Vietnamese entrepreneur Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is posed to be Vietnam’s—and most likely Southeast Asia’s first—lady billionaire by managing VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Corporation. It is the country’s sole private airline where flight stewardesses are clad in red and yellow bikini suits.
Bloomberg Billionaires Index says this low-cost carrier airline’s net worth is expected to peak at USD1.3 billion (PhP59 billion) in the next few hours. This will make Thao the first “iron lady” tycoon in the airline industry.
A large chunk of her wealth is sourced from VietJet and her shares in real estate development in Ho Chi Minh City. She also owns big stakes in three Vietnamese resorts and is vice chair of Ho Chi Minh City Development JS Commercial Bank
Now, her focus is to improve VietJet’s growth and expand its market share. She also plans to sell 30% of her 95% ownership stake in the company.
Thao started her business career in 1988. As a finance and economics student in Russia, she distributed consumer goods imported from Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea in the Soviet Union.
After earning her first million in 1991, Thao shifted her business products to steel and fertilizer. She then returned to Vietnam and invested in Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, as well as Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
She opened VietJet in 2011, which now has 47 destinations within the country and across Asia. When asked about her cabin crew’s image, she said that if the bikini images make people happy, then she is happy.
On October 2015, October hired its first female pilot, Antonette Ortiz Parocha from the Philippines.
As of spring of 2015, VietJet had a revenue of 10.9 trillion dong (PHP22.5 billion), and the numbers are expected to escalate once the carrier opens flights to other destinations.
Source : nextshark