Jan 30, 2024
Investing in the Future
Breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches, and a varied cuisine—from a tourist perspective, Vietnam is definitely worth a visit. But the location that Pepperl+Fuchs moved to in 2007 is also very important for the Mannheim-based company. A new building is now expanding the branch there and is not only setting new technical standards, but also positioning Pepperl+Fuchs as a top employer in Vietnam.
Looking at its outline from a bird’s eye view, with a little imagination you can see why the locals refer to Vietnam as a "bamboo pole with two rice bowls". While the narrowest point of the Southeast Asian country measures only 40 km, the landscape opens up to lush and fertile river deltas in both the north and south: the Red River Delta around the capital Hanoi in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south. On its edge lies the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. As the former capital, the former Saigon is now considered the economic center of the country located on the South China Sea. The rapidly growing city with around 9 million inhabitants has been shaped by French and American influences throughout its history. It is therefore not surprising that Ho Chi Minh City reflects both modernity and tradition.
Vietnam is home to the largest cave in the world - the Sơn-Đoòng Cave. It is actually a complete cave system with around 150 individual caves.
Rice plays a major role in the lives of the Vietnamese, both for export and as a staple food. In Vietnamese, there is a word that means "food" and "rice" at the same time.
The most popular means of transportation is the moped. An estimated 45 million of them rattle through the country.
The dragon and the turtle are sacred in Vietnam. Both animals are firmly anchored in both culture and architecture as symbols of good luck.
Young Country with Big Ambitions
Vietnam is pursuing ambitious economic goals: The country aims to achieve high-income country status by 2045. The export economy plays an important role in this. After Brazil, Vietnam is the world's largest producer of coffee, which is exported to more than 80 countries, including the USA, Japan, and Germany. The country also ranks second globally in rice exports. In addition, Vietnam's electronics industry is developing into arguably the country's most important sector. The demand for smartphones, computers, and their components is not only increasing the export of these goods, but also the interest of world-renowned companies to either expand or build completely new production facilities. According to forecasts, chips, semiconductors and, increasingly, the automotive industry will be other future markets for the country.
This impressive development also presents Vietnam with challenges: In order to reduce logistics and transportation costs, the country's infrastructure needs to be further expanded. At the same time, the country needs measures to counteract air and water pollution, as rapid industrialization often has an impact on the environment. And although the country has a young and dynamic working population—the average age of the population is just 32—there is a shortage of qualified specialists.
Pepperl+Fuchs sees factors that may deter other medium-sized companies from investing here as a challenge. Although the young age poses the risk of a shortage of skilled workers, the current workforce of around 850 employees is eager to learn and highly motivated. To ensure the qualification of young specialists, Pepperl+Fuchs regularly offers apprenticeships in cooperation with the German chamber of foreign trade in Vietnam. For example, two apprentices are currently being trained in logistics every year.
The site itself allows for cost-effective production with a high level of vertical integration. In addition to photoelectric and inductive sensors, camera systems and rotary encoders are currently produced there. Further new hires are planned for the coming years in order to expand and extend the existing production lines.
Success Begins at the End of the Comfort Zone
Pepperl+Fuchs laid the foundation stone for a new branch in Vietnam back in 2019. The 15-year-old building has now been expanded to include a new five-story state-of-the-art building in Ho Chi Minh City. However, before this project could celebrate its opening, both the 20,000 square meter building itself and the employees had to overcome a number of hurdles.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, work had to be interrupted for six months in spring 2020 shortly after completion of the foundations. A hard lockdown in Vietnam in 2021 delayed the construction work by another four months. The next challenge awaited immediately after completion. As the older building was also to be renovated and brought up to date, it had to be cleared in the shortest possible time and a complete relocation had to be managed within four weeks—while operations had to continue in parallel without disruption. CEO Dr. Gunther Kegel is impressed by the commitment of the employees in Vietnam: "Our Pepperl+Fuchs staff in Vietnam have already proven many times that they are willing to leave their comfort zone and contribute to the global success of Pepperl+Fuchs."
Our Pepperl+Fuchs staff in Vietnam has already proven many times that they are willing to leave their comfort zone and contribute to the global success of Pepperl+Fuchs
Traditionally and Ceremoniously Inaugurated
On March 10, 2023, the time had finally come. The past, enormous efforts and endeavors were duly celebrated and honored with an impressive ceremony. 100 invited guests, including employees and business partners, were invited to the inauguration ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City at 10 am. The number 10 was no coincidence; according to the lunar calendar, it is the best choice for wishing success to important projects. The "Lion Dance" was also very much in the spirit of Asian tradition. Banners with wishes for good luck and growth were handed over to the two partners Monika Müller-Michael and Michael Fuchs and unfurled by the guests of honor.
Employees Always in Focus
"When it comes to attracting and retaining new employees, our efforts are already making themselves felt. Our guests from business and politics also agreed that we are setting new standards with this building and are one of the top employers in Vietnam," says Han-Thanh Hong, Managing Director of the Vietnamese branch, drawing a positive conclusion. The new building not only sets new technical standards but is also an impressive sign of investment in the future and in Vietnam as a business location.
With the new building, we are setting new standards and are one of the top employers in Vietnam.
With a new workplace concept for the offices, a modern canteen as well as a fitness and play area, the focus has always been on the well-being of the employees. The "HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia" award presented in August also shows that this focus is paying off. HR Asia, one of the leading magazines for human resource management in the Asia-Pacific region, presents this prestigious award every year to companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to their employees, an outstanding workplace culture and excellent HR practices.
With a pleasant working environment and the modern new building, Pepperl+Fuchs has not only established itself as a top employer in the region, but has also created sufficient space for the planned growth of the site in Vietnam.