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Isobar Vietnam and Saigon Co.op team up for reality show on retail startups

Isobar Vietnam has partnered with Vietnam’s retailer, Saigon Co.op for the ‘One billion start up with Saigon Co.op’’ challenge, Vietnam’s reality show which aims to find and train the next generation of successful start-ups.

Isobar is behind the creative idea development and implementation of reality show which will kick off from October 15 and run till December 31, 2017 nationwide.

With this challenge, Saigon Co.op aims to work with the Ho Chi Minh City Government to drive entrepreneurship in the country and make the city the birthplace for start-ups. It is expected to attract around 5,000 candidates with three finalists standing a chance to receive the Grand Prize of 1 billion VND at the Grand Finals, and become the owner of a Co.op Smile modern grocery store.

The challenge follows the reality show format and will broadcast weekly on HTV9 – one of the channels of Ho Chi Minh City Television. Qualified challengers will compete against one another in a ‘common house’ on specific knowledge, creativity and situation management, which are crucial factors for a successful start-up.

Recently, the start-up movement has been spreading strongly and rapidly amongst the younger generation in Ho Chi Minh City. Start-up models and support from organisations are becoming the norm across many sectors and fields. The City confirms that the start-up spirit and creative innovation are key to successful businesses today. Additionally, this approach will drive both young entrepreneurs and the City to prosperity.

A representative of Saigon Co.op, the organiser of the challenge, says, “With the growing start-up trend, we are looking to encourage the younger generation to participate in the challenge to learn, and gain more knowledge towards having a successful business. We chose Isobar as the creative and execution partner for this challenge thanks to their leaders’ entrepreneurship as well as their marketing communications capabilities.”

Given the Vietnam retail market has witnessed the rapid penetration of many large foreign players, Co.op Smile – Saigon Co.op’s new trading model comprising small modern grocery stores – is expected to become more widespread in the local market in the near future. This will be a counterbalance to foreign competitors given their new management mindset and local insights.

Denise Thi, CEO of Isobar Vietnam, shares, “Saigon Co.op is a principal retailer in Vietnam with many different operating models leading the local market. In the new business context, launching this challenge is a part of a comprehensive strategic program to develop Co.op Smile’s modern grocery stores. This is an agile response of Saigon Co.op and we at Isobar are honored to be their chosen creative and execution partner; we have been working with Saigon Co.op and Co.op Smile’s management boards since day one and we are looking forward to a successful outcome.”

The challenge will provide participants with useful information and knowledge from Saigon Co.op as well as offer them start-up skills, as well as identifying those with outstanding skills.

Throughout the 12 episodes which will be broadcasted online (YouTube & Facebook) and offline (TV), participants will face challenges spanning retail business models, mobile sales, driving customers to store via advertising and promotion, and designing a perfect retail store. These experiences will help them be more confident and acquainted with the real-life pressures of starting their own business.

The winner of the challenge will be given the opportunity to own a Co.op Smile modern grocery store, the new retail model introduced earlier this year by Saigon Co.op. A typical Co.op Smile store has flexible operational space suitable with urban and suburban residence and covers around 750 – 1,300 products across various industries.

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