Trung Vien, a son of immigrants who migrated to Australia from Vietnam with nothing, i
First time entrepreneur: Vien was 24 years old when he decided to quit his job as a financial planner helping people buy stocks at a bank and start his first business venture by opening a Domino’s Pizza branch, according to News.com.au.
- According to Vien, his decision was based on his love for the brand and its scalable franchise model.
- “I knew nothing about business… it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life,” was quoted as saying.
- Vien was able to launch his business from the money he saved from his high-paying financial planning job. He had also bought several investment properties as well.
- His parents had wanted him to work a corporate job and advised him not to go into business.
- “I didn’t tell them that in my first year I made more than double the amount I had made at the bank,” he noted.
- Vien started a gym in Cabramatta, New South Wales in 2013 and in the next few years continued to buy more properties and launch new businesses.
- An oversupply in the property market would eventually force Vien to sell off some properties and businesses.
Time for a new venture: The young entrepreneur decided to travel across to Asia and take a momentary break, but it did not take long for him to feel the urge to start a new business venture.
- An idea sparked after noticing that many of his friends have started losing their hair.
- After doing his research on hair loss and ways to treat it, he was able to launch Hair Folli in March this year.
- By using “superfood” Kakadu Plum, Vien’s hair care company addresses hair loss via its growth activator spray.
- While describing it as his “passion project,” he admitted that he expected his company to suffer after launching it just as the COVID-19 was starting to spread.
- However, he knew he struck gold after sales numbers came in from the first few weeks.
- “We had a couple of hundred thousand dollars in sales … we had launched with a lot of hype because we knew there was a gap in the market,” he said.
- Vien has also kept the costs down as the company was set up to be entirely online and was barely affected by the government shutdowns on many bricks-and-mortar retail stores.
- With more plans to grow, Vien says the company is adding several new products over the next year while gearing up to launch in the Asian market.
- Based on current trends, he estimated that his new company would turn over up to 5 million Australian dollars ($3.59 million) in 2021.
Plans for the future: In an interview with NextShark, Vien revealed that while he intends to launch to the United States market soon, he focuses on one day at a time.
- “I’d rather play the long game, add value to people’s lives and see everyone win,” he explained.
- He admits that he now needs more manpower to help his business grow, saying, “I would love to connect with some genuine people.
- According to Vien, business is not a one man job but a team effort: “I’d rather help my team together make a hundred million, rather than screw them over for a few hundred dollars.”
- This is why the company invests money in its staff, spending hundreds of thousands for its employees’ education. “Overall it’s about adding value to everyone’s lives,” he noted.
- “My values of bringing people value has got me to where I am. My story is not uncommon. Nor is it special, there’s so many people out there doing more and I’m happy there is.”
- Vien adds that he considers mental health to be more important than money so he now also focuses on motivating his employees who may be going through some tough times.
Inspiration to succeed: With thriving businesses and multiple properties worth an estimated 10 million Australian dollars ($7.18 million), Vien has maintained a drive to succeed which he attributes to his parents’ struggles.
- “My parents came to Australia from Vietnam after the war with basically nothing – not a word of English and no experience or qualifications,” he said.
- “Dad was a laborer and mum was a hairdresser,” he tells NextShark. “They both worked hard as which means I rarely got to see them.”
- Vien recognized his parents’ own work ethic which he said he eventually acquired from them: “Hearing my parents’ story makes me want to work harder to prove to them that ‘hey, I can make it big’ and provide an awesome business to the people in this country who gave us so much opportunity.”
- “People only see the end result. I didn’t post or have social media for years … I’ve just been head down and working on my business for the last 10 years.”