Pick Up

Making considerable progress cultivating a new market in Vietnam with a list of prospective customers made by an intern

Hagihara Farm Production Institute Co., Ltd.NiKKi Fron Co., Ltd.

企業企業NiKKi Fron Co., Ltd.


インターンインターンDang Phan Binh Minh

Vietnam/Foreign Trade University HCMC/International Economics


Seeking to lay the foundation for new business in Vietnam

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
NiKKi Fron manufactures fluororesin products and automotive clutch facings, and provides products to a variety of industries that include semiconductors, chemicals, healthcare, and automobiles. Previously focused on the Japanese market, our business expanded into Vietnam with the establishment of a sales office there in the summer of 2017. I learned about this internship at a time when our company was looking to get information about Vietnamese companies and acquire expertise in the management of local staff, with the goal of finding good customers in Vietnam. I decided to apply for the program based on the idea that taking on a foreign intern would give us a foothold in cultivating the Vietnamese market and be a good experience doing business together with participants from overseas.



Researching local Vietnamese companies with a deeper understanding of our products' strengths

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
The internship was done in two halves. For the first half, we had our intern experience the company's manufacturing process and learn about things such as a manufacturing company's corporate culture and the strengths of our products. In the second half, we asked him to create a list of prospective customers. He was very good at research, and he studied the most important thing for our finding new customers: local companies. He also compiled information on things we knew little about, among them how trading is done with Vietnam and the country's taxation systems, and he even helped support operations at our Vietnamese office soon after it was established.
With regard to the management of foreign staff, another goal of ours, he facilitated intercultural communication among members of every department. At the same time, there were times when people thought they understood each other but in fact did not, and I experienced the difficulty of communication. Learning firsthand the importance of communicating by using simple words when explaining and confirming things one by one was a valuable takeaway.



The highly-accurate prospective customers list will be a major help in finding customers!

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Ultimately, I had two reports prepared in Japanese. The first report focused on things the intern learned in the manufacturing process and included the strengths of our company and its products, as well as how we should sell ourselves to customers. The report was so well-written that even the company's president and directors praised it, and I was honestly surprised at his powers of comprehension and expression. The second was the list of prospective customers in Vietnam. In addition to basic information about each company, the list included detailed information that included current import information along with the products and even small parts the customer was likely to be interested in. It would allow us to make proposals suited to each customer when we actually visited them. I was amazed by his level of competence, and was impressed by the eagerness and sincerity with which he accomplished so much for us. I believe that what made it possible to make such a list was the production process training that helped him understand our products and his being able to parse information about local Vietnamese companies that was only available in Vietnamese. Our Vietnam office will begin using this list to contact customers right away!



I learned firsthand how advanced Japanese manufacturing technologies are and how dedicated my company was to its quality control and products

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I experienced a lot of "firsts" through this internship. As someone who majored in international economics, working for a Japanese manufacturer was a particularly valuable experience for me. I had heard about how advanced Japanese manufacturing technologies are and the the dedication they bring to their quality control and products, but I was able to experience this firsthand. Outside of work, I fell in love with Nagano. I went with company bosses and coworkers to pick apples, make soba, view Maple leaf foliage in autumn, and I also saw snow. I had never done any of these things before. These valuable experiences will absolutely benefit me in the years to come. In my professional and personal life ahead, I plan to hold always keep that "fight on with perseverance!" mindset I learned in Nagano.



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