While podcasts are often meant for idle listening — commuting to work, gym sessions, or long flights — YouTube still managed to become a top podcasting platform that offers creators an excellent opportunity to reach more people with their shows.
In Vietnam, Vietcetera is leading the podcast industry with its chart-topping shows with audiences averaging as much as a 71% retention rate and accumulating more than two million downloads a month on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Another achievement worth celebrating is on November 11, the Vietcetera channel officially received its silver play button from YouTube after hitting 100,000 subscribers. As of this writing, the channel has over 131,000 subs and more than 10 million views.
Vietnam Innovators podcast (VNI) is Vietcetera’s flagship business show where Hao Tran — the host and also the CEO of Vietcetera — meets with business executives and leaders in various industries to talk about Vietnam’s future growth prospects and why they believe innovation will be key to the country’s role in the world order. VNI’s first season premiered on October 8, 2020 and had 37 episodes. Its second season kicked off on August 24, 2021 and has, so far, 21 episodes.
“As I typed in to look for videos about innovation and leadership in Vietnam, there were not that many videos about that. Luckily, I found your channel,” a YouTube user left that comment in one episode of VNI. The show releases one episode weekly across channels like YouTube, Spotify, Apple podcast. Brands like HSBC, KPMG and AIA are just a few of the VNI sponsors making each episode possible.
As for the guests, executives from Facebook, Google, VNG, TiKi, HEINEKEN, Sanofi, consul generals, and ambassadors were featured in the show this year. In one of the episodes, Hao met with tech expert Kelly Tran, Pizza 4P’s chief innovation and technology officer, as she shared her story of returning to Vietnam and her goal to apply her tech know-how to an emerging technology concept like food and beverage. Bruce Delteil, partner at McKinsey & Company in Vietnam, also stopped by the show as well as James Vuong, founder & CEO of Infina.vn.
We've put together a list of this year’s most-viewed VNI episodes on YouTube.
1. Episode 8 with Phillip An, co-founder at Homebase
Homebase is a Vietnam-based prop-tech (property technology) startup financing home buyers to buy or invest in property in a personalized way using technology. Phillip and his team are determined to give millennial home buyers a leg up by offering guidance and financing that is more flexible than what banks are offering: 90% for those who qualify vs the banks’ 70%. And their plans are designed to be as inclusive as possible, taking into consideration the applicants’ monthly cash flow and current savings. Read the recap article.
2. Episode 10 with Kelly Tran, chief innovation officer at Pizza 4P's
As a surge of COVID-19 hit Vietnam in April 2020, people relied on online platforms for services, Kelly saw the opportunity to innovate 4P’s business concept and drive it toward a big digital transformation. “It’s not just about getting the pizza to the oven, then package it in the box, giving it to the delivery person until it reaches the home of the customers. But every little touchpoint in between matters,” Kelly said. Read the recap article.
3. Episode 19 The Vietcetera Journey
As Vietcetera turned five, some of the original founding members got together to chat with the company’s first employees, investors, and early backers, who sensed that the startup was going places even in those early days when it was a scrappy English-only blog. Read the recap article.
4. Episode 12 with Kelly Wong, VP of Operations at VNG Corporation
As VNG, the technology and online entertainment company look forward to more years of driving Vietnam’s digital technology growth, it aims to continue using technology to empower more Vietnamese.
Said Kelly: “We’re looking for really good ideas, really good people who can execute those ideas, and a market in which the idea and the people can grow and flourish. What we’re providing outside of financial capital is our experience, a different perspective and mentoring.” Read the recap article.
5. Episode 13 with James Vuong, founder and CEO at Infina.vn
According to James, the prospect of making investment decisions scares the young. Many see the traditional multi-step process as obscure and are put off by the perceived complexities associated with it. With platforms like Infina providing clarity and guidance, people can easily invest in assets like property. His general advice to those overseas? Now more than ever is the time to be in Vietnam. Join a startup. In fact, create your own! Read the recap article.
6. Episode 34 with Bryan Lee, country manager of Glints Vietnam
Glints is not just a recruitment company, Bryan clarified. It’s not just an agency where professionals and new graduates search for job opportunities or a website where people visit only for career discovery. By the end of this year or early 2022, Glints is launching its Community and Expert Class platforms, which will help people understand the kind of organizations they aim to work for and the skill sets they need to accelerate their careers. Read the recap article. Read the recap article.
7. Episode 27 with Dzung Dang, co-founder of Nano Technologies
Nano’s flagship product, Vui (meaning joy in Vietnamese), was designed as a personal finance tool for low-income, unbanked workers living paycheck-to-paycheck. In Vietnam, monthly payroll is the default arrangement and is rarely questioned. Yet, it has considerable downsides, such as forcing employees desperate for cash into the hands of loan sharks. If more companies embraced on-demand wages, the problem would be less acute, reasoned Dzung. Read the recap article.
8. Episode 35 with Soames Hines, CEO of Ogilvy Group in Vietnam
In January 2020, Soames became the CEO of Ogilvy Vietnam, where he pours all his passion for building culture and capability, as well as pioneer thought leadership on Brands in Culture and Modern RAD Creativity. “Vietnam has a big runway for growth, probably better than any other market. And the work ethics here, of the Vietnamese, is stronger. The entrepreneurial spirit and the talent base is huge.” Read the recap article.
9. Episode 14 with Bruce Delteil, managing partner at McKinsey & Company Vietnam
McKinsey & Company is one of the world’s leading and most trusted advisors that helps the most influential organizations embrace the digital era's opportunities and challenges. Leading McKinsey’s work on merger management in Southeast Asia, Bruce’s main role is to introduce and emphasize the importance of digital ecosystems to business leaders and investors. Read the recap article.
10. Episode 9 with Spencer Ton, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation director at Fulbright University Vietnam
According to Spencer, many people associate entrepreneurship and innovation when they think of Vietnam. “This means that our job is to invest in the depth of these areas. People come to Fulbright with ideas, but there hasn't been a place to house or pilot those ideas until the creation of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a disruptive innovation lab,” Spencer said. Read the recap article.