to and efficiently running a business on the e-commerce platform, as well as one of the few startups whoseproducts can be exported to the United States. She is also one of the first few startups to invest in and shape a sales page on TikTok, a new and TikTok most effective sales trend today.

“ ‘What will I do tomorrow to make the business grow?’ is my constant question every night. Therefore, I always direct myself and my associates to an environment where we are always learning and accepting new things to keep the business fresh every day,” Huyen confided.

Adding a personal imprint into products

Self-renewal and constant learning are the ways for businesses to compete in the age of integration.

"In a world where creative ideas are quickly copied and pasted, as they are today, putting yourself in the self-renewal mindset is always necessary and must be done in a very unique way so that no imitation can blur your brand”. That saying by Ho Thi Suong Lan of Marie's Co., Ltd. somewhat proves the fierceness of the market. If we fail to innovate and stop creating, we will become lagger in an instant.

With that mindset, Suong Lan and her team of associates joined forces to renew the Lepironia grass and elevate it to a new height, which, in her words, was “bring a new life to the Lepironia grass.”

Instead of settling for dull and basic products, Suong Lan enlisted the help of skilled painters and tailors to create hand-painted motifs on Lepironia grass bags, thus improving new products with designs like none other. And it was the personal and novel impression that created a great attraction for Marie's customers.

Thus, innovation is not enough in the current trend. In order to stand out, businesses must also innovate in terms of creativity. In order to promote innovation in businesses in general and startups in particular, authorities and organizations now have also had their own innovations and creativity in their support activities.

The launch of the Hue Innovation Hub, a place to connect, promote, incubate, and support businesses and start-up projects; the Investment Promotion and Business Support Center; the circular economy network; and forums on innovations,… were all for the sake of accompanying businesses. Even within these organizations, there are innovations and creativity to adapt and best accompany businesses.

According to Mr. Le Van Cuong, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, current support activities are business-centered. Therefore, the department must support what businesses need rather than using the outdated method of what the department has. The 1:1 support on every small topic to remove each business’ entanglement is a turning point in promoting innovation in both the local ecosystem and the government. 

Story and photo: Hoang Loan