Instead of picking a traditional career path, three young Vietnamese people in Finland find their motivation from the challenges of entrepreneurship and decides to start their business which connects the Vietnamese IT human resources to the international market.
In early 2018, Minh Duc, Khanh Ngoc and Phuong Thao met by chance through a mutual friend in Turku. That is when their story begins. After a passionate conversation about startup and the information technology, they quickly found a strong bond with each other. The idea of a disruptive platform to bridge the IT professional workforce in Vietnam with the potential international market also grew along with their friendship. Consequently, by the end of January 2018, Aurora Digital was formed.
“Since the very first day we met, I determined that this is my team, the people who I can trust, compensate and work together towards the success”, said Phuong Thao – COO of Aurora Digital as she called it a fateful encounter. Even though their first meeting is a coincidence, their journey with Aurora Digital is not an improvisation. It is filled up with persistent, great heartfelt efforts of the three young Vietnamese who try to overcome all difficulties and challenges when starting their business in a foreign land.
Finland is one of the leading countries in information technology. However, due to its demographic characteristics, such as small population, population aging, and a really high living standard, Finnish enterprises are facing a shortage of high skill workforce for this industry. On the other hand, in Vietnam, IT companies with strong expertise and reasonable offer, are struggling to expand into the overseas market.
Realizing this favorable circumstance, Aurora Digital has been set up to solve the demand-supply quotation by bringing the skillful IT workforce in Vietnam to the potential markets in Europe, priorly focusing on the Finnish market.
Unlike the traditional outsourcing platforms, Aurora Digital provides one-of-the-kind, risk-free and high-end outsourcing solution for IT services and focuses on quality and project management to improve their customer experiences. The startup specializes in the development and design services for websites, web applications, and mobile applications.
Sharing about their decision to stay in Finland, the three young founders said the simple reason was … there was no reason: “Where we stay is not really important, because we believe that no matter where we are, we can always contribute first to the local community, then to Vietnam and make the motherland be proud of us.”
“We acknowledge the power of the youth we hold in our hand. In other words, we have the knowledge, time, and health to recover from any failure. So, we wish to challenge ourselves in the harshest environment, rather than getting stability and satisfaction from our comfort zone”
During their startup journey, the three founders encountered many obstacles and challenges. Above all, it is the loneliness. Being in a foreign land, they do not have any connection except for a few friends from university, or any guider and supporter so they started everything from zero. To expand the network, the team actively participates in every startup and business meeting events. They also take an initiative to get acquainted with CEOs at conferences, school seminars, to learn new knowledge as well as establish and grow their business relationships. Furthermore, the founders realize that hardship always exists for startups, but they choose to stay positive as: “There are so many opportunities, but you need to look for it and grasp it as soon as you have a chance.”
For Aurora Digital, the opportunity also comes from Finnish supportive environment for startups. In Finland, they offer a vibrant and friendly startup ecosystem from schools, companies, and government. For example, at universities, every student has a chance to take courses and learn related knowledge about startups, including regulations, policies, business plan, financial statement, and business skills through academic resources and case studies. The schools also organize seminars where students get to meet and talk with executive managers and founders from other enterprises and startups. Moreover, many corporations are seeking and investing for startups as they also get great support from the government, accelerators, angel investors, and venture investors.
In addition, the flat organizational structure also helps the company to grow quickly and strongly since it encourages the participation of every member of the company. People feel free and appreciated to speak out and exchange their opinions, know-how, which significantly contributes to the company’s success.
Taking advantages of the environment, after less than a year of operation, Aurora Digital has appeared in the top 50 Finnish IT companies and built a large network of partners and customers in Vietnam and European countries, i.e Finland, UK, Spain, the Netherlands.
About the future, the team is planning to set up an outsourcing center in Vietnam, which operates as a co-working space for Aurora workers as well as other startups, thus create an effective startup ecosystem there. Our ambition is “We want to run Aurora Digital office in Vietnam as it is here. Every worker receives all best support from the company for their working, health and life conditions. We believe that the employees will contribute the most and the best when the employer truly cares for them and provide them the best conditions for their professional and personal development”.
Regarding the potentials of the young Vietnamese abroad, the founders said “Young Vietnamese people are really ambitious, hardworking and not afraid of challenges. These characteristics are what a successful entrepreneur would need.”
They also added, “The entrepreneur path does not always fill up with roses, but rather the alternation between failure and success. So do not give up on yourself, but learn from your failures and always be proud of yourself because you dare to think, dare to do and dare to confront!”