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Vietjet, NutiFood CEOs make list of Asia’s Power Businesswomen
Posted: Oct 08,2019
Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (left) and NutiFood CEO Tran Thi Le.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of the Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet Air, and Tran Thi Le, CEO of NutiFood, were named on Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list this year, which highlights 25 women with significant roles in shaping Asia’s business landscape in the next few decades.

According to Forbes, Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is the only woman to start and run her own major commercial airline. She has made history in this traditionally male-dominated business.

Thao’s airline which was founded in 2007 is now bigger than the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in terms of passengers carried.

She is currently Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire with a net worth of US$2.5 billion and is the wealthiest self-made woman in Southeast Asia, Forbes said.

Tran Thi Le, CEO of NutiFood, also made the list of Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen this year. Le and her husband Tran Thanh Hai have turned NutiFood into Vietnam’s leading dairy nutrition products producer.

The company reported sales of VND9.5 trillion (US$408 million) and a pretax profit of VND828 billion (US$35.6 million) last year. NutiFood now has four factories in Vietnam that produce dairy products for baby formula and health supplements.

Le and her husband, who is chairman of NutiFood, aim to expand the company beyond Vietnam by investing overseas through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

The Forbes list also includes Singaporean Managing Partner of GGV Capital Jenny Lee; Chinese CEO of ZhenFund Anna Fang; Indonesian President Director of XL Axiata, Dian Siswarini; and others.

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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