Google, now a part of tech giant Alphabet, is interested in the Vietnamese startup scene and will probably launch further support for the country, shared Google CEO Sundar Pichai during his short trip to Vietnam on December 22.
His talk with local tech startups and ecosystem activists was hosted at Toong Co-working space in Hanoi Tuesday afternoon, when Pichai had some private time with Vietnam’s tech major FPT Corporation.
A quick sharing after the event by Tran Huu Duc, director of FPT’s investment vehicle FPT Ventures, shows that Google has the same initiatives for the Vietnamese markets as it designed for India and China to support local startups. In addition, the US tech giant plans to launch Google Labs in Vietnam.
Pichai also met Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Tuesday to discuss Google’s new approach in the country. The government news portal cited PM Dung that Vietnam was a promising target market for Google because of its young tech-savvy population.
Additionally, ICT is an encouraged sector in the country, which is integrating more deeply into the world with a spate of bilateral and multilateral partnership.
Pichai said Google will initiate a programme to train 1,400 Vietnamese IT engineers and help Vietnamese small companies approach international markets through e-commerce.
“We are always looking for how we can tap more into the startup community in a given region, and we would love to do more in Vietnam,” the CEO said.
Google has been investing outside of the Silicon Valley. In the last year, for example, it capitalised and invested in three companies in India. “As the world becomes more global, and Asia is doing really well, we want to follow those markets and opportunities,” he explained
During the talk at Toong, he said that an earlier chat with Nguyen Ha Dong, who created the Flappy Bird phenomenon, made him realise Vietnam already has an Internet economy.
The population of nearly 100 million people has made Vietnam one of the biggest countries in terms of Internet connectivity, as Pichai asserted. “It will easily be in the top 10 countries for many companies and people who are building products. I think you’re in the process of that transition. When I come here, see the energy, the optimism, the culture of entrepreneurs and the potentials of the market, I think all the right ingredients are there,” he noted.
Addressing the story of global expansion, Pichai believed Vietnamese startups can build products that work in Vietnam and several SEA countries and scale up globally from that. He added: “The transition is under way, just give it a bit more patience.”
Do Son Duong, founder of collaborative working space Toong, commented that it was a good sign that Google is keen on the Vietnamese startup landscape. “On top of that, Pichai’s visit followed Google’s vice president Mike Cassidy just a month ago. I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Duong said.
The visit particularly reinforced some projects that Google has brought to Vietnam. In terms of motivational events, Startup Grind, a fireside chat event powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, and Google Business Group have been available in this Southeast Asian market.
On the tech side, startups have had access to typical platforms such as Google Launch Pad and Google Cloud Platform.