Masan Group, under the leadership of CEO Danny Le and CTO Rahul Bhandari, and in collaboration with Joe Lonsdale of 8VC, recently shared their innovative strategy for integrating AI and ML into Vietnam’s retail sector at the “Winning with AI, Data Science, and Machine Learning” thought leadership event. The inaugural event, attended by CEOs, directors, ecosystem stakeholders, investors, and venture capitalists, moderated by Hao Tran of Vietcetera, showcased Masan’s visionary approach to technology and consumer engagement.
The WinLife Ecosystem
A central theme was the WinLife ecosystem, Masan’s ambitious proposition to meet 80% of the average Vietnamese consumer’s needs on a daily basis, or otherwise known as wallet ‘ownership.’ This ecosystem aims to be a comprehensive solution for consumers, offering a range of products and services through various touchpoints.
Masan’s Multi-Pronged Strategy
Masan’s approach includes building, acquiring, and partnering to expand its reach and capabilities. Key investments include Trusting Social, Phuc Long, and WinMart, which are crucial in realizing the WinLife vision. These strategic moves are designed to integrate diverse consumer services under the Masan umbrella, providing a seamless and enriched customer experience.
Leadership Sharing from Masan
Danny Le, CEO of Masan Group, opened the keynote by emphasizing the role of technology in revolutionizing the consumer experience. He explained how Masan is leveraging technology not just as a business tool but as a means to enhance consumer engagement and service personalization. Rahul Bhandari, CTO of Masan, discussed the technical aspects of integrating AI and ML into their business. He shared insights on how Masan uses data analytics and machine learning to predict consumer trends and optimize their supply chain. He also discussed the buy, build, and hybrid model of ecosystem expansion from the technology front, and he emphasized the importance of building only when necessary, as the economics and breadth of tools available on the market today make technology expansion much faster and more efficient, than building.
Joe Lonsdale’s Global Insights
Joe Lonsdale of 8VC, the special guest of the session, compared Masan’s technological advancements with those of top U.S. companies, affirming Masan’s position as a global standard-bearer in technological applications. He outlined global trends in technology, which were highlighted by the growth of AI tools and businesses. Additionally, AI value capture is not isolated to new innovative companies today. Existing companies and platforms that can leverage AI are seeing an explosion of value creation that is unlocked thanks to AI. He gave the example of a portfolio company that was billing $10M in annual recurring revenue and ranked in the lower quarter of his firm’s portfolio. Within the first eight months of the ChatGPT API being made available, the business saw revenue growth of more than five times. It was later acquired for more than $1 billion.
Panel Discussion: A Blend of Technology and Business
The panel discussion, featuring Danny Le, Joe Lonsdale, and Dr. Nguyen Truong Thanh, and moderated by Hao Tran, focused on the integration of technology, business, and culture in Vietnam’s market. The panel highlighted the challenges and opportunities in adopting new technologies in Vietnam. The conversation underscored the significance of the WinLife ecosystem in transforming consumer habits and expectations in Vietnam. In the short-run, these ecosystem and technology investments are growing Masan’s topline revenue at the hopefully short-to-mid-term sacrifice of margins.
In closing, Hao Tran highlighted Masan’s innovative strategies aligning with Vietcetera’s mission to bring Vietnam’s dynamic business landscape to the global forefront. This event marks a critical step in Vietnam’s journey toward a tech-driven consumer market, with Masan leading the way in innovation and consumer engagement.