Could you tell us about your story?
Right after graduating from high school, it was beautiful autumn when I took the flight to Helsinki in 2008 and continued to Lahti by bus, a small city compared to my hometown, Ho Chi Minh City, which has approximately 9 million people. I graduated from Lahti University (LAMK) in 2012 with a major in Business Information Technology. My class had a lot of international students from 10 different nationalities, and we had a lot of fun while studying there. During those years I also learned to speak Finnish at a decent level, but nowadays I’m a bit rusty already for not having been using it for a long time.
After graduation from Lahti, I moved to Helsinki and followed the path to become a software developer but it was rough at that time. In 2015, as the environment for startups blossomed in Helsinki, I became an entrepreneur and established my own food delivery service (Deli Piste) with my wife. We cooperated with 12 local restaurants and our office was in Aalto Startup Center in Ruoholahti.
It was a great experience to have your own startup in Helsinki where we got to attend Slush event pitching to investors for funding and got many connections from there. Furthermore, we got to meet with Wolt team since the beginning to offer our partnership but unfortunately, we didn’t reach a deal later.
In 2017, with tough competition from Wolt and Foodora, I couldn’t continue our food delivery service but with the help from Finnvera, we switched to a new business which is to import Vietnamese coffee to Finland and introduced Vietnamese coffee culture via a coffee shop in Töölö, near Helsinki Stadium. The cafeteria was running well for about a year before we decided to sell our business and came back to Vietnam at the beginning of 2018.
When I was first back to Ho Chi Minh City, I found a job in a Swedish outsourcing company to start my career as a product manager with experience gained during those entrepreneurial years. Lately, in 2019, I met Tuukka Kaltiainen, an old friend from Lahti, from whom I’ve got to know about Oivan (IWA at that time) and I joined the company not long after that. The Vietnam team was small at that time, with just 7 employees, but I immediately liked Oivan and the company culture. As a result, I became the project manager with my projects in the Middle East.
You work as a project manager at Oivan; what are the most critical skills you need?
Currently, I am working on a big project together with other project managers to oversee multiple teams consisting of tens of people. Furthermore, the customer is very demanding and abroad so you must be very open-minded and have excellent communication skills. I consider project manager must act as the bridge between the customer and the development team. Multi-tasking capability and problem-solving skillset also take a great part in my career.
You have seen our office grow from 7 people to almost 60, how do you feel about it?
That is true. Looking back now, I’m very proud of the team and the work we have done here for the customer. The great contribution and attitude of the team play a crucial role in gaining trust from customers and creating real value in their daily lives overseas. We have a great team here as well as many team members from our other offices in Finland, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia.
How do you feel about working at Oivan?
As I used to live and work in Finland for a decade, I truly love the Finnish working culture. Working in Oivan brings me back to old memories when I was working in Finland, where employees are ensured to receive real Nordic values. I mostly feel relaxed about the flexible working hours and remote work opportunities that Oivan offers.
It makes a big difference from those other companies in the same local market where they apply very strict working culture, from which quite many of our employees had bad experiences about that.
How do you spend your free time?
I’d like to spend free time with my family now since I have a small kid recently. Typically, we would go out to some nice cafeterias or restaurants and enjoy our time together. Reading is also another hobby with some classic novels.
Would you recommend Oivan as a workplace, and why?
Yes definitely. Having been working here a bit more than three years, I have already used my own network to refer some new talents to Oivan and they are very happy and still working in Oivan until now.
Are you interested to join us? Check out our open positions below.