11/06/2017 17:14 GMT+7 print

Kim Cuong Electric Rice Cooker

It started simply as a firm that assembled imported component parts of appliances. After 20 years of development, Minh Khoa Electro-mechanic Company Ltd. has managed to elevate the percentage of domestically produced component parts in its key product, Kim Cuong electric rice cooker, to 95%. It has become one of the domestic electric household appliance brands with the largest rate of domestic production.

The quality of domestically produced component parts has been fully appreciated and the brand was continuously voted by consumers for the title of Vietnam's High-Quality Good from 2003 to 2016. Therefore, Kim Cuong brand is regarded as an inspiring pioneer for other Vietnamese brands.

The development of Kim Cuong electric rice cooker brand is part of the life of its owner, Khong Thi Minh. She has devoted many years to turn a dilapidated workshop of 300m2 with 10 workers into a factory of 10,000m2 which makes 1000 billion dong each year.

The story started in the 1990s when the Vietnamese economy witnessed significant, groundbreaking changes from a centralised planning economy into a market economy. International border gates were opened, allowing massive flows of electric household appliances into the country, with electric rice cookers as one of the most popular goods.

Kim Cuong electric rice cooker production workshop.
The electrostatic coating system.
The non-stick coating system.

Decorating the outer shell of electric rice cookers.

Assembling an electric rice cooker.

The company has many skilful workers, technical staff and engineers.

Packaging products.
Khong Thi Minh (dressed in yellow), Director of Minh Khoa Electro-mechanic Company Ltd.
examines production stages.

Kim Cuong electric rice cookers are widely purchased.

Minh Khoa company receives orders from provinces all over the country.

Recognising that there was no Vietnamese electric rice cooker brand in the market, the Vinh Phuc born young woman Khong Thi Minh bought an electric rice cooker and disassembled it to examine the structure as well as figure out how to produce it. In 1999, Khong Thi Minh launched Minh Khoa Electro-mechanic Company Ltd. to produce and distribute Kim Cuong brand's electric rice cookers in the southern markets.

At the beginning, Minh Khoa Company only had between 10 and 15 labourers working in a 300m2 workshop. It could only produce around 100-200 electric rice cookers a day. The company soon received its firsts order and after a short period of time, the demand surpassed the supply. In 2001, Kim Cuong electric rice cookers had secured firm footing in the domestic market.

With an orientation of development based on quality and price, in 2003, Minh Khoa Company expanded its production by investing a factory in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City. The factory of 10,000m2 cost one trillion dong to fulfil the purpose of upgrading the production capacity and meeting the increasing demand of the market.

In 2011, Minh Khoa Company invested in two automatic lines and in 2012 it was equipped with automatic electrostatic and non-stick coating systems. In 2013, the company invested in an automatic 7-colour gilding system, automatic transporting line and electro-mechanic machines with modern characteristics to ensure the safety of workers.

Besides its main product of electric rice cookers, Minh Khoa Company also produces and assembles many other household electrical appliances like aluminium alloy cooking pots, non-stick frying pans, electric kettles, electric irons, infrared stoves, fruit blenders, pressure cookers, hotpots and ovens.

The price of a Kim Cuong electric rice cooker varies from 200,000 dong to under 1 million dong.

Khong Thi Minh acknowledged that in addition to the focus on living up to the reputation of a Vietnamese brand, she always takes good care of her workers' lives, because for her "the workers are priceless assets, part of the family".

Every day, she wakes up at 5 am to go shopping for groceries used in workers' meals. She chooses the food herself to make sure that the meals are clean and healthy for workers, which also helps ensure continuous and uninterrupted production.

For Khong Thi Minh, the Kim Cuong brand, as well as other domestic brands, can compete equally with international brands in terms of quality. A reasonable price is an advantage for domestic brands at a time when the country's economy is increasingly integrating into the world economy.

In 2005, Minh Khoa Electricity Company Ltd. started building its quality control system according to ISO 9001:2000 standards to meet the standards of ISO 9001:2008. On July 25, 2013, the Division for Standards, Metrology and Quality under Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Science and Technology formally recognised and allowed the company to use CR stamps with corresponding series on its 27 kinds of goods.


Story: Nguyen Vu Thanh Dat – Photos: Dang Kim Phuong