Having lived and worked in Vietnam for the last 7 years, I have a deep understanding of the Vietnam market. This is also where I have built up Wonderlabs.vn, a leading service provider of tech talent.
About half of the population in Vietnam still work in agriculture, and it is a communist country but capitalism is pretty much everywhere. It has averaged a 6.3% GDP growth rate between 2001 to 2018. So that’s very impressive. And over 40 million people have escaped poverty through this economic growth. The children of many of these 40 million have now joined the technology industry. As a result of massive government investment in education in technology, Vietnam has perhaps 2 times as much tech talent (on a per capita basis) as Indonesia. And a greater availability of senior talents who have been in the “professional service export” industry for up to 10 years.
A fact many people do not know, is that Atlassian, the Australian-founded company built up a team of a few hundred Vietnamese engineers. Their software developers in Vietnam essentially built a world-class product that IPO-ed on NASDAQ.
Since 1990, when the government began opening the economy, Vietnam has been the second-fastest-growing economy in the world behind China. In this country of 92 million people, half are under age 30 and many are trained in some form of engineering or software development. Vietnam scores very well on PISA test scores for math and science, compared with the rest of developing countries in Southeast Asia. And the universities graduate about 100,000 engineers per year.
Vietnam also has a global diaspora community of more than 4 million people. So it’s a country that has been exposed to the world. Many Vietnamese youth probably know someone who has gone to the US, Australia, Canada and it’s his or her dream to follow in that direction. So when you set up a team of software developers in Vietnam, our idealistic mission is to be part of that journey, in helping to connect tech talent in Vietnam to success and opportunity.
Regulations have improved substantially since the 1980s, but there’s still a long way to go. It can be difficult for foreigners to start a company here. And the red tape would probably drive anyone insane. I know it because I had to deal with all these problems when I first got here!
Here’s an example, a company registration technically is supposed to take 15 days, but typically it takes two-plus months to complete the process. And the paperwork required to prove compliance can be quite difficult. But that’s our value at Wonderlabs.vn - we handle all the regulatory issues, from hiring, contracting, paying taxes and so on. You get straight to working with your team. Think of us as your HR and Administrative arm in Vietnam.
PS: This is an opinion piece by Joe Low, Co-founder of Wonderlabs Vietnam. Wonderlabs is the leading service provider helping companies build and manage software development teams in Indonesia and Vietnam. Across our various shared and dedicated centers, we have over 350+ active software developers. Since our founding in 2015, we have grown rapidly through innovation and our relentless mission focus - Connecting you to success and productivity. Alumni of Wonderlabs have gone on to work at some of the biggest companies in Southeast Asia.