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|Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao|
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the only Vietnamese figure in the list, was named second among 10 individuals listed in the Supply Chain category in Asia. Founder and COO of Grab, Tan Hooi Ling, and Changi Airport CEO Lee Seow Hiang, also appeared on the list besides Thao.
According to Business Insider, Thao was the first female self-made billionaire in Vietnam and is "used to do things differently".
She launched the low-cost carrier Vietjet in 2011 and step by step built up the airline as a leading carrier in the region.
Vietjet was believed to be the drive behind the impressive growth of air travel demand in Vietnam, where flying had traditionally been seen as a luxury dream for ordinary people.
The airline now has an expansive network including most cities and provinces in Vietnam as well as several international destinations across Asia.
At the beginning of this year, the company shares had doubled in value since its 2017 listing and amidst the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the aviation industry, Vietjet’s financials “have so far been resilient”.
The airline, in fact, last month posted a profit of VND47 billion ($2 million) for the first half of 2020.
In a previous interview with Forbes, Thao said that her long-term goal was to turn Vietjet into Vietnam’s first truly global airline, expanding beyond Asia into Europe and North America.
"With our competitiveness in services, airplanes, management capacity, cost, and ability to provide new services, I am completely confident that we can compete in others’ markets,” Thao told Forbes.
The Business Insider 100 People Transforming Business series showcases leaders from three regions – North America, Asia, and Europe. Each list of 100 comprises a diverse array of influential people, including executives from global companies, startup founders, product and technology strategists, and industry activists.
The list of 100 in Asia spans 10 categories, including consumer tech, energy, enterprise tech, finance, healthcare, investing, manufacturing, media and advertising, retail, and supply chain.
Many familiar faces from leading enterprises in the region also made it to the list, including Tencent vice president Edward Cheng, Bytedance (Tiktok) CEO Kelly Zhang, as well as Han Seong-sook, CEO at South Korea's No.1 search engine Naver and Shopee COO Terence Pang.