CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa and the “great supermarket of books”

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa, the founder of Tan Viet bookstore chain, is a public figure who was adorned with the title “The person who nurtures reading passion in Vietnam”.

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa, the founder of Tan Viet bookstore chain, is a public figure who was adorned with the title “The person who nurtures reading passion in Vietnam”. She has been running the 20 bookstore chain of Tan Viet - the most modern space of intellectual entertainment in Vietnam where reading is fostered as a culture that helps nurture the soul and pave the way to success.

From a childhood aspiration…

Nguyen Kim Thoa was born in a poor family in the northern countryside of Vietnam. It was the hardship of poverty that motivated her to work hard and strive for a better future. As early as middle school, she would pick guavas in her garden, cycle 10km from home to a big crossroad, where she sold the fruit under the scorching sun. These entrepreneurial qualities took root in her and have grown over time.

As a student, Nguyen Kim Thoa attended 2 universities. She majored in publishing and publication at the University of Culture and accounting at National Economics University. After graduating, she worked in unrelated fields for a while before getting a job at the Information and Culture Publishing House. Working in the industry that she had been trained for, Thoa soared. She researched the market, observed and proactively marketed books to publishers. And the result did not disappoint. Orders and contracts worth hundreds of millions of dong had come from her diligence and proactiveness. Also from this point, Thoa chose to go independent and forge a new path - her own path.

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang/VNP

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa (red, center) at the opening ceremony of the Tan Viet bookstore. Photo: Tan Viet’s files

Nguyen Kim Thoa in a meeting with Tan Viet employees. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

The staff of Tan Viet bookstore are always guided by CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa on how to introduce books to customers. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa is friendly and always ready to give advice on books for customers. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

Books are well arranged in Tan Viet bookstore. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa receives a certificate of merit awarded by the Ministry of Information and Communications in the field of printing, publishing and distribution. Photo: Tan Viet's files

A thousand-mile journey begins with small steps. From the days working at the publishing house, Thoa started selling books in public stalls. With capital and knowledge from this experience, she opened her own 500m2 bookstore on Dai La street. She poured in capital, put all her heart into it and took care of her brainchild from A to Z. The first bookstore launched in the 2000s received great reviews and brought in good revenue.

To “Book supermarket”

The first bookstore was a success but Thoa did not rest on her laurels. She continued to study and generate new ideas to make Tan Viet a unique experience amongst a sea of bookstores. Going to Tan Viet, customers will be welcome with warmth and friendliness conveyed through the design of 5 symbols: The eye to see the world, the knowledge bridge connecting the past with the present, the geological layer built with knowledge accumulated through thousands of years, the globe and the open blue sky.

Tan Viet Bookstore is the largest and most modernized model of a “book supermarket” in Vietnam. Stores are located in the centers of big cities and are designed to have style and a variety of intellectual entertainment. Going to Tan Viet, visitors will feel like they are having fun with books, discovering and experiencing each story, image, and word. Buyers can also find here all the hot titles on the market.

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa at the book launch of Dr. Le Tham Duong. Photo: Tan Viet's files

CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa introduce books at Tan Viet bookstore. Photo: Tan Viet's files

Nguyen Kim Thoa is always present at book events. Photo: Tan Viet's files

Talks about reading culture and books by Ceo Nguyen Kim Thoa are always attended by a large number of young people. Photo: Tan Viet’s files

Book events organized by Tan Viet are always aimed at readers. Photo: Tan Viet's files

Thoa is a businesswoman, but more than profit, she is always on the lookout for how to make parents aware of the value and benefits of reading for their children. She has organized many talks on sharing parenting knowledge, how to encourage children's interest and their love for reading.

Gathering many talents from the industry, she has launched lines of children's books and parenting books and published more than 300 books of these genres each year. Children and parenting are the two genres that Tan Viet develops extensively, and one that has had a positive influence on Vietnamese readers.

“I really like the saying of a German educator that goes ‘The destiny of a nation lies in the hands of mothers’. Mothers are the first inspiration that transmits the values of books to children,” said Thoa on her dedication to such genres.

Wishing to bring books to every child in Vietnam, Thoa has cooperated with localities to build and renovate cultural houses and community houses to create space for reading, thereby spreading reading culture in local communities. Thoa and Tan Viet have a long-term vision for this project; with the goal to help people in remote, isolated and disadvantaged areas have access to books and knowledge, which will in turn help improve their inner life, reduce social evils and improve socio-cultural civilization.

With that ideal in mind, CEO Nguyen Kim Thoa has mindfully invested and bought the publishing rights of books with humane values to release to the market./.

Story: Bich Van Photos: Thanh Giang & Files Translated by Hong Hanh

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