Dang Thi Hoang Yen: Success from America to Vietnam

Ms. Dang Thi Hoang Yen (right)

Since 1995 the name Dang Thi Hoang Yen, Chairwoman of Tan Tao Group has become familiar with the Singapore market. A long journey has enhanced Tan Tao Corporation ‘s status when “Canary” ("Hoang Yen" translated into English) traveled to the U.S to continue the development of her business activities.

Ms.Yen graduated from the HCM National Economic University in 1980. People think that economic knowledge gained in that epoch is now behind the times. However, this is not the case with Ms. Yen.

10 years ago, Ms. Yen went to the U.S on a six month business visa to seek for opportunities in the immense U.S market. In the first days she felt just like a vulnerable canary in the middle of s savage jungle and she had difficulty to decide what investments could yield profit.

The first days in the US for Ms. Dang Thi Hoang Yen were long. She was glued to her computer in order to access information on land and property investment online. After a lot of searching, she finally selected five land brokers. Following an exchange of information with the real estate businessmen in the US, she realized that the real business in the US was to be found in the investment of real estate and in housing construction.

Ms. Yen decided to invest all her money into purchasing land in Houston, Texas. Because she had no money for the design and construction of apartments she appealed to the banks. At each bank she received the same response. She was an alien, not eligible to borrow money from the US banks.

Despite feeling down, she decided to tackle the problem. In the US an identity card is used in the authorization process when borrowing money from banks. For that reason, she couldn’t borrow money from the US banks at that time. Nevertheless, the Chairwoman of Tan Tao Group began to set up projects. Without any acquaintance, she asked for a business appointment with the Texas State Authority. After a lot of efforts, she finally met with the right man, a lawyer who promised to help her do what was necessary to start up in Texas.

With the support of the representative of the Texas Authority, she had a chance to present her proposed apartment building construction projects straight to the banks' leaders. After her convincing presentation, leaders of banks agreed to lend to Ms. Yen and expressed that the bank sometimes lent through economic predictions and that all the necessary procedures would be submitted afterwards to comply with the laws.

With her first loan in the US, she hired planners and made construction investments into large apartment buildings in Houston with on-time loan payment commitment. Following success, the banks have continued lending to her greater sums of capital. US Loans thus gave her greater business opportunities. She said anyone living in Vietnam would be unable to understand her difficulties.

Under the management of Chairwoman Dang Thi Hoang Yen, Tan Tao Group has made construction investments into nine industrial parks over the country with the area of thousands of hectares. Tan Tao Corporation has attracted VND 5,309 billion investment capital of domestic businesses and USD 140 million foreign investment. Other major projects include the construction of urban zones, universities that meet international standards, highways and office buildings.

“Behind the success of businesswoman Hoang Yen are there are stories of happiness and sadness as a mother?”
Answering the question raised by a business student in Hanoi, Ms. Dang Thi Hoang Yen told two stories of her life?

When her husband died in an accident, she cried out with tears. She used her hands to close her husband ‘s eyes but his eyes couldn’t close, she promised to bring up their two children as good people for her husband. After her husband ‘s death, she had to go on many long business trips. Her second daughter once remarked that; “Mum is a Canary and always fly away”. At that time she couldn’t keep her tears.

Her two daughters have achieved outstanding study performances. In 2003, her first daughter won the second-prize in literature in the U.K. One year later, she continued to win the second-prize of film production contest for student-directors in England. Her second daughter will go to university this year. Ms. Yen believes that: “If a person is unable to first look after himself, his parents and children he cannot go on to help those in society who are in need."

In 2007, after her return to the country, she handed over VND 21 billion for charity. In the eyes of poor people and students of reduced circumstances, she is a businesswoman of great patience and energy, a perfect mother, a rich woman with compassionate heart.

During her talk with business students in Hanoi, she gave them advice and encouragement towards consistent endeavor and determination in pursuit of their targets. She always affirms that: “Business difficulties are closed doors. But if there is only a slot wide enough for a strand of hair to pass through, I can break that door down…”

This confident statement has made an impression on economic professors and high-level leaders of the Vietnam Government. Her success in the US has laid the foundation of success in Vietnam.


On the Vietnam stock market, Ms. Dang Thi Hoang Yen, Chairwoman of Tan Tao Group ranks in the top 50 richest women with total assets in shares worth hundreds of billion Vietnamdong. Nguyen Phuong Anh (her daughter) also ranks in the top richest women although she hasn’t participated directly in the business management.

Source:Tien Phong newspaper

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