11:38 | 15/04/2015 Industry
(VEN) - Maintaining a prestigious reputation for product quality, producing new designs, and applying technology that allowed a reduction in product prices were “the secrets” that helped the Bat Trang pottery village in Gia Lam District, Hanoi withstand the fluctuations in the market and hold fast to its growth rate.
Known as a craft village earning hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong a year, Bat Trang Village has always a sustained a strong rate of development. Unlike other local craft villages that fell into a slump during the economic downturn, Bat Trang remained active, not only sustaining its export markets but effectively exploiting the domestic market as well.
However, according to the Chairman of the Tan Thinh Ceramic and Porcelain Cooperative, Tran Duc Tan, the export volumes of Bat Trang have decreased rapidly in recent years, with the exports for 2014 accounting for just 30 percent of the figure three years ago. This dip has been chalked up to economic crisis and the resulting decline in orders.
Tan said that despite the decreased export volume, Bat Trang has still managed to maintain its revenues and profits thanks to updated product designs and quality. In addition, some enterprises in Bat Trang have paid special attention to serving traditional customers. He highlighted the 10 years of cooperation between Bao Long Bat Trang Production and Trading Service Co, Ltd with Japanese partners as one such example.
Director of Bao Long Bat Trang Production and Trading Service Co, Ltd Pham Van Dat said the company has made product quality and its esteemed reputation a top priority. Quality control has always been strictly enforced to make sure that its products met all the requirements of its signed contracts. The company and its customers kept a straightforward and transparent negotiation process, thus sharing both difficulties and benefits.
However, Tran Duc Tan said that sustained export was not the only factor that helped Bat Trang maintain its growth rate. In 2008 when the export markets began to slacken, the businesses trading in Bat Trang products acted quickly to turn to the domestic market. In fact, many businesses trading in traditional products like objects of worship, ornamental jars, and water hyacinths have totally switched to the domestic market.
Enterprises in the craft village have improved their products for domestic consumption. For example, objects of worship are now being made in a variety of sizes and are plated in different colors, while flower vase manufacturers have applied metal plating technology, which has improved both quality and aesthetic appeal. These products have proven attractive to Vietnamese consumers and are sold by upmarket sellers in many cities and provinces across the country.
Discussing the advantages of the domestic market, Pham Van Dat said in terms of total value, orders from domestic customers may be lower than from abroad but are higher per unit value. He added that businesses selling their products in Vietnam should take the initiative in terms of a market strategy by offering sale prices.
Keeping a sustainable customer base, and concentrating on the domestic market were key to Bat Trang Village’s solvency during a time of market uncertainty. This is also a good model for handicraft villages in Hanoi to avoid falling into financial ruin, and may even offer them a path to success.
By Viet Nga