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Celebrities Turned CEOs: Balancing Careers In Different Fields

While they are making their mark on the world, these ladies were always willing to extend their hands and lift others up using their platform, privilege, and voice.

6 Celebrities-Turned-CEOS: Succeeding On Their Own And By Helping Others

While these working women have balanced success in their respective fields and flourishing business ventures, they all have another thing in common: giving back to underprivileged communities.

Many say, "a jack of all trades is a master of none". But for those who walk the extra mile to explore different things and pour in tremendous amount of efforts to learn and succeed in many fields, such phrase is nothing but a mere excuse to not try stepping out of the comfort zone.

In the original SCMP article, these Vietnamese celebrities have not only made a name for themselves within the fashion, music, and modelling industry, but they have also waded into the world of business by becoming established leaders for their own brands and companies. 

While these working women have balanced success in their respective fields alongside their flourishing business ventures, they all have another thing in common: a core principle involving philanthropy and giving back to underprivileged communities.

Tang Thanh Ha 

As she previously shared in an article with Vietcetera, the famous actress started new ventures while her career was at its peak. 

Currently, Tang Thanh Ha is “doing business in two fields, namely food & beverage (F&B) and fashion.” Her restaurant chain, The Crab Shack, Vietnam features fresh seafood with their signature cajun sauce and has multiple branches across the country. Not only does she manage the business, but 95% of The Crab Shack’s recipes are developed by Tang Thanh Ha herself. 

As for her ventures in the fashion industry, she is the founder of HATANG, an elegant clothing brand. Simultaneously, she also operates Filipino sunglasses brand Sunnies Studios Vietnam with stores nationwide.

Her successful businesses are also coupled with Tang Thanh Ha’s efforts in giving back. Cooperating with TOSHIBA Vietnam, she provided television sets to SOS Children’s Villages, an international NGO that aids disadvantaged children globally, in hopes that it could be their window to the world. Not to mention, the working mother of two has also collaborated with many famous Vietnamese celebs like singer Dam Vinh Hung and actress Ngo Thanh Van for fundraisers that support children with cardiovascular diseases.

My Tam

Dubbed the “Queen of V-Pop”, My Tam is known for her mark in the music industry. After many big studio hits, such as her ballad “Niềm tin chiến thắng” (We are the champions) that soon became a rally song for the Vietnamese National Football team in the SEA Games for years to come, My Tam ventured out to other careers.

In addition to her clothing brand, Nightingale, she founded record label MT Entertainment. According to VietnamBiz, the overall reported profit growth for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 grew exponentially by 50% annually, accumulating to a final revenue of VND47.8 billion (approximately US$2 million).

At the same time, My Tam founded the MT Foundation. With a mission for philanthropy, it aims to help the underprivileged by operating on contributions from MT Entertainment as well as donations from the Vietnamese public. In a project named Sustaining the Steps of Tomorrow, My Tam has helped build houses and provide scholarships to Vietnamese youth in rural regions like Phu Yen, Dak Lak, An Giang, and Ha Tinh.

Ho Ngoc Ha

Initially coming into the media’s spotlight as a model, Ho Ngoc Ha has since made her name for herself in the entertainment industry as both a singer and an actress.

In 2018, she launched M.O.I Cosmetics, the first Vietnamese brand to provide beauty products that meet international standards. All of her products are made in South Korea with optimal modern technology, and are licensed with quality certifications. According to an article in 24h.com.vn, her revenue from the brand in 2019 reached VND84 billion (approximately US$3.6 million).

Like other celebrities, Ho Ngoc Ha is known to use her platform for the betterment of disadvantaged communities: she has partaken in charity concerts, and auctioned off her booklets before donating all proceeds to those suffering from poverty. Her devotion to the community was eventually recognized with an honorary from the Citizen Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

Ly Nha Ky

Vietnamese actress, model, and businesswoman Ly Nha Ky is known for her incredible acting skills. But in addition to her roles in many popular TV series and movies, the multilingual celebrity has also served as Vietnam’s Tourism ambassador for over a decade.

In 2007, she founded LYNK Group, which operates across a variety of sectors in Vietnam, encompassing investment, trading, service, and construction. The firm has grown to become a multinational company and has expanded into the wider ASEAN economies with diverse scope of work. LYNK Group consists of a leading consultancy in the real estate industry; to a luxury high fashion and jewelry business bringing renowned brands like Toni Maticevski, Guy de Jean, and Crivelli Gioielli to the Vietnamese consumer market; to a multimedia management firm.

At the same time, Ly Nha Ky also founded the Vietnam Health and Education Development Fund (VN HEDF), an organization which contributes to education and improving the public health sector for the underserved Vietnamese communities. Also as the ambassador to Operation Smile Vietnam, she has given assistance in fundraising efforts for reconstructive surgeries for those with cleft lips and palates.

Mai Phuong Thuy

The Vietnamese model and beauty pageant titleholder made a name for herself upon being crowned the 10th Miss Vietnam in 2006, and went on to represent the country in the Miss World 2006 pageant in Poland. 

With a background as an Economy Major from RMIT and previously being admitted into the Foreign Trade University, Mai Phuong Thuy is also known for her involvement in the stock market. Holding stocks such as VCB from Vietcombank, VJC from Vietjet, and others in technology firms and infrastructure enterprises, the former pageant queen has made waves within the investment industry.

More notably, when COVID-19 hit Vietnam in March of last year, Mai Phuong Thuy was selected to be the face of the firm Apollo Silicone where she donated VND20 billion to the purchase of masks and protective gear for doctors and nurses fighting the pandemic.

Truong Ngoc Anh

The successful model-turned-actress who simply goes by TNA, similar to the other celebrities aforementioned, has also taken her talent into other walks of life. 

As IMDB reports, TNA is a brand ambassador for Adidas, Samsung, and Audi, and has modelled for international brands like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Chanel, and Bottega. Her success in the modelling industry has provided her opportunities to judge and host many reality TV modelling series.

Outside of the fashion realm, TNA opened an advertising company, Anh Viet, in 2008 after an eight-year hiatus to focus on family. Just recently, her firm TNA Entertainment marked her return to the limelight as she began producing movies much loved by the Vietnamese public.

Integrating philanthropy into her career, TNA has been featured in charity show Beauty and Benevolence several years ago with other Vietnamese top models like Mai Phuong Thuy, Hoang Yen, Diem Huong, and Truc Diem; here, all pieces auctioned off raised funds for deprived children, people living with HIV, and those with disabilities.

These empowering celebrities, with success coming in from multiple channels, prove to their fan base — primarily consisting of young Vietnamese women — that they, too, can do it all. 

And while they are making their mark on the world, they were always willing to extend their hands and lift others up using their platform, privilege, and voice. For the greatest success we’ll know is through helping others succeed and grow.