If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Perhaps a radiant smile is what appears in SnB’s employees’ minds whenever they hear the name Pham Tan Dat. The Merries’ Budget Unit Director’s – also Ho Chi Minh Branch Director’s – optimism and positive energy always motivate the office to strive for the best, each employee working in perfect harmony with others.
Pham Tan Dat used to be the CEO of P&G before coming to SnB in 2014. At first, he was the Merries’ Budget Unit Director, then Ho Chi Minh Branch Director and now he serves as both of the positions.
When asked for the reasons behind his commitment with SnB, Mr. Dat said:
“First and foremost, the market trend in Southern Vietnam – incredible growth in Mom&Baby industry. Second, this is a fairly young and new industry, which is challenging and exciting at the same time. Last but not least, my family. At the time, my oldest child was 3 and the youngest was an infant, so I wanted to buy them high-quality products, which were distributed only by SnB.”
Strategies to Face Challenges
The road to success is always under construction. To Mr. Dat, there are two requirements to overcome all the bumps and cracks on that road.
Necessary condition: experience in product distribution field.
Sufficient condition: empathy and human intelligence when interacting with customers as well as other employees. He stresses that “people are the company’s bestest property”, so they must be treasured and provided with the best working environment. He especially focuses on team-bonding activities in the office.
Recalling the most difficult challenges he has faced, Mr. Dat shares his strategies to overcome those:
The first challenge when joining SnB is that the new system was initially set up for retailing. As a result, distribution and wholesale were really difficult. To resolve this issue, he conducted some research on the systems, cooperated with procurement and IT department to build the distribution network.
After that, he faced huge challenge in setting up new office in Ho Chi Minh City. The recruitment was extremely hard as the hiring and training process had to be carried out at the same time in accordance with the working system. With personal efforts and the assistance from other staff, he steadily sought and come up with the best solutions for the issues at that time. The office in HCM is currently well – developed and harmoniously cooperates with the head office in the North, which contributes to the dramatic increase in the company’s revenue.
The great challenge that he always has to face is the fierce market competition when setting prices. By making his best efforts and with the assistance from the board of directors, and from other divisions as well, he always produce the best solutions raising the brand’s revenue.
Serving as Merries Budget Unit Director but not working at the head office in the North is also a disadvantage for him. Nevertheless, having faith in the managing department helps him delegate the tasks based on the position and responsibilities of each supporting managing member and keep track through the management system. Thanks to these, he could consolidate the domestic Merries brand’s structure.
In addition, he addresses a huge problem which almost all of us have to face: balance between personal and professional life. Speaking from his own experience, he points out three important things to do:
Clearly separate personal and professional life
Get your priorities clear
Don’t let your emotions get the better of you
According to Mr. Dat, if you get those three things right, then professional and family matters will not be the source of your pressure and anxiety, but rather a source of motivation. “A give-and-take relationship is what I’d like to have. I give my subordinates my knowledge and experience, in return, I learn from their passion and creativity. As for my family, I want to improve myself to be a better example for my children.” – Mr. Dat said with a bright smile – “my motto is:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
With a spectacular leadership such as his, the Merries Brand and Ho Chi Minh Office have seen impressive growth over the years.
Merries is widely regarded as a high-quality diapers brand in Viet Nam, claiming the lion’s share in the market with the revenue growth rate constantly at 20-30%/year. Geographical distance is no longer a problem to internal communication.
Ho Chi Minh Office has developed a well-structured organization, increasing efficiency and effectiveness by a considerable amount.
Not only do the employees have a comfortable working environment, but they also participate in various team-bonding activities and events to strengthen their companionship, exactly as Mr. Dat favorite motto: “If you want to go far, go together.”