The moment you open the doors of The Sentry at Sonatus, you’d be welcomed by a vast, bright space that exudes a warm and relaxed vibe. On the right are columns of tables and chairs, where Vietnam’s “new generation of workers” are busily pursuing their passions.
The Sentry is a flexible office space by definition. They house over 70 startups and established firms in different sectors, including information technology, finance, creative, venture capital, and e-commerce.
The Sentry — in its core foundation and mission — is a commercial property management and project marketing firm rolled into one.
Since its inception in 2020, The Sentry has evolved into more than just a project developer or asset management firm. The Sentry has become a community developer with an ongoing mission to build an exclusive community of creatives and tech entrepreneurs while attracting young talents from the Vietnamese workforce.
‘“The synergy of industry and demographics is a vital factor for The Sentry across its locations. With over 70% of the Vietnamese population under 35 years old, Gen Zs are typically overlooked,” said Thuy Hoang, the COO, and co-pioneer of The Sentry.
“Gen Zs will surpass Millennials as the largest generation group globally, with more than one-third of the world’s population counting themselves as Gen Zs. The Sentry’s ability to understand this trend and deliver a workplace experience for this segment of the Vietnamese market is our unique proposition.”
With the post-COVID-19 era introducing the concept of hybrid working, The Sentry has, in itself, become a compelling reason for workers to come to the office. The airy spaces, subdued interiors, classic furniture that pay homage to nature and the Vietnamese culture, a relaxing nap room (don’t we all need this?), and the welcoming presence of founder Greg Ohan — all these make coming to work worth looking forward to. Of course, high-speed internet and a tea and coffee bar are already a given.
“If you have an awesome office, people wouldn’t want to stay home,” quips Greg. Especially in Vietnam, where houses follow traditional layouts that weren’t designed to also serve as a workspace, having a business address is a fundamental need for Vietnam’s workforce.
“As Vietnam’s largest Grade A flexible office space provider, our mission is to bridge the gap that is missing in the globally evolving workplace. As a local developer and operator, we are unique in what we offer and why,” added Greg.
What Greg and co-founder Thuy Hoang have built raised the standard of Vietnam’s office spaces. Bringing their individual expertise together, Thuy on real estate and technical operations and Greg on commercial and people management, the two created something unique and bespoke to sectors overlooked by traditional landlords and property developers.
Connecting like-minded community
At The Sentry Connect, its flagship location in the heart of Saigon’s District 1, a sense of community is almost palpable. Most tenants are, in one way or another, connected with each other. About 45% of The Sentry community comprises tech startups, 18% comprises investment funds and VC firms, and 37% from e-commerce, FMCG, and media — creating an ecosystem of companies with similar business models. In fact, proptech startup Homebase and its major investor, Antler, are both tenants at The Sentry.
There are two reasons people come to The Sentry, explained Greg. “The main one is that many small and medium IT companies cannot rent an office that caters to their needs. We give this specific cluster a great space in one of the best buildings in Vietnam but also offer them flexibility in both the lease and business expansion. Second, these companies want to attract and retain the best talents. And this place provides all the amenities that help them do just that.”
CoderSchool, a coding school focused on providing high-quality full-stack web development, machine learning, and data courses in Vietnam, has found a home at The Sentry. With its thriving business in edtech, being at The Sentry has provided CoderSchool with space and support for its continued success.
“Focus is everything in a startup, and moving to the Sentry has enabled CoderSchool to focus on its core business of delivering world-class tech education while being assured our people are thriving in a world-class workspace with open spaces, convenient meeting rooms, and ideal location. And for when it's time to relax from all the focus, the Friday happy hours have been a fantastic way to connect with the extremely high-quality community at the Sentry,” said Charles Lee, co-founder at CoderSchool.
Leading healthcare knowledge and services ecosystem Hello Health Group, the first health tech company to join The Sentry, believes their team and business are in the right place. From only five full-time staff when the platform was launched in 2015, Hello Bacsi in Vietnam grew in staffing and clientele. Now that it serves millions of Vietnamese, it is apt to set up an office that helps it realize its visions.
“The Sentry has been an ideal new home for Hello Health, providing us the necessary flexibility and convenience for our high-growth business as well as an appropriate environment for our predominantly Gen Z workforce,” said Jorge Martin Martinez, board member at Hello Health Group. “Within the Sentry ecosystem, we have also found like-minded, highly innovative, and motivated young firms providing capital raising advisory services and debt financing options specialized for growth tech companies like ours. This has proven very helpful and convenient.”
A focus on wellness and sustainability
Beyond providing a space for workers to do what they do best and advance toward a more innovative Vietnam, The Sentry also inspires work-life balance and wellness.
On Tuesday mornings, The Sentry hosts a free yoga and meditation class for all members to break free from their laptops and realign their minds and body. And for those who want to unwind after a long day’s work, the pingpong table, coffee maker, and beer dispenser are available day and night. Another notable feature is the Mom & Baby room, which offers a safe workplace venue for new moms.
The brand has also pioneered an integrated approach for evaluating buildings in terms of energy consumption, water use, and waste management, as well as wellness and indoor environmental quality, allowing members of The Sentry to meet Corporate Social Governance (CSG) requirements.
“Each of our new developments will be designed to the highest standards and to meet Vietnam’s very own Green Lotus accreditation,” said Greg. The Sentry Z, which opened in November, and the upcoming The Sentry P, also adhere to strict sustainability policies set by the Vietnamese government.
With more outdoor space, The Sentry P, scheduled to open in December in Thao Dien, will further promote the brand’s sustainability pledge. As its first standalone building, the Sentry P will feature end-of-trip facilities, the latest office technological innovations, a green garden, rock climbing, a gym, and a dog park bound to set a new standard for the office market in Vietnam and beyond.