Hong Ha Shipbuilding Co., Ltd: Turning Corporate Culture into Business Strength


Engaged in the cause of national construction and development, military-run businesses are increasing their involvement in production and service sectors and expanding into flagship sectors to fulfil their national defence missions and contribute to national economic development. Performing their two tasks of national defence and economic development at the same time is not at all simple. These businesses must be led by dynamic, creative, entrepreneurial and politically conscious people. Mr Nguyen Van Cuong, Director of Hong Ha Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, is a military businessman with all these virtues.

Breakthrough direction

Shipbuilders have been caught in dilemma at the back of global economic crisis since 2009. To survive and develop in this context, businesses must be flexible with any new development. While upholding solidarity tradition, self-reliance, initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship, the management board of Hong Ha Shipbuilding applied groundbreaking development strategies with the aim of building military ships with high technological content and high economic value before making ships for other economic sectors in the country and for export. This marked a turning point of Hong Ha Shipyard.

Unlike other shipyards that usually strive to build super-size ships, Hong Ha has chosen a different path. The shipbuilder applies modern sciences and techniques to make modern multipurpose ships like warships, special ships, rescue ships, oil tankers and patrol ships for the Coast Guard. With this approach, the company’s products are trusted and appreciated by the Ministry of National Defence and its partners. Particular products include TT200 and TT400 ships for marine police, high-speed patrol boats, landing crafts and military ferries, and especially the modern-class TT4000TP warship, which makes Hong Ha brand name and proves the correct direction of the company. Powered by excellent creativity, with preliminary designs purchased from Russia and Ukraine, Hong Ha collaborates with Defence Ministry designers to complete technological designs to create superior products with a huge amount of money saved.

With the effort, solidarity, industry and enthusiasm of the entire staff, Hong Ha always achieves good business results. In 2010, the company signed a contract to build asphalt tankers of 3,100 DWT for Petrolimex. This sophisticated specialised ship, used with state-of-the-art technology, is the first 3,100-DWT tanker to be built in Vietnam, placed under the supervision of DNV registry agency of Norway. To date, the second tanker of this kind has been completed, commissioned and transferred to the customer. Petrolimex has spoken highly of the building progress and product quality. To expand its global presence, in 2004, Hong Ha surveyed the European market and signed cooperation agreements with Dutch strategic partners and some other European customers to export ships. The company is one of the first military-run units to export products and set up business ties with international maritime companies. The company has built six multipurpose freighters of 2,600 DWT and two container carriers of 3,500 DWT for Dutch customers since 2006. All products meet strict Europe quality standards, thanks to the professional supervision of BV registration and inspection agency of France.

To achieve such admirable business results, Hong Ha always tries its best to maintain production and ensure stable, sustainable and efficient growth. In particular, annual production targets always exceed its annual plans. Thanks to constant revenue and profit growth, the average monthly income for workers is over VND8 million.

Soldier-style entrepreneur

Director Nguyen Van Cuong is said to have great contributions to the above successes. After nearly 10 years holding the directorship, what he has done is admired by other people. In his governance, the people are the centre and the key to any issue. In his everyday life, he is simple, sincere, caring and enthusiastic.

When asked about the factors of the success of Hong Ha, Director Cuong did not conceal his pride, saying: “The company always clearly determines that personnel development is one of the company’s development strategies. This factor decides the sustainable development of the company. With the philosophy, people are the root to uplift the company; Hong Ha regularly organises field trips and surveys to other countries with strong shipbuilding industries like China, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands to improve understanding and acquire knowledge and expertise.” Hong Ha also often opens in-house training for its employees. Most employees have their skills and expertises upgraded to meet shipbuilding requirements in accordance with ISO9001-2008 quality standards and supervisory requirements of European registry agencies. At present, the company has one doctor (trained abroad), seven masters of science, 160 engineers, 40 bachelors, and over 500 skilled workers capable of building new modern vessels and fulfilling new mission requirements.”

He added the company organises training courses on fire and flood prevention, etc. every year to help employees cope with all bad possibilities, save humans and property in the event of emergency. This is not only the responsibility but, above all, the comradeship and companionship which naturally has very strong ripple effects. In the process of building corporate culture, Director Cuong always reminds his subordinates of balancing the two words “Responsibility and love”. They must fulfil all career and social responsibilities and help ill-fated people. Every year, he calls his officers and employees to participate in voluntary activities and visits to help the poor and families with martyrs and wounded soldiers. To his employees, he always promises to improve their cultural and spiritual life. He has decided to build cultural houses, libraries and sports centres.

With its remarkable achievements in recent years, Hong Ha Shipbuilding Company has been granted many honours and awards:

– The President of Vietnam bestows the First-grade Labour Order in 2005, Third-grade Labour Order in 2006, Third-grade Victory Order in 2005, Third-grade National Defence Order in 2010, Second-grade Independence Order in 2010, and First-grade Victory Order in 2012.

– The Prime Minister presents the Emulation Flag in 2009.

– Ministry of National Defence presents the Certificate of Merits in 2007, Emulation Flag in 2008, Totally Strong Unit Flag in 10 straight years (from 1999 to 2008), and the Leading Unit Flag in five years from 2005 to 2010″

– The Ministry of Science and Technology awards the ISO Gold Cup.

– The Vietnam Business Association awards the two Golden Globe Awards.

– General Department of Defence Industry presents Emulation Flags and Certificates of Merits for outstanding achievements and performances of the company