Global Expansion: A Singapore company’s journey into Vietnam, Blitz IT Consultants

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has supported many local enterprises in their internationalisation journey, particularly within the dynamic Southeast Asia region. This strategic pursuit predominantly extends to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, where most Singapore companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises have established their businesses in. 

Introducing Blitz

Today, Blitz IT Consultants (Blitz) is synonymous with its expertise in SWIFT-related services and digital solutions, designed to manage supply chain finance transactions, and provide single-source data services for its clients’ financial regulatory reporting. With a footprint extending across ten countries and serving over a hundred clients, Blitz has carved a niche for itself in delivering SWIFT-related solutions with an exceptional track record, enjoying the trust of numerous banks as their preferred IT consultancy group.

Established in 1998, Blitz, specialises in integration, maintenance, and management of SWIFT solutions, positioned itself as an early entrant into the Vietnamese market, capitalising on the strategic location of Vietnam as crucial reseller of IT services and consultancy across Southeast Asia as evident potential for expansion.

The year 2005 marked a significant turning point when Blitz recognised the burgeoning opportunities within Vietnam’s financial services sector, fuelled by a substantial influx of foreign investments and a corresponding surge in digital payment services.

Insights into Vietnam Landscape

Vietnam’s pro-business government policies played a pivotal role in facilitating Blitz’s successful entry into the Vietnamese market. Leveraging this strategic advantage, Blitz offered customised solutions tailored specifically to the Vietnamese landscape, forging robust partnerships with the local government to actively contribute to Vietnam’s economic growth trajectory. In addition to their consulting services, Blitz also extends training and consultancy programmes to guide businesses in their digital transformation and technology adoption journeys.

As a trailblazing pioneer, Blitz’s early entry into Vietnam paved the way for strategic global partnerships within the nation, solidifying their reputation as a trusted business entity with a strong presence. Beyond this, the company capitalised on Vietnam’s youthful and dynamic workforce, known for its capabilities and cost-effectiveness, which significantly bolstered Blitz’s growth and investments. This strategic foothold in Vietnam served as a gateway for Blitz to extend its operations into the broader Indochina market, including Laos and Myanmar.

SBF Country Head for Vietnam Amy Wee said, “Vietnam offers Singapore companies opportunities for collaborations, especially in education, healthcare, manufacturing, and general trades including food distribution. Singapore companies can look at providing training and upskilling in the Vietnamese provinces for manufacturing within industrial parks. Also, the digital and green/sustainable industries are important emerging sectors in Vietnam to support and augment its economic and social growth.”

For companies which intend to venture into Vietnam, Amy advised, “I would encourage them to spend more time on the ground to nurture relationships. There is no short cut! It is important to understand that who you send as your company representative (business development personnel) holds great importance to building or decapitalising your business growth potential. The person you send as your rep, can either make or break relations.”

She also added, “There are 2 main areas that businesses should look out for – laws and regulations, and human resource matters. Businesses should engage qualified lawyers to vet their documents. They should also engage professional human resource personnel to help them understand the rules of employment in Vietnam, and the required benefits that need to be given to Vietnamese employees. It is also equally crucial for companies to start right by engaging the right vendors to provide useful advice such as one who may be able help you overcome the challenges that you may face not just now but also in the future.”

How does GlobalConnect@SBF help companies?

For businesses seeking international expansion beyond Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation’s “GlobalConnect@SBF” programme, which is a joint initiative with Enterprise Singapore, offers comprehensive support. This includes market advisory services, facilitating partnerships with in-market counterparts, and on-the-ground assistance through collaboration with law firms and corporate secretariat services.

To bolster enterprises venturing into Southeast Asia, SBF has strategically established three Singapore Enterprise Centers (SECs) in Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. Located in prime business districts, these SECs, led by SBF’s Country Heads and local market advisors, provide spaces for meetings and workspaces to Singaporean companies.

SBF also arranges overseas exploratory trips, notably overseas market workshops (OMWs), enabling Singaporean businesses to engage with government officials, industry leaders, and potential partners abroad. OMWs have proven highly beneficial, offering exposure to best practices, and fostering innovative ideas and collaborations through site visits, networking sessions, and an enhanced understanding of foreign business cultures, consumer behaviour, and emerging market opportunities.

Blitz, as a partner of SBF, has participated in these workshops and shared their experiences with other Singapore companies. 

Since the launch of the GlobalConnect@SBF programme in 2019, SBF has provided more than 800 advisories and facilitated 48 successful projects by 36 companies into Vietnam.

Blitz in Vietnam

Mr Chia Han Meng, CEO of Blitz, shares some advice with fellow Singapore business leaders: “For those considering venturing into Vietnam, I recommend conducting thorough research on the country’s legal framework, the market you will be in and be particularly mindful of local business practices. Utilise effective platforms such as SBF and SCCV to establish an early foothold. Show respect for the culture and the local way of doing things; approach the endeavour with humility and patience. If other Singaporean businesses can thrive in Vietnam, there’s no reason you can’t, provided you are willing to adapt to the local system.”

Blitz’s Team Outing & Corporate Event

For enquiries regarding SBF’s GlobalConnect programme, please contact us via email at [email protected].