Japan has benefited greatly from the innovation and value creation of entrepreneurship, yet has a culture that is highly resistant against, if not openly hostile to start-ups. The unwelcoming culture, not to mention its economic downturn in recent years, has hindered the growth of local start-ups in the Land of the Rising Sun. However, some young Vietnamese businessmen are fighting these challenges.

Japanese prefer to work at well-known giants since they prefer a stable life. So do intellectuals and businessmen to the country. However, the story is a bit different with Nguyen Tuan Anh. With the motto “Opportunities arise from challenges”, he now has his own business in Japan.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nal Japan, Inc said he thinks many Vietnamese youngsters living and studying in Japan have a desire for success.

“Personally I think that if we have to work, why not go big? With that perspective, I quit my second job after six years working in Japan to run my own business,” said Nguyen Tuan Anh.

With long-term strategies and all-out efforts, Tuan Anh and his colleagues opened up Nal Vietnam in 2013 and then Nal Japan one year later. Four years of striving has brought him some achievements as his firm now has six member companies and offices in two Japanese economic hubs and three Vietnamese cities.

However, he still dreams of supporting Vietnamese start-ups in Japan. That’s how the idea of an incubation centre formed.

Tuan Anh started in Vietnam in 2013, the golden time of economic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

“So the time was right for me,” he said, adding that “the problems to be solved now are how to gather excellent people who want to do business and how to address their own issues.”

According to Ta Viet Phuong, Co-founder of Career Sharing, “IT is a promising sector. Many Vietnamese firms have been providing IT outsourcing services for Japan. I think there will be more opportunities in different fields in the long term.”

Some start-up dreams have been gradually realised, some have just been nurtured, like Mai Hoai Giang’s one. After nine years working for two large firms in Japan, the young lady decided to chase her own dream of linking the two cultures. With Vietnamese cyclos taking visitors for a city tour in Japan in a very Vietnamese way, her own brainchild, RAROMA, has step by step made its name in the country. Cyclo Limousine is among many other projects with Vietnamese culture being carried out by Giang’s firm.

Mai Hoai Giang, Chief Executive Officer of RAROMA said “My idea of bringing cyclos to Japan was triggered as I saw Vietnamese stuff and services here in Japan but not cyclos. I grew up in Hue city, where I saw cyclos everywhere. So I wanted to promote these vehicles in Japan.”

Tuan Anh and Hoai Giang’s success is driven by talent, courage, persistence and innovation. With these elements, many Vietnamese overseas have written their own stories abroad.-VNA