Mr. Triem, at the beginning of April, Tan Phuoc Thinh Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company celebrated its 30th anniversary. As the founder and chairman of the enterprise, how do you view this journey?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: I think it's like a dream that I can't fully reconstruct. Thirty years, and even the memories before that - from when I was a young man to now preparing to enter the "At 60 years old, a person is perfect”. I believe it's a period filled with the most diverse emotions. There were highs... and lows with many layers of tones and rhythms. Le Hy and I are friends, but each of us has chosen different paths in life. I chose the path of becoming a businessman, while he chose journalism and the passion for literature and art as his career. For businessmen, 1+1 has to equal 2, or in other words, it's also equal to 3-1, the net result remains unchanged. In business, economics demands logic. Looking back at the past, I feel happy and satisfied with my choices. It's very emotional.

So, to overcome those "sharp notes, flat notes”, in your opinion, what are the important factors that have led to today's success?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: Thirty years, that journey, I don't want to say it's long, but it's definitely not short for a person's career - a business. The logo we created for this event "30 years, one journey" signifies the ups and downs, associated with the challenges and development stages of Tan Phuoc Thinh. Honestly, as the helmsman of the ship, I don't hide the fact that there were times when it seemed impossible to overcome the "high waves". But, one thing I believe is always true, and I hope many business leaders also agree with me – success comes when we know how to choose and invest in people, making human resources the core focus and motivation for development. Of course, alongside that, there are many other important factors that need to be integrated and effectively applied in the art of organizing and managing the business. Our business motto is “Prestige - Quality - Effectiveness - Friends of the Investors”.

Bien Sang Ho Tram

- Over the span of 30 years, amidst the hustle and bustle, people often forget many things... Do you still remember any significant milestones or project stories that Tan Phuoc Thinh has undertaken, Mr. Triem?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: (Laughs...) Well, I remember this part very clearly. The first projects we were involved in were the Baria Serece Port - the operations area; and the Baconco fertilizer plant. In the years 1995-1998 of the last century, with the foreign direct investment projects we implemented, such as those funded by investors from Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia... And truth be told, right from the start, we didn't have the concept or distinction of whether we were working for foreigners or domestically. It was through effort, through the determination of a team (still young and inexperienced at that time), but compensated by our hearts, enthusiasm, and constant effort to surpass ourselves - that we successfully implemented those significant "startup" projects. And then there were many other projects like the Administrative - Political Center; Provincial Party Committee Headquarters; Museum... of BRVT province. Each project has its own story and memorable marks, contributing to the brand of Tan Phuoc Thinh.

And on this occasion, I also want to talk about a project that contributed to elevating Tan Phuoc Thinh to new heights, which is the Southern Vietnam Oil Refinery Complex Project - BOC-1 H&I-1 package and H&I-8 Warehouse 2 package, of which we were one of the first EPC contractors in Vietnam to directly sign with the investor. It can be said that this is one of the most technically complex projects that Tan Phuoc Thinh has ever participated in, with extremely stringent conditions and criteria, implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic. I remember vividly the period of social distancing according to the Government Directives 15 and 16, this was a national key project, with immense pressure on construction progress, the construction site command had to conduct on-site testing 3 times a week, and personnel were tested twice a week. Together with the company's leadership, I frequently visited, encouraged to reassure our workers. And it was precisely because of those concerted efforts that we completed the project on schedule.

On this occasion, Tan Phuoc Thinh was awarded the Third-class Labor Medal, how do you feel about this?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: This is truly a great honor for me personally and for the collective labor force of Tan Phuoc Thinh Company. It's a recognition that the Party and State leadership give to our labor efforts and contributions. But to achieve recognition from the central level, I believe it starts with the acknowledgment from the leadership of local authorities at all levels. Over those 30 years, we've worked tirelessly, without pause, without exhaustion, to create our own marks, valuable products to serve people and society.

What is the secret to maintaining and developing a construction enterprise?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: There's an old saying, "Master one craft, earn one's prestige", and I also believe that whatever industry one is in, they must live and die with it. Our company is closely tied to the core values of the construction industry. We've devoted all our attention to construction activities. And to sustain, to develop a construction enterprise, it's clear that we must work with the conscience and responsibility of someone in the construction industry. As a civil engineer myself, I put all my effort into my role as an engineer in the industry. For the workers in the company, I also advise them, "We must do our best, not to let our partners complain. It's natural for partners to praise us. We work to sustain and develop the enterprise."

