Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong: Leading with a Vision to Encourage Growth in Corporate Finance & Accounting | CEOInsights Vendor
Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong: Leading with a Vision to Encourage Growth in Corporate Finance & Accounting

Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong: Leading with a Vision to Encourage Growth in Corporate Finance & Accounting

Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong,Vice President, Group CFO & Member Of Director Board

Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong

Vice President, Group CFO & Member Of Director Board

The Vietnamese aviation industry has grown rapidly in recent years, and Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong is playing a significant role in its development as the Vice President, Group CFO, & Member of Director Board of Vietjet. With over 27 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the airline. She holds a master’s degree in International Finance & Accounting from Swinburne University (Australia)and a Bachelor of International Economy from Foreign Trade University. Under her leadership, Vietjet has achieved the largest market share in Vietnam and has revolutionized the aviation industry in the Asia Pacific Region. With a focus on cost management, efficient operations, and sustainable development, Vietjet continues to be a pioneer in aviation domestically and globally. Let’s hear more from her.

You have been described as the Finance Queen of Vietjet could you give us a brief account of your professional background and previous experiences? What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?
I have over 27years of leadership experience in finance and accounting at many reputable international corporations in different industries such as the Oil and Gas Industry, Telecommunication Group, Industrial production, and, of course, aviation.

In the role of CFO, I have had to face the challenge of a global economic crisis three times once, in 1997-1998, when the currency crisis in Thailand led to a massive downturn across Asia; then again when a global economic crisis occurred in 2007-2008 and, more recently when Covid-19 impacted the Global Aviation Industry. In those situations, I always gave out the solutions of saving cash burn and restructuring debt and equity raising that the companies I was working for which could and would recover and achieve sustainable growth for a very long time after the crisis.

During the pandemic, I led Vietjet’s efforts with fuel purchasing programs to stabilize fuel costs while successfully negotiating with key suppliers, bankers, and financiers to reduce operation and service costs and prolong payment terms. It was an immense challenge, but I was proud of my team as we achieved our goals and produced results.

Indeed, Vietjet has been one of the few global airlines to achieve positive business results through the pandemic. The airline maintained its core business, succeeded in implementing a fuel hedging strategy, expanded into new and potential business markets, strengthened the company’s financial position through more successful financial investments, and consistently developed financing strategies to diversify the airline’s financing cash flows and optimize related costs. The airline is proud to have protected its employees with no job cuts while still maintaining income throughout the pandemic.

Again, I am extremely proud to contribute and assist the company in adapting to a difficult situation, adjusting to it, and re-allocate the company’s available financial resources effectively.

You possess more than twenty-seven years of experience and have achieved great success what has been your mantra through this successful career?
As a CFO, I believe that leading finance teams during challenging times is my calling. I strive to strengthen the financial position of
the company and guide it through adversity toward success. These moments of difficulty have been the most significant and memorable milestones in my career.

I have been fortunate to work alongside talented CEOs and leaders at Vietjet, navigating through the toughest times and establishing strategies for recovery and sustainable growth post-pandemic. A quote that has always inspired me is, 'Nothing is impossible to a willing heart' by John Heywood. My mantra is to remain firm, courageous, and persistent in the face of obstacles, while also being flexible in order to achieve our goals.

Our commitment to protecting all employees from job cuts so they can maintain an income throughout the pandemic is a source of great pride

In my role as CFO, I lead my team to work towards the company's objectives by assessing the current financial position and developing long-term business plans. Recognizing the importance of cash during the pandemic, I emphasize the need to reduce expenses during a crisis and explore options for long-term loans, bonds, or equity. I also encourage creative thinking to expand our business scope and ensure the company's survival. Investing in talent acquisition, staff development, and succession planning is crucial for long-term growth and instilling confidence in stake holders.

Additionally, I focus on building and developing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system for effective management. This involves not only accounting but also budgeting, forecasting, accounting analysis, and cost control. Numbers provide valuable insights for the Management Board, guiding them toward decisions that contribute to sustainable development.

