"I want to promote and increase exports of Australia’s food and beverage products, and I want to help Vietnam’s tourism and hospitality businesses."
Every good idea has its genesis, and for Cassie Tran it was her parents’ family business in Ha Noi, Vietnam.
They ran an importing and wholesaling business, as well as a restaurant, and Cassie saw first-hand the challenges of sourcing, purchasing and arranging delivery of high quality food and beverages.
Vietnam has been undergoing a tourism boom in recent years, leading to a significant increase in demand for high quality food and beverages.
Cassie has been granted an Entrepreneur visa (subclass 188E), as part of the Victorian Government’s Business Innovation and Investment program to develop a supply chain management solution that supports the high-end hospitality sector in Vietnam to source Australian food and beverage products.
It will help make the whole process straightforward and seamless with integrated supplier, inventory and payment management systems, with payments enabled by blockchain technology.
As well as experience with her family’s business, Cassie brings significant expertise and experience to her start-up.
After finishing high school in Vietnam, Cassie went to Singapore where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce as an off-campus student of Deakin University, which has a partnership there with TMC Academy.
“Deakin is a top university,” she says, “so when I wanted to study further, I got a student visa to study at Deakin in Melbourne. They offer a really good education for international students.”
Cassie has completed her Masters in International Finance and Professional Accounting, and is now setting up her business “F&B2B” here in Melbourne.
While working on her Masters, Cassie has been working as a supply chain manager at the Windsor Hotel, giving her excellent insights on how supply chain management works here in Australia.
She says her business will be a win-win.
“I want to help both countries,” she says. “I want to promote and increase exports of Australia’s food and beverage products, and I want to help Vietnam’s tourism and hospitality businesses.”
“Vietnam can produce most things for its domestic market, but not for high end tourism – Australian food has a reputation for being very high quality and safe.”
“Vietnam is one of our fastest growing markets and by growing our market there we can also grow jobs here.”
The pandemic has obviously limited Cassie’s opportunity to personally visit and market to high end hospitality industries in Vietnam, but she is hoping to go soon to progress that, and visit her family.
But she’s not all alone here in Melbourne.
Her brother and sister have also been studying in Melbourne, and Cassie is now helping her sister set up a bakery after she graduated as a pastry chef.
Cassie is also a keen baker, and during lockdown she took the opportunity to learn some skills from her sister.
She is looking forward to getting to know Melbourne and Victoria better.
“I love the cultural richness of Melbourne and I’m really looking forward to exploring more – when I get some spare time!”