After being in the garment business for over four decades, it’s not surprising to see Nhabe Corporation today being counted among the pioneers in Vietnam. The FOB Division, under the inspiring and able leadership of Michael Laskau, Managing Director, FOB Division, Nhabe Corporation (NBC), scaled extraordinary heights of corporate excellence in the last decade.
When the Apparel Resoures team met Michael at his office in the beautiful NBC complex, he discussed, at length, not only about the rapid growth that the company has made in the last decade, but also underlined the factors that have made the company every brand’s favourite during this time.
This is definitely not an outrageous claim considering some of the esteemed brands they manufacture for, include Pierre Cardin, Tommy Hilfiger, Marks & Spencer, Calvin Klein, American Eagle Outfitters, Next, Mango, Debenhams, Primark, among many others – a good cause of envy for every competitor in the business.
Why wouldn’t any big brand love to be at a place which is a one-stop shop for them! A look at the FOB division of NBC vindicates it. They have been producing tailored clothing, and their wide repertoire of products include blazers, trousers, vests, shirts and jeans for men and women. “Customers can get everything here from innerwear to outerwear and we have a separate division for knitwear as well. However it is structured clothing that has been a good enough business to keep us busy all through the year,” stated Michael.
A look at the sales figures clearly shows the pace at which NBC has been getting business and growing and the pace has been quite impressive ever since Michael started the FOB division back in 2010. NBC as a company has been growing equally as fast. The company had an annual export turnover of US $ 251 million in 2009 and in less than a decade, it grew three-fold and had an astounding turnover of US $ 729 million in 2016 – no mean achievement by any standards. And, it almost reached a whopping US $ 800 million in 2017.
These are not merely sales figures; they define what ‘business enhancement’ is. Business enhancement happens when a company has capacity, reliability and quality and at NBC, they have always ensured that these are part of the system. Michael substantiated the same by saying, “We have a huge capacity, which helps us in delivering every order placed by our customers. And when we deliver, a relationship based on reliability is built among our customers… Also, our quality is nothing short of excellence and that is why we have been associated with all the big brands for so many years.”
He further added that among the five most essential factors that are necessary for business growth, Quality occupies the first three spots, proudly followed by Price and Delivery at fourth and fifth spots, respectively. “Quality consistently brings more customers and more customers bring more volume of business. Hence sales figures keep on surging,” underlined Michael; every word of his reflecting his rich industry experience and wisdom.
Michael has over 40 years of experience in garment manufacturing, retail and design and has been integral, to a great extent, in increasing the strength of NBC factories from 15 in 2010 to 35 in 2018 across 17 locations in Vietnam.
Sales and business too has grown ever since NBC changed the business mode from CM to FOB. NBC offers its customers the ability to buy full FOB packages directly from the factories irrespective of whether the company sources the fabrics and trims on behalf of the customers or buys from its nominated suppliers. The company exports equally – to US (40 per cent) and Europe (40 per cent) – though it has few customers in the US and many more customers in Europe. While Japan and Korea constitute 10 per cent of the market, Australia and some other countries complete the remaining market share.
Capacity, reliability and quality help enhancing record sales and revenue, discipline and aura, which Michael has imported from USA, and these can be seen in the plush showroom at NBC. “When I came to Vietnam, one of the agreements I had with the Chairman was that I wanted to run the company like a Western company. Our one-stop shop now in fact looks as attractive and alluring as any apparel one-stop shop in USA, and fashion brands love to be here,” averred Michael.
Communication is integral to growth and NBC/FOB ensures every person who works in the organization speaks English well. This holds all the more relevance considering Vietnam has been slow in recognising the importance of English, which has stopped many companies from achieving more success than they actually received. “If we can communicate with our customers, they can communicate with us. Over 85 per cent of our employees in the company speak English very well, 5 per cent can speak fairly well and those who cannot speak English deal mostly with the factories. So, our focus on communication is also helping us in our desire to enhance business,” emphasised Michael.
With a clear vision, a plethora of esteemed brands and an absolute focus on reliability and quality, it will be not surprising if the company sets new records in annual turnover by the end of this year. Nhabe has already reaffirmed its leadership position in the domestic and overseas markets and is all set to hold on to the coveted position for the foreseeable future.