From the stunning landscapes of Ha Long Bay to the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City, entrepreneurs play pivotal roles in Vietnam’s ongoing economic transformation, contributing significantly to its rise on the global economic stage. In this article, we delve into Vietnam’s elite circle, where influential figures like Pham Nhat Vuong, Tran Dinh Long, Ho Hung Anh, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, and Nguyen Dang Quang shape the nation’s economic destiny with their visionary leadership and vast fortunes.
Wealthiest People in Vietnam
Pham Nhat Vuong, who studied in Russia and initiated a successful instant noodle venture in Ukraine in the 1990s, now chairs Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate spanning real estate, retail, healthcare, and more. He transformed certain investments into charitable initiatives in healthcare, education, and sports, while also establishing a contemporary art center. Vingroup’s key units include VinFast, an electric vehicle manufacturer, Vinhomes, a property developer, and VinSmart, a producer of smartphones and other devices. In August 2023, Vuong made VinFast public through a Nasdaq SPAC listing, propelling him into the ranks of Asia’s wealthiest. Notably, he became Vietnam’s first USD billionaire on the stock exchange in March 2011, and over time, his assets have steadily grown, earning him a place on Forbes’ list of global billionaires.
Mr. Tran Dinh Long made a comeback in Forbes’ rankings, having last appeared in 2018. As of December 24, 2021, the Chairman of Hoa Phat Group secured the second position in Vietnam’s wealth rankings with a fortune of $3.1 billion, marking an impressive increase of over $800 million from the beginning of the year.
Hoa Phat Group, part of the blue-chip elite dominating the market in the early and mid years, experienced a notable surge in business performance. The company’s stock garnered significant attention, with its share price rising from 31,000 VND to over 55,000 VND in early June, reaching 60,000 VND. This surge contributed to Long’s fortune nearing the $4 billion mark.
Ho Hung Anh, the chairman of Techcombank, a significant commercial bank in Vietnam that underwent an IPO in June 2018, shares a close business partnership with billionaire Nguyen Dang Quang, a fellow alumnus from their time studying in Russia. Ho initially invested in Techcombank in 1995, later taking control alongside Nguyen in 2006. They jointly oversee Masan Group and Techcombank, both prominent listed companies, through their co-owned holding company, Masan JSC. At the start of 2020, Ho’s assets were valued at $1.3 billion, ranking him fourth among Vietnamese billionaires. Despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Forbes reported a notable increase in Ho Hung Anh’s fortune to $2.6 billion, propelling him to the top three among Vietnam’s richest individuals.
In the challenging backdrop of 2021 for the domestic aviation sector, Vietjet Air, under the strategic guidance of Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, achieved remarkable milestones. Despite a 25% decline in net revenue to 2,654 billion VND compared to the previous quarter and a 5.5% drop year-on-year, Vietjet Air reported a record-high gross profit of 559 billion VND in the third quarter. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, who became a millionaire at 21 while studying finance and economics in Moscow, has diversified her business interests, including VietJet and Sovico Holdings, which holds a 90% stake in Ho Chi Minh City’s Dragon City development.
Ranked as the fifth wealthiest individual in Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Dang Quang serves as the Chairman of Masan Group, with Forbes reporting his fortune at $2.2 billion as of December 23. Similar to fellow billionaire Ho Hung Anh, Quang gained recognition as a successful entrepreneur in Eastern Europe, particularly in the chili sauce and instant noodle sectors, before returning to Vietnam. He played a pivotal role in building the empires of Masan and Techcombank. Nguyen Dang Quang is a prominent Vietnamese billionaire known for co-founding and chairing Masan Group, a consumer goods company celebrated for its products such as fish sauce, instant noodles, chili sauce, sausages, and animal feed.