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ENHANCING VALUE FORPURE VIETNAMESE DISHES, ABSOLUTELY MEETINGTASTE DEMAND FOR CONSUMERS 

Mekong Sauce Processing Co., Ltd is one of the leading companies in producing and processing sauces and spices. Proactive in international economic integration in 2005, the Company built the factoryin the landareaof more than 20,000 m2 located in DucHoa Ha Commune, DucHoa District, Long An Province. Equipped with modern equipment in combination with state-of-the-art technology to produce clean and safe products in accordance with Ministry of Health’s standards. Over the last 25 years, the brand of Mekong Sauce has become familiar to customers. For more than 15 years, Mekong Saucehas been selected as Vietnamese High Quality Goods and exported to many countries such as Poland, Russia, Australia, Cambodia, USA, Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan,…

Mr. PhanBao Tam, Director of Mekong Sauce Processing Company, recalls the old days. His home is Long Khanh Island that is located between Tien Riverbranch, Hong Ngu District, Dong Thap Provincewithlush fruit trees all year round.The island inter-communeresidents only live on farming and his family does, too. He wastrained and graduated with the major in Pedagogy.After that, he was assigned to a school for teaching and then assumed the position ofPrincipal. After the period of hiseducation management, he wasappointed to be Vice Chairman of CommunePeople's Committee although he wasvery young, just around 26 years old. He said: "It was during this time that I understood the life of residents in my locality.The population continuously increaseswhile the agricultural land is narrowed and the pure farmers face a lot of difficulties for making a living despite considerable national innovation and social development. I think I must do something toget along with the social development momentum but I couldn’tfind out at that time."

ADVENTURE OF AVICECHAIRMAN OF COMMUNE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE

In early 1992, Mr. Tam applied for a leave of absence to go to Ho Chi Minh City for medical treatment, but in fact he sought business opportunities. Coming to Sai Gon, he stayed in his relative man's house and decided to cooperate with the man to produce soy sauce.

His capital at that time was four million Vietnam dong and a Honda motorbikefor startup.He hiredemployees in charge of mixing technology and building soy sauce cooking furnace. Unfortunately, his produced soy sauce, afterbeing bottled,suffered from sedimentation only after three days and was impossible tosell.Previous and following batcheswere allmoldy and suffered from sedimentation, in which reason could not be identified by him and his technician.

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After a year of production, there was no profitandthe capital was about to be exhausted, the future was so dark,thereby his production team broke up, he only had one million Vietnam dong left from the original capital after dividing capital and stunned Honda motorbike. Failing in doing business, wavering between two thoughts "Coming back and Staying on", after considering thoroughly, he decided to stay on although his family and colleagues in the District Committee, People's Committee knew his case andcalled him back to his old position.

He still remembered the questionshis wife asked him: "Can you tell me if you continue to make soy sauce, is it "enough to live?". And he said "Yes".She said "If so, keep your work!"

Then his family and he came toNo. 52 Ngo Si Lien Street, Ward 14, District 8 and rented abandoned house area of 100m2, he re-covered the peeled roof with tar paper for living and cooking soy sauce. His wife opened acorner shop in front for making a living.

Despite failure after a year of direct production, he also learned a lot of valuable experience, with his knowledge and learning through books and friends as chemical engineers, he knewthe reason why his soy sauce product wasmoldy and sedimentary, which helped himsuccessfully overcome the problem.He set up the formula of mixing soy sauce without mold, sediment andwith fragrant anddeliciousquality and protein concentration as required. To achieve this result, he spent almost 18 months on working hard. To gain market share for your brand, he was anowner, worker, marketer and deliverer. Hetested many ways to approach the market in the renewal period of 1993. At that time, he was the first man in the sauce sector of Ho Chi Minh City thathad offered the promotion methods "Buy 10 get 1 free" and "Buy 200 bottles of soy sauceget 1 wall clock free", thereby a lot ofstalls in wholesale markets ordered his product. Becausethe purchase orders were bigger than the product capacity, heemployed more workers, which made the productivity increase several times.

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ESTABLISHMENT OFMEKONG SAUCE BRAND

More and more people were interested in Mekong soy sauce.The finished products were still notenough quantity to meetthe market demand. At the beginning of 1995, an overseas Vietnamese man came to Vietnam forfinding a good source of soy sauceto export to Poland. During a meal at a restaurant,the man used the Mekong sauce, he found it beautiful pattern, fragrant and deliciousquality. The man came to the production base to meet Mr. Tam through the address on the bottle package to makepurchase order for exporting to Poland. Mr. Tam was very happy but he refused and offered the man 3 months later. The man was very surprised about the wayhe did. The man said: "Other soy sauce vendors offered me but Irefused. While I come to order fromyou,yourefuse andoffer me 3 months later?”.

Mr. Tam honestly presented his situation at that time. Hehad only 4 workers, the output of about 1,000 liters per day was only enough for consumption at BinhTay Market and Cau Ong Lanhmarket. He wanted the man to wait three months later in order for him to expand the production base scale and employ more new workers to meet the customer orders. The man sympathized with the owner of asmall productionbase who didbusiness strictly and respected the prestige, therefore,the man agreed to go to contract with Mr. Tam 3 months later.

Then he expanded his base with additional 250 m2 in area toward the river bank to increasethe production scaleand hire more workers.The first shipment to Poland reached 18% of protein concentration with container 20 feet at the middle of 1995. He remembered it very clearlybecause that was the biggest deal he had ever made in his business. It’s a memory that he would never forget, an important turning point in his career.

From 2007 to now, the factory of Mekong Sauce Processing Company has been developing in the multi-sectorialdirection in producing and processing sauces and spices with the following products: soy sauce, fish sauce, chili sauce, noodle sauce,Satay andshrimpSatay, vinegar and fermented rice vinegar. The company has been growing up constantly and owns the brands: Mekong, Chef, Mekomex.img-about3