Since our establishment, there were not many activities to manage and engage our team members. Thus, in 2006, when Mekong Capital started expanding rapidly, different teams busily worked on what they assumed was their job, often without clearly understanding what results they were accountable to deliver or being held accountable for specific deliverables. Consequently, they started working in silos, and in the end, no one was responsible for the results to be generated.
We then became aware that the root of this problem was not due to a lack of technical knowledge, but was rather a consequence of imperfect internal management and corporate culture. Confronting the fact that Mekong was not headed for success, in December 2007, we engaged on a transformation journey to deliver fully on our potential.
In the early days, there was a lot of resistance within our team. Many employees didn’t understand and didn’t want to be part of it. But as we started to identify what core values were important to us and build our culture around those core values, more and more team members started to take ownership, see the value, and support this transformation.
By 2010, our transformation process was complete. Anyone who wasn’t excited about the new culture had left the company. And new joiners at that time were people who were attracted to the new future and culture that we were building. Therefore, we became a united force who were committed to inspiring and empowering the companies in which we invest to have breakthrough results. This success became the subject of Harvard Business School and London Business School case studies in 2010.
Over the years, Mekong’s vision and core values evolved. Now we have eight core values, which are precisely targeted at what kinds of behaviors lead to results for our team. And we created our own names for these core values, like Communiplete - Communicating in a complete and direct way. Since then, the way that our investment team members interacted with our investee companies had become much more powerful. The performance of our investee companies had improved dramatically.
Along with that, in order to make the cultural transition more familiar to the employees, we actively organize training courses and programs so that new employees can discover the core values for themselves and practice them in their work. In this way. most of our members have been inspired by this culture and actively share their true stories on our Blog.
In 2019, Mekong Capital has been honored among Vietnam’s best companies to work for in Asia - an award honoring companies with a high degree of employee engagement and a good working environment.
Along the way, many of our investee companies were noticing the change that had happened within Mekong Capital and they wanted to do something similar for themselves. Most notably, this started with Mobile World, who quickly transformed their culture over a period of a single year. It started with the strong commitment of the 5 co-founders of Mobile World and cascaded down from there. Mobile World built a culture based on integrity and doing what’s best for customers. And this culture still runs very deep in Mobile World, being embodied by all of its thousands of employees.
When other companies saw how well it was working for Mobile World, more and more companies started to transform their own cultures. These days, all of our investee companies see the value of building a strong corporate culture as the foundation for them to achieve their vision.
Looking forward, we continue to foster extraordinary levels of commitment from our team to embrace the core values and continuously transform ourselves to consistently create value on our journey of reinventing Private Equity. Our commitment to this unique culture enables Mekong Capital to attract and retain capable and talented investment professionals and to be the best and most successful private equity firm in Vietnam.