How would you define Vietjet Air as an organization and what is its current position in the market?
Vietjet is more than just a workplace it feels like a big, extended family. During the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, we stood together and supported each other to overcome this immense challenge. With the guidance of the Board of Management and other teams, we successfully rebuilt the company after the crisis. The motto, 'Never leave anyone behind' reflects our philosophy, and we recognize and appreciate every contribution from our staff, no matter how small. We provide them with growth opportunities within their teams, boosting morale and enhancing employee retention.

As Vietnam's largest airline in terms of market share and one of the fastest-growing carriers in Asia, Vietjet aims to expand its presence globally. It operates a comprehensive flight network within Vietnam and across the Asia Pacific region, connecting Vietnam to India, Australia, Kazakhstan, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and beyond. With one of the newest and most modern fleets in the world, we strive to be an aviation pioneer, both in business and technological development.

Vietjet focuses on cost management and efficient operations to provide customers with cost-saving and flexible fares. We also continuously develop diverse airline services to create more added value for our passengers. Sustainability is another important aspect, and we are working towards achieving net zero greenhouse emissions and ultimately, net negative emissions.

Being a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and holding the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate, Vietjet ensures operational safety.We have received accolades such as being named the 'Best Value Airline of the Year' and one of the 'Top 10 Best Low-cost Airlines',
and most recently'Best Low-Cost Airline Onboard Hospitality for 2023' by Airline Ratings, a renowned airline safety and product rating website. This recognition reaffirms our commitment to aviation safety and customer satisfaction.

As the Group CFO, how do you determine the profitability of an investment of the company?
I am using the conventional approach by analyzing common key ratios such as Return on Investment (ROI), net revenue/net profit, and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and always focusing on longterm cashflow plans through business models with different scenarios. However, my long time experience in this industry has made me to also look at operation KPI and the reserve of human resources. The management team is the one that leads the company, and they need to make sure they are keen, persistent, and have remarkably strong leadership skills because the business world has evolved every day. If they possess skills to determine, and understand new trends and quickly adapt to them, these management teams will be able to attract great talents to devote themselves entirely to the company’s success and to walk the company through the hard times. In my opinion, beside the numbers that speak for themselves, the human factor is extremely important and can be considered equally as important as financial ratios when measuring our success.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?
Since the beginning of my professional career, I worked by my heart and am passionate toward the objectives of the company. During the difficult situation such as a crisis, it needs the courage mentality, and the extraordinary skill to contribute to the company. I understand that employees are the backbones of any company as they are truly the ones to determine the company’s success. Thus, I always spend time listening to my employees’ opinions, or concern, and create the good opportunity for them to develop their own career path. At Vietjet’s finance department, there is an 'opendoor' policy to welcome my finance staff at any time they need.

Second, work recognition is extremely essential, and it is considered a healthy morale booster to motivate my staff to wake up and go to work every single day. My requirement for director-and-above positions is to write a weekly report that summarizes their employees’ contribution and achievement so that I can assess for work recognition, or later a promotion opportunity.

Third, the leadership message, or instruction shall need to be crystal clear and completely communicated to the employees. In addition, as a result oriented finance leader, I always create a clear,logical deadline with detailed procedures for my staff.

Patience is the most important key to generating fruitful outcomes. My belief is, 'no one is great at the beginning'. Each person will have a different personality and a different development time. Thus, my approach is to provide my staff enough time to understand their roles, to adapt and refine their skills, and to deeply understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Madame Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong, Vice President, Group CFO & Member Of Director Board, Vietjet Air
Madame Ho Ngoc is the Vice President, Group CFO and member of Director Board at Vietjet Air. She has over 27 years of leadership experience in corporate finance and accounting fields at many reputable international corporations within various industries such as Oil & Gas, Telecommunication, and Industrial production. She now handles the role of Vietjet’s CFO, Vice President of Finance cum the BOD member. Before that, she works as a CFO of Petro Vietnam group and Vice president of Finance of PV Drilling. As the role of vice president cum CFO, she handles planning, commercial, cost control, treasury management, and successful large financial projects for the sustainable development of the company.

Trending Stories