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Women empowerment

Persistent and positive attitude leads to successful business in Vietnam

Female entrepreneurship is essential for inclusive economic growth. PUM underlines the importance of an environment in which women can flourish. Within our own organisation we aim to increase the percentage of female experts and in our client base the goals is to reach 40% female entrepreneurs. One of these female entrepreneurs is Tran Thi Thu Hoai. Together with her female associates Ngoc and Diu, they are the owners of Palmania.

Hoai: ‘My parents were workers without high education. When I was younger, my mother told me you should study or else later you would be nothing. This was my motivation to go to university: I wanted to follow my dream and to grab opportunities. Furthermore, I also studied English because I really wanted to explore the world and wanted to study abroad. Now I live partly in Finland and run the business together with Diu and Ngoc in Vietnam. At Palmania I take care of Business Development and the contact with foreign customers.’​​​​​​​

Social impact

Palmania wanted to stand out in the market with a nice product design. By cooperating, training, actively working, buying directly from farmers, and reinvesting by cooperating with more farmers, they bring back the truly natural and delicious soft palmyra nectar. ‘We really had to be patient and perseverant, and work hard. We closely cooperate with and buy directly from indigenous farmer families as social impact is important to us. This does not only ensure our product quality but also offers our farmers a stable and much better yearly income. After two years, in 2019, with many trials and effort, we finally succeeded in making 100% natural and pure palmyra nectar. We were the first company in Vietnam who offered this delicious product to customers. In Spring 2021, Palmania Europe was born and the first shipment from Vietnam arrived in Finland in the beginning of September. Some shops in Europe, like in Amsterdam and Finland, are selling our product.’

Developing a  growth  plan

At a business event, Palmania was introduced to the local representative from PUM. They shared their story and explained they wanted to improve our production procedure. ‘PUM expert Lou van Noorden worked together with us on developing a growth plan and evaluating how to avoid the high cost of lab investigations. Not everyone believed in us. When we decided that we wanted to be the first in Vietnam to make the 100% natural and pure nectar in granulated form, all the farmers told us it was impossible without adding sugar or additives. But we did not give up and after two years we succeeded.’

Hoai continues: ‘When COVID-19 hit, it was a challenging time and we learned that to make your business survive, cost savings is one of the key elements. Actually, that is true for any starting business as well. Do everything by yourself, although it can be hard. Not only the business part, also the physical work. Later when you have staff, they will respect you more, because of your experience and knowledge of all the procedures. My advice to other entrepreneurs: To be successful you need to be persistent and positive!’

Lou van Noorden adds: ‘It was a great pleasure for me to work with Hoai. The management of Palmania showed to be committed to develop the local economy via a 100% pure product. Palmania works with local Palmyra Nectar farmers, the indigenous Khmer, to earn a better income against the non-pure production. Palmania has a structured programme to assist the farmers on improving the quality of their supplies to Palmania. The style of Mrs. Hoai is gentle, however very consistent in developing a flourishing business in the Tri Tôn area in Vietnam. I feel this is what PUM is aiming at: working together with local entrepreneurs to establish a sustainable business in the best interest of their country.’

Watch the video about Palmania

Tran Thi Thu Hoai
CEO Palmania

To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be persistent and positive.