During the time living in the US before, entrepreneur Nguyen Duc Anh (Andy Nguyen, born in 1987) was in charge of developing the West Coast market for the supercar group - Volkswagen America.
Wind electric and solar electric system on the roof of Vietnam Eco-Solution company (VES) of Andy Nguyen is the first renewable grid-connected energy project in Vietnam
Leave the US for Vietnam to make solar electricity
In 2012, VIETNAM MOTORS INDUSTRY CORPORATION (Vinamotor) cooperated with the car company to start the first agent in Vietnam in HCM, this 8X entrepreneur was assigned to train agents in Vietnam. After serving time for this agent, he plans to return to the US to continue his work. In a meeting with Vinamotor's board of directors, he knew the direction of renewable energy development in Vietnam and felt excited. When Vinamotor sets up its subsidiary, VMGreen (which specializes in implementing EPCs for renewable energy projects), he decided to stay in Vietnam, pouring his pocket money to buy the company.
After several months of business, the company lost money and went to dissolve, Andy Nguyen lost all his money. According to this entrepreneur, this new renewable energy policy doesn’t have enough legal corridors, leaders of company lack experience and knowledge. “It’s almost the lack of market. At that time, solar electricity was thought to be a water heater on the roof. Even no one can believe that solar electricity can be connected.” he said. Having full aware of his lack of knowledge, Andy Nguyen is determined to learn about solar electricity from the beginning. By the end of 2011, he shared his plans with Vinamotor's general manager about a new company. Although he promised to use his own money at the first stage but the partner was depressed, he stood alone to set up the company. VES was born shortly thereafter, pioneering the potential but unprofessional renewable energy market in Vietnam.
Be a leader as a teacher
In March 2012, he constructed the first project in Phu Quoc Island. VES was the general contractor (EPC), carrying out both wind and solar electric projects, lighting systems and storage battery systems. Success from this project helped him to have more contracts with the Vietnam Navy.
After a long time struggling off the coast of Vietnam, Andy Nguyen thought of designing a system for his own company, to prove his effectiveness to the public. By the end of 2012, the first grid-connected solar electric project in Vietnam is a combination of wind and solar electricity on the roof of the VES headquarters.
This entrepreneur shared that at that time, electricity was out of demand (the days off of the office), connected to the national grid for free. The reason is that there was no policy to buy electricity from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and also no two-dimensional meter.
At present VES has only 15 employees, quite small compared to competitors such as Solar Encyclopedia or Vu Phong with a few hundred employees per company. However, each of his staff is a specialist in the field of solar power. There are no less than 8 solar electric companies in HCMC who are former employees of VES.
Andy Nguyen said that when he had just come back to Vietnam, everything was deficient. So he had to build it himself from the beginning, from work processes, market development to employee training. There were no solar-electric engineers, of course. He recruited fresh graduates and trained them from the beginning with the knowledge he learned. “At that time, I was not only the leader but also the teacher.” he remembered. The smallest work such as connecting battery of accumulators he must also did first. At one time, in the first project, Andy Nguyen was hurt by a electric discharging from the junction, his watch was nearly crushed. But so far, his staff has not encountered similar problems since then.
The knowledge he learns is shared among the staff, he even shares them on the personal facebook page and website. For example, the 10 chapters he paid to study at SMA are also shared publicly. This inspiration is partly derived from technology billionaire Elon Musk, owner of the Tesla electric car company in the United States. Elon Musk always wants to promote electric car technology to help solve the problem of global warming. All Tesla patents are publicly available and developed by Toyota, General Motors and Chrysler. “This is good for the community” Andy Nguyen softly explained.
Source : Enternews