SMIB study trip to Vietnam


Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) study trip is one of the most anticipated and highlighted as the key core course in the program. My heart leaps up on the way to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. This tropical monsoon city with its oldest culture in Southeast Asia has a long history as the capital of French protectorate and unfortunately has undergone the misery of war. Now Ho Chi Minh City has transformed itself as the fastest-growing economies among ASEAN-6 countries. As ESSEC Asia Pacific lands at the heart of ASEAN, the school has reached its arms to the radius around, enriching this 4 days trip with carefully arranged MNCs and local SMEs visit and networking sessions. 

We started our first day with Airbus, an international pioneer in the aerospace sector with a french root, and it began expanding the business in Vietnam in 1986 since the country opened the door to the world, then Vietnam has become an important customer base for the Airbus commercial aircraft, defence, space and helicopter product lines. The company shared its localised strategy in Aerospace and explained how the group provides its services to VietJet.

In the afternoon, we visited Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat, launched in 2011 by ESSEC alumni Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta. We learned their entrepreneurial adventure and the care of the land, each bar tells its story about soil and season, and we can definitely taste their devotion to this sustainability cacao plantation.

The next day, we visited Mazars, a globally integrated firm that provides audit and advisory advice to the world’s leading organizations. Through Mazars, we got insights in the auditing and consulting market in Vietnam. And at the same time, those who were interested in the healthcare industry, went to visit Ipsen, a global speciality-driven biopharmaceutical group focused on innovation and speciality care. We had the chance to meet our alumni Matthieu Audenet, Strategic Business Planner & Project Manager at Ipsen, he kindly shared his experience in the Vietnamese Healthcare Market and his vision for the future.

With this compact schedule, we managed to score a visit to the French Consulate. The Consulate General, Vincent Floreani hosted us with a warm welcome and shared the mission of the organisation and the importance to France.

In the afternoon we visited Schneider Electric, the company provides energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. Morgan DUARTE, Vice President of the IT Business, explained the company’s expansion in Vietnam and his past 11 years being in Schneider.

Then we had the opportunity to meet an ESSEC Alumni who currently works for Michelin to learn more about the company and the diversity of the business.

The next day, we visited the l’Oréal Headquarters in Vietnam. We had the opportunity to meet the Managing Director and the CDO, Pierre-Olivier GUY, who is also ESSEC alumni. He kindly walked us through l’Oréal’s digital marketing strategies in Asia and the key differences with the other markets. We ended the day at PWC ‘s Managing Partner, Hien Nguyen Luong, he narrated his journey after his graduation from SMIB and shared the vision of the local market. 

Our last night in Vietnam, we had an ESSEC Alumni Networking Event accompanied with French delicacies. It was a fantastic night to get a better understanding of our alumni career journey after graduation and their daily life in Vietnam.

The very last day, we visited Mantu, previously known as Amaris Group. The company has a presence in 55 countries, with an annual turnover of € 450m. The company presented its ecosystem in business, as Amaris Consulting is its flagship brand. The company also shared the opportunities that we could potentially seize in the near future.

Overall, this trip has been extremely rewarding. We met leaders from different industries and learned just how rapid growing within ASEAN. Vietnam is a developing country with a booming economy and opportunities, I can foresee myself to become relevant after my study. Being part of the ESSEC family, I really appreciate this precious chance to get a closer look into the ASEAN market. I will always carry their sage advice as I progress in my career.

SMIB, 2019/2020 Cohort


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