Billionaires scramble for $5 billion drug market
VietNamNet Bridge - Following the path of Pham Nhat Vuong, the first Vietnamese dollar billionaire recognized by Forbes, and Nguyen Duc Tai, who owns the biggest mobile phone retail chain in Vietnam, Truong Gia Binh, the owner of the Vietnamese largest IT corporation, has jumped into the drug distribution market.


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President of FPT Group Truong Gia Binh



The draft documents for the 2019 shareholders’ meeting released by FPT Retail (FRT), a subsidiary of FPT Group, were noteworthy. The retail company belonging to the powerful group of the tycoon who was the No 1 position in the 2006 list of the richest stock billionaires is attempting to conquer the drug retail market.

In 2019, FPT Retail plans to expand the Long Chau drug retail chain, which it has taken over, to 70 stores. It hopes that it can acquire 30 percent of the store drug retail market share within three to five years. By that time, drug distribution would make up 40 percent of FPT Retail’s revenue, or VND10 trillion.

FPT Retail is not the first business which can see the great potential of the drug retail market. Prior to that, dollar billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong and the ‘retail King’ Nguyen Duc Tai, entered the business field.

In late 2018, Vuong’s Vingroup officially joined the drug retail market with the launch of over 10 VinFa drug stores. The big advantage of VinFas is that they are located next to VinMart+, the convenience stores owned by Vingroup.

FPT Retail is not the first business which can see the great potential of the drug retail market. Prior to that, dollar billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong and the ‘retail King’ Nguyen Duc Tai, entered the business field.

Before that, The Gioi Di Dong, Tai’s mobile phone retail chain also poured money into the business field with An Khang drug store brand.

Analysts predicted that drug distribution would continue to see high growth rates in the upcoming years and long term. Vietnam has a young population and low spending on medicine per capita, which is just 20-50 percent of other regional countries.

The drug market is estimated to have  value of $5 billion and the figure will increase rapidly because people’s incomes have improved and the demand is on the rise.

Both MWG of Nguyen Duc Tai and FPT Retail of Truong Giang Binh chose choose drug distribution as the new driving force as the mobile phone and household-use appliance markets have shown signs of saturation.

At the 2018 shareholders’ meeting, FPT Retail’s managers said that the company would stop the trial period and begin accelerating drug retail.

Meanwhile, with powerful financial capability, Vingroup has made a heavy investment in the pharmacy industry with the VinFa drug R&D center in Gia Binh district in Bac Ninh province, capitalized at VND2.2 trillion.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, owned by Doan Nguyen Duc, a well known businessman, has revealed that it plans to grow medicinal herbs on 5,000 hectares after receiving investments from Thaco, an automobile manufacturer.


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Kim Chi

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