FPT Chairman – Mr. Truong Gia Binh: ‘FPT is Ahead of India in Digital’

In the article of Nekkei on FPT, with its title “Vietnam IT giant’s ambition”, FPT Software, a subsidiary of FPT Corporation, reported 28% of revenue from its digital projects. Meanwhile, India’s IT industry may achieve this rate by 2020.

IT industry in Vietnam is changing in both quantity and quality. The Vietnamese government and organizations in the IT industry have started planning to double their IT professionals by 2020. The target is to develop systems worldwide as necessily. Especially, the largest IT Corporation in Vietnam – FPT – is focusing on the training of about 10,000 software engineers for Japanese market.

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FPT President – Mr. Truong Gia Binh talked in the interview in Japan.

FPT is also making efforts to speed up the pace of updating its most advanced technologies to enhance its position. By 2016, FPT Corporation has established FPT Global Automotive (FGA), the department specializing in research and development of self-propelled vehicles. Prior to that, the company also promoted cooperation with Japanese and American automobile manufacturers and Internet-of-Things (IoT) efforts, Cloud.

FPT is a combination of offshore development companies utilizing cheap labor and technology companies with their state-of-the-art technology. IT Vietnam Co., which owns these two factors, can become the best partner for Japan.

FPT Chairman – the largest IT Company in Vietnam: ‘Going ahead of India in digital’.

“Digital decides the future of the next 15 years,” said Chairman of FPT Corporation, Vietnam’s largest ICT group, Mr. Truong Gia Binh, who is credited as Bill Gates of Vietnam. Talking about Vietnam is often impressive on off-shore development but FPT is actively promoting investment in the latest technology, which first of all includes self-propelled vehicles. As Mr. Binh said, Vietnam’s ICT industry is changing.

– Could you please tell us about the trend of IT industry being focused?

– The phrase “Digital Transformation” is very noticeable. The whole world is turning to digital and will decide in the next 15 years. Our company is trying to get involved in this field.

More specifically, we invest in the most advanced technologies include Internet-of-Things (IoT), AI (artificial intelligence), and open mainframe. These are the two areas on which we are focused. We have just caught up with the latest technology and have partnered with customers in the mainframe escape – which can be a factor in keeping digitization.

At FPT Software, a subsidiary of FPT, 28% of revenue comes from digital-related projects. India’s IT industry must achieve this rate by 2020. We are certainly ahead of India in the digital arena. Of course, we have not still satisfied at that level. Within five years or the next 10 years whether we can reach close to 100%? It is still a challenge for us.

– Could you elaborate on investing in the most advanced technologies?

– Notwithstanding, human resources development is an urgent issue at present. Our company now has 1,000 technicians handling IoT projects. I want to quickly raise this number to 10,000 people. To achieve, it is important not only to increase the training of new engineers, but also to make existing engineers interested in new technologies.

Recently, we have held a competition for the development of AI-related applications, self-propelled cars and have been successful with 145 participating teams. In October 2017, we would like to run our own car at our campus in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park. We intend to use it to transport staff.

Our ultimate goal is to shake hands with car manufacturers to put them into practice. Currently, we are developing ADAS (Advanced Driver Support System). We cannot display the name of our client companies, but now we are working with American and Japanese auto companies.

We will also increase the number of IoT-based cloud engineers, which are typically the “Predix” engineers of General Electric (GE), increasing the number of certified employees to 500. We currently have 263 people with “AWS (Amazon Web Services)” certification and will continue to grow to 500.

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FPT Chairman – Mr. Trương Gia Binh in accompanying the Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets Japanese businesses on June 6th. Photo taken by FPT Japan.

New target of giants in the IT market in Vietnam: Focus on the self-propelled car market

“In October 1977, self-propelled cars will be launched at our campus, and I hope engineers will be interested in this,” said FPT Chairman – Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Vietnam’s largest IT Corporation.

At FPT Software, the main business of offshore development continues to grow and there is no sign of slowing down. However, FPT Chairman, Mr. Truong Gia Binh hasn’t still satisfied with. He has brought digitalization services into the main business segment and is focusing on this segment.

Digitalization services of FPT Software, including IoT, Big Data, Analytics, Cloud, and Mobility now account for 28% of total revenue. “We are ahead of India in the digital arena.” FPT Chairman emphasized. However, it does not mean that FPT will loosen its hand with digital conversion.

Self-propelled vehicles are important business areas of FPT Software in the future. FPT’s goal is to achieve $200 million per year by 2020. At the same time, this is also a “symbol” reflecting FPT’s future. It represents an attitude focused on digital business, which is also a symbol to attract engineers to support the development of this array. Running our own car on campus is also aimed at attracting the attention of engineers in the company so that they have more motivations to improve their skills.

For planning to increase the number of IT engineers in Vietnam, is it good news for Japan?

Vietnam, as the leading overseas offshore destination of Japan, will double its IT engineers. Currently, Vietnam has about 300,000 IT engineers, and has an ambitious plan of increasing to 600,000 IT engineers by 2020. This plan is not unrelated to Japan because it has possibly become a lifeboat for the shortage of IT human resources in Japan.

“To meet the demand for IT in the world, we are planning to double the number of IT professionals,” said Mr. Binh. The Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training, VINASA Vietnam Software and Services Association (VINASA) will host the plan. In addition, the Government and people join together to strengthen the competitiveness of the IT sector.

However, training from the beginning (from the unknown) is not feasible. Human resources training in the field of mathematics and physics at universities turning to IT engineers will increase the number of human resources in the industry. Under the direction of the Deputy Prime Minister, the program assists universities or college graduates to re-enroll in colleges and universities specialized in IT and easily find jobs in IT businesses that have already started. In October 2017, we will open the recruitment of the first student group.

Compared with other countries in the world, such as China and India, the number of 3 million Vietnamese engineers is just one tenth. Nevertheless, in the context of offshore development for the Japanese market, the presence of Vietnam is not small. According to the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) “White Paper on IT Personnel in 2013,” the proportion of Japanese firms placing orders directly to Vietnamese businesses is about the same as that of India with 19.2%, the indirect order rate is 21.2%, difference of 8.8 points compared to India, and is proud when just behind China.

For Vietnamese businesses, Japan is an important market. FPT Software of FPT Corporation is a unit of being responsible for off shore development, has a turnover of approximately ¥ 25.6 billion in the fiscal 2016, with sales increasing three times over four years. The driving force for growth is Japanese market. At the end of December 2016, revenues from the Japanese market accounted for 55.3% and revenues from the US market accounted for only 19.5%.

Credit: Hong Tram (follow Nikkei)