Masan to Ramp Up Tech Investments to Expand Offerings
(Bloomberg) -- Masan Group Corp. said it plans to ramp up technology acquisitions and partnerships as the conglomerate aligns operations to increasingly meet Vietnam’s e-commerce demands.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based company -- its services range from a retail network of supermarkets and mini marts, to food production and financial services -- aims to serve as many as 50 million consumers over the next three to five years, Chief Executive Danny Le said on Bloomberg Television’s “Asean Ahead” segment and in email communications.
Masan wants to be the go-to company for 80% of a consumer’s daily needs, Le said, an “end game” that requires it to gear up and leverage on its physical and online networks. Masan is building a business model similar to that of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio unit, which provides wireless telecommunication services, Le said. A Masan unit in September acquired a 70% stake in Mobicast JSC, known as Reddi, a start-up mobile virtual network operator.
“Our digital telecom platform will be the foundation of our loyalty ecosystem,” Le said in an email.
Shares of Masan rose as much as 3.4% to a record high on Monday. The stock has rallied 83% so far this year, outpacing the benchmark VN Index’s 34% advance.
Vietnam’s digital economy is forecast to grow to $52 billion by 2025, an annual 29% increase from 2020, according to a study by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co.
The government targets online shopping to account for 10% of Vietnam’s retail sales -- and as much as 50% in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City -- by 2025.
The CrownX, which holds Masan’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce, has garnered more than $1.5 billion in investments from global investors since the first half of 2020, the company said. Investors include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which looks to expand its Southeast Asian e-commerce unit Lazada in the country, Baring Private Equity Asia, TPG, Platinum Orchid and Sea Town Master Fund, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Temasek.
E-commerce represents about 2% of Vietnam’s retail market, Le said. To drive Masan’s e-commerce growth, the company is looking at areas such as logistics, supply chains and fintech, he said.
“I do expect that to double, potentially triple over the next couple of years,” Le in the TV interview. “Masan itself is trying to align its business to ensure that we can offer consumers both an off- and online experience and basically satisfy them in every channel.”
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