With your experience, do you have any advice for newly established construction businesses?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: I wouldn't dare to give advice, but I think like this - not just in the construction industry but in any industry, one must start with an idea, followed by a thorough, serious, and meticulous research process. A series of questions arise from the business name, field of activity, market, market share, vision, mission, strengths, weaknesses, competition, core values... and more importantly, understanding one's own resources and positioning oneself as a leader, guiding the enterprise. The birth of a business is like giving birth to a child, it requires pouring all your love, nurturing, intellect with the most positive energy and the desire for growth. Similar to a family, a business is also a cell of society. When you understand that relationship, you'll see the direction and future of the business more clearly. Despite knowing that the goal of the business is to operate for profit after fulfilling obligations to the state and workers.

Competition in the present day is quite fierce, what will Tan Phuoc Thinh do to maintain its position?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: Tan Phuoc Thinh has come into being and developed over 30 years - "At thirty, one forms one’s character" already. I believe that in any historical period, there are both opportunities and challenges of its own. "A lifetime as a warrior in the battlefield of business... A heart not steadfast, how can one be a businessman?" (lyrics from the song "The Life of a Businessman" by Composer Tran Tien, which I really like), if you consider yourself as a soldier - a warrior in the business battlefield, you will not fear difficulties, competition. Perhaps within competition and challenges, opportunities will be found, forging us to become stronger and more mature.

For my part, Tan Phuoc Thinh will always remain faithful to its slogan and operating philosophy, focusing on reputation and quality of construction projects as its core values.

What is your experience in managing and developing the labor force in the dynamic industrial environment today?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: As we've discussed, and I would like to reaffirm, the success of Tan Phuoc Thinh today has a significant role of the human factor, if not to say it's the most crucial resource. For me, the lives of workers, the rights of colleagues are always the motivation for me and the company to improve, strive, and contribute. At the same time, from another perspective, listening, empathy, and trust are also important factors, values in leadership and business management.

My belief is that managing time is not important, managing personal capabilities is not important, ect. what we aim for is a culture of sharing, mutual support, and inspiration within our ecosystem. The "team" of Tan Phuoc Thinh does not have individual stars (including myself), but the team at Tan Phuoc Thinh is the star.

I see that Tan Phuoc Thinh operates in many fields such as construction, real estate investment, logistics, etc., do you think diversifying business sectors will bring benefits to the enterprise?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: Ultimately, all those business areas are closely related to the core activities of Tan Phuoc Thinh. As a construction company, we already have a workforce of engineers, architects, technical workers to be able to invest in fields such as real estate, industrial infrastructure, logistics with warehouse operations, transportation... This can be seen as a competitive advantage in optimizing our resources.

- Has Tan Phuoc Thinh faced any challenges, and how did you overcome them?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: There were several challenging periods, such as 2005 – 2007 during the global economic recession, 2019 – 2021 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and from 2021 to the present with political instability and trade wars making the global economy difficult. In Vietnam, the real estate market stagnated, affecting many other sectors, including construction.

During those "special" periods, we were fortunate to always receive empathy and solidarity from the workers within the "big family" of Tan Phuoc Thinh, together determined to overcome difficulties. I remember during the years 2005 – 2007, when it was extremely tough, cash flow was tight, but I received support from colleagues within the company, some even handed over their property titles and land certificates to the company as collateral. Speaking of this, I want to emphasize the aspect of overcoming difficulties when we have a united, empathetic, and sharing collective. Overcoming challenges is about survival and seeking opportunities together to develop the business.

Petrochemical Complex in South of Viet Nam project - Package H&I 8: Warehouse 2 Villas

To maintain good relationships with customers and partners, what is your approach?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: Customers and partners are the lifeline of any business. In other words, without customers, there is no business. I often share with my colleagues that I don't pay their salaries, ect. it's the customers who pay us and enable our development.

At Tan Phuoc Thinh, our job isn't finished when the project is completed or the warranty expires, ect. we accompany the entire "lifespan" of the project, the construction. We always joyfully fulfill all requests for changes, repairs from our partners. We always place ourselves in the shoes of our customers, investors to serve them wholeheartedly.

In terms of occupational safety and risk management, what do you consider most important?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: The question is also the answer. Occupational safety is the most important. For us, every project, every construction site has a Safety Committee, along with a Site Management Board to coordinate this work most effectively. That's also how we manage risks.

In the future, do you have plans to expand Tan Phuoc Thinh's operations beyond the Southeast region?

Mr. Pham Van Triem: We have also implemented projects in Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City, ect. With Tan Phuoc Thinh, if there are feasible projects, we will implement them in any locality.

If you could emphasize something to the Vietnamese business community, what would you say? Pham Van Triem: In response to this question, I would like to reiterate Tan Phuoc Thinh's business motto “Prestige - Quality - Effectiveness - Friends of the Investors”. As entrepreneurs and businesses in every industry, there are unique characteristics and fields, but in summary, if your businesses do well in the above aspects, I believe success will come more than halfway. For the past 30 years, my company Tan Phuoc Thinh and I have pursued and remained faithful to these ideals and goals.

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