Several weeks ago, e27 caught up with founder of Action.vn, Ngan Le Huynh Kim (also known as Ngan Sau) and one of her closest friends, Thao Le to chat about the latest updates of startup communities in one of the most populous Asian country with nearly 100 million citizens – Vietnam.
Beside manufacturing and high-tech industries, information technology and high-tech industries have been playing larger and fast-growing part of the national economy. British HSBC’s January report predicted that by having 5 percent growth per year, the country’s 2050 GDP will reach US$451 billion and even surpass Singapore.
Following up on earlier conversations, we ask Thao to share with us more on her startup, Hello3DWorld, a web-based service that brings real world into cyberspace.
Please share to our readers on how Hello3World came about.
It started in October three years ago while having a cup of coffee at my favourite hangout. I looked at the real world through the glass windows and questioned why our life is looked in 3D but became flat when transferred to all media such as television, news paper, mobile phones, computers, etc are just be flat.
At that time, the word “3D” was not as popular as today. Plus, the movie “Avatar” was yet to be released. After finishing my coffee, I went to several mobile shops and discovered through one of the shop owners that out of 100 customers, 50-60 percent will buy some products. I was surprised about the statistics. I mentioned that there were thousands of potential buyers visiting online stores each day but conversion rates to actual purchases were still small. So if there was a service on the internet that allowed one to meet your customers as in the real world, will there be any interest to join?
His response was positive. I started researching and building on this product throughout the year. In 2009, I have successfully gathered three professors on programming, 3D animation and 3D artist from famous companies in the nation and officially launched our site on 05 May 2010.
You said that it is a bootstrapped company and actively looking for local and foreign investors. How do you manage current budget and the future injections?
We use the money to do marketing and setup a new office to add more human resources in sales and tech departments. Moreover, we need budgets to do more Research and Development activities to improve our current product. Building a branch in Silicon Valley in USA is one of my dreams and hopefully it will come true some day.
How is your product going and what the situation now?
After launching the site, we have developed around 10,000 products and hundreds of showrooms in 3D format. Big distributors of well known brands such as Sony, Samsung, Acer, Brother, Nokia, BWL, Manhattan and big local players Binh Dien, Lioa, Caesar, Inax are in our portfolio.
We just launched the new version after receiving feedbacks from current customers on how to enhance the product.
Could you share to our readers what are the exciting developments that will be in place soon?
For this year, having more platforms to support is our biggest development plan. This is in order to make customers be able to explore and utilize 3D world through their popular devices such as desktop, laptops, smart phone and of course PC tablet.
Furthermore, we are going to develop additional features to support online payments. And in July next year, we are keen to support multi-users environments so the 3D world becomes more active and gets increasingly closer to the real world.
What are the obstacles you experience in the industry and how would you overcome that?
Two major things we currently face are market and customers education. We have to educate both entities continuously since this service is novel. It will take some time convince them the benefits of using our platform.