To attract foreign investors, Vietnam needs to focus on the fundamentals: More access and less restriction in consumer segments, said the CEO, who started his term in Vietnam earlier this year.
In the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, there has been no expansion of trade, which is the retail shop, in the last many years, whereas the population has grown and brands have come in.
Foreign investors are interested in the stability of the Vietnamese financial system, which was almost on the verge of collapse a couple of years ago with non-performing assets of banks at really high levels.
The Vietnamese government should also perfect a policy framework that enables easier investment and easier returns. “I think if Vietnam can do these three things, 6%-7% [economic] growth is nothing actually,” Mr. Misra noted.
Speaking about a large number of Indian CEOs in Vietnam, Mr. Misra stressed executives’ experience in emerging markets. The executive used to work in Singapore and India, mainly in sales and marketing.
“This gave me a very good view of business complexity. It makes sense that when I came here my first reaction was to look at the opportunities and complexity of doing business in Vietnam,” he said.
He stressed the importance of the emerging middle class in Vietnam, which is the driver of FMCG and services. In addition, governments in emerging countries, including Vietnam, try to create policies to achieve growth and better standards for their people. “There are, of courses, challenges, but challenges are the same with opportunities,” he added.
Mr. Misra revealed that Diageo brand, people and community are top priorities for him in Vietnam. “Giving people the right skills, great opportunities and different experiences to develop their leadership is very important,” he said.
Some of Diageo’s critical activities in Vietnam are developing the skills of Vietnamese bartenders through Diageo Reserve World Class, supporting Vietnamese women raise their voice in the community through Plan W, and encouraging responsible drinking through “Drink, Don’t Drive.”
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with a collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. Its notable brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, and Baileys.