With Vietnam’s economic renaissance, it’s just logical for specialist professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters to set up shop in Ho Chi Minh City, focusing on accounting, banking and financial services, human resources, and sales and marketing. Rupali Edekar, country manager for Vietnam, swaps e-mails with Rex Aguado.
When was this office opened?
Robert Walters’ Vietnam office received its 100 per cent foreign invested certificate in November 2010, followed by its operating licence in May 2011.
How big will the headcount be?
We currently have a team of six staff focusing primarily on the sales and marketing and finance functions.
Who will be the key senior employees?
I will be spearheading the Vietnam office. I was tasked to lead the due diligence and market feasibility research for a Robert Walters’ office in Ho Chi Minh City. I was appointed country manager in January 2011.
I arrived in Vietnam in 2006 and have over four years’ experience in recruiting in Vietnam, specialising in media placements as well as sales and marketing and finance roles. Prior to joining Robert Walters, I worked in various international markets – Australia, Denmark, India and the United Kingdom, before moving to Vietnam.
What will be the Vietnam office’s coverage, both in terms of geographical areas and business sectors?
The Vietnam office will specialise in permanent placements in Ho Chi Minh City focusing on the sales and marketing, finance and accounting, banking and human resources functions.
What’s the relationship with your other offices in the region?
Most of the businesses in Vietnam report to Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand, and we can leverage off these relationships we have built over the years to make Vietnam a successful business.
Why was there a need to open this office?
Most of the organisations we work with either already have an office in Vietnam or have plans to open branches there. Taking into account this need, we decided to enter the Vietnam market.
Is the market mature enough for a professional head-hunting business?
We believe that the Vietnam market has potential to develop further and that the demand for our professional services will continue to mature as we help our clients grow. Our services are designed to help job-seeking candidates realise their full potential, as well as deliver best-practice methodologies that our clients can use in selecting the right candidates.
How will you differentiate yourselves from rivals already in Vietnam?
Most of the local operations lack the years of experience, expertise and strong branding that Robert Walters is able to provide our clients.
We are specialists in our chosen sectors and our consultants are recruited only if they have recruitment experience, professional qualifications or work experience within their specialist areas. As all candidates are shared among consultants, this means that our clients have access to our entire database of candidates.
We have one of the most complete and relevant databases in the market where our information is constantly updated. This not only ensures that any information provided to clients is current, but that we can respond quickly to recruitment assignments.
With an international network of offices, Robert Walters is also able to meet the demands of clients and candidates whose needs extend beyond the local market.
Will your business strategy in Vietnam be the same as in your other offices?
Our strategy in Vietnam will be similar to our other operations whereby we focus on gaining market share within our specialist areas and achieving steady growth.
How about the revenue model?
It will be similar to our other offices.
What opportunities and challenges do you see ahead in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a growing economy and as one of the few international recruitment firms in this market, we see plenty of opportunities for growth, both for the local employment scene as well as for Robert Walters. As with all new entrants to a market, brand awareness and creating a solid reputation in the local industry are initial challenges we will encounter. We are confident that local clients and candidates will notice the difference when they choose Robert Walters.
Any tips for job-seekers in Vietnam?
Robert Walters Vietnam strives to provide the best career opportunities to Vietnamese job seekers both locally and internationally – something that our strong branding can achieve. Our global presence offers a unique blend of professional recruitment and industry expertise tailored to all career aspirations. The middle- to senior-level specialist recruitment spaces within the commerce, finance and sales and marketing sectors are the expected areas of growth.