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Vietnamese sandals brand eyeing US

Released at: 13:47, 16/09/2019

Vietnamese sandals brand eyeing US

Photo: SAADO

SAADO already tested US market by successfully launching products on Amazon.

by Doanh Doanh

SAADO, a popular Vietnamese sandals startup that has sold 66,000 pairs and successfully entered four Asian countries within a year, is now eyeing the US market.

SAADO was set up by Mr. Phung Le Lam Hai last year after realizing there is high demand for fashionable, dynamic sandals that come with an affordable price tag.

It tested the US market last month by launching its products on Amazon, using the strategy “US Brand, Vietnam Soul”. This strategy comprises applying for a US trademark while positioning the sandals as a “Made in Vietnam” product. Vietnam is the world’s second-largest footwear exporting country.

“By applying for a US trademark, our brand is able to protect our products while enabling us to sell the sandals at a more competitive price,” said Mr. Hai. “However, we must emphasize we are promoting this as a Vietnamese product because we want to show the world that our country’s products have always been overlooked. We are known for helping major brands manufacture their products, but our own products have never been recognized. Through SAADO, I would like to help rectify this situation.”

SAADO’s sandals are lightweight, with each pair only weighing 250 grams, and have soft pad soles made from durable phylon material with a slip resistance surface, comfortable elastic rubber insoles, convenient leather straps made from parachute cloth, which is absorbent and quick drying, and long-lasting, velcro straps.

A month after launching on