Phillip Nguyễn – IPPG’s Vice President: “The best way to communicate is Talking & Sharing."

22 - 11 - 2018

With a friendly gestures, Phillip joined us in conversation in the most cordial and charming way. Anybody not previously aware of his title as a Vice President of one of the top multi-industrial corporates would easily mistake him for a professional sportsman or a dynamic social activist when listening to him talk about his projects. 

Phillip Nguyễn's workspace is organized in a plain but orderly fashion. On his bookshelf, a small portion is dedicated to his personal life, displaying family meetings or the sporting competitions he participated in. As a Vice President - Business Development of Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG), Phillip Nguyễn is one of the next generation of leaders doing business in multiple fields, from high-end fashion, F&B to airline services and more. Besides, he is a dynamic and passionate businessman nurturing ambition in inspiring Vietnamese youth to positive lifestyle by founding the creative advertising company Pulse Active, which specializes in sporting and entertainment events. 


Good day to you Phillip. What has brought you here, to work and live in Vietnam, despite your affinity to the environment and culture of the Philippines as well as the US?
After graduating in International Relations and Economics, I worked for a short period as a shoe salesclerk in a fashion store in the US, before taking a management training program in Guam. Following its completion, my father called me and said: “Phillip, you've done so well so far. It's time to come back to Vietnam!” It sounded simply as an invitation to join his company, but I was quite frightened at first, not knowing what I should do. But then, after a while, I realized: “Vietnam is where I belong”. And despite the massive pressure ahead, I believe I can make a name for myself here in my homeland.

How then do you manage to bolster such confidence?
Most people would think that working for the family business is a huge advantage. And yet, the only perks I receive here is my parents' support and advice in times of hardship. The point here is that my father has realized the competitive advantages in the Vietnamese market, and he needs somebody that he can trust to take direct charge of the entire body of staff and bring about more development. Heeding such a vision, I always try to excel in my range of responsibilities. A good leader is always prepared to face and handle every problem, from finance and marketing to event promotion, creative work or HR management. But in order for the business to run smoothly, one must also be able to clarify the tasks of each department and integrate them into a whole single body. Being the owner, and more importantly a leader, is just like being the coach of a football team, I believe. You show your “players” the organization's overall vision, letting them know that they are an essential part of a strong body. The whole team who swallow the bitterness of failure with me, shall join me in the celebration of the sweet taste of success.  

With the multidisciplinary scope of work of your corporation, what is your secret to keeping everything under control?
For every type of work, there is a separate procedure that I've established, with responsibilities and detailed tasks for each respective level. This management method helps me maintain control of the work's details without getting too deeply involved and controlling in the staff's job. But perhaps the biggest challenge is to harmonize with a wide range of different personalities of the staff, thus requiring great flexibility in the administration so as to help them maximize their potential and improve their working attitude. Moreover, establishing a management philosophy is also quite important to me, as I always try to back my employees, giving them the freedom to grow in their own way, and observing their development process since Day One.
The success of every business, either big or small, lies in whether a manager could attenuate to every problem from his or her employees every day. In order to do that, we've established several communication channels through the application of new technologies, for instance WhatsApp, Viber, Skype or Facebook. In a near future, we aim to develop a local area network (LAN) so that those in the company could connect with each other more easily. I wish for all of them to be as close and understanding to each other as friends. However, the best means of communication is still direct conversation and observation of the daily work to keep a close track of everyone's status quo. That is a managerial practice that I've been trying to attain.   


While success is rarely rewarded with deserving recognition, failure often proclaims and echoes itself eagerly and excessively. What would you do in the face of failure, and how do you get past such a feeling?
Failure is the part and parcel of life. It brings you pressure and sometimes makes you feel like you’re not trying hard enough. But even if the sky seems to fall today, you still have to wake up tomorrow and continue with your life. Don't ever let the sorrow stop you from loving life. Defeat is not the end of the journey, but a quest for us to decide how to make our next moves. Sadness and worries pose a great challenge to one's emotion, but with enough strength to carry oneself over them and achieve greater success, the bliss of reaping the sweet success from the seeds of failure is simply indescribable. In the face of failure, I often try and draw a lesson, and remind myself never to make the same mistake again. Then I set about to participate in sporting and community events to meet and connect with new people and lift my spirit up. There's no shame or embarrassment in accepting one's failure to become more complete every day.

What would you give as advice for young people who are struggling to achieve their success, in order to raise their self-confidence and strength?
I receive many messages from the young generation in Vietnam every day, which helps me learn a lot about them, even their music preferences. I feel passion and enthusiasm in their words, and I wish to connect more with them. I've also realized a major conflict among this generation, as they are well aware of their passion, but don't seem to enjoy what they're currently doing. Therefore, throughout your education, go for the things that you love, and learn, bit by bit, from anywhere. From people who are better than you, from reality, conferences, and also the internet. You know, the thing so far that I feel proud of the most is Pulse Active. Beyond just being a company, it is my spiritual channel to connect and transfer positive inspiration to Vietnam youth. 

Speaking of pressure, perhaps one of the biggest pressures for you is to outdo such an overwhelming figure as your own father. How do you address this matter and what did you do to demonstrate your competence?
I'd like to think of more as a challenge, not a pressure, for I am certain of my career and personal life. I believe that one needs to constantly challenge oneself in the course of life, while staying true to one's chosen path. The best thing that my father has given me is the opportunity to learn, to seize a chance when it comes, and to realize the importance of a positive working attitude. I've embraced my challenge and strive for it every day with the love and support of my family. From my point of view, family doesn't pressure me for self-acclamation, but rather provides me with the strength to overcome any hardship.
Excerpted from a full interview in Business Woman magazine – Oct, 2018 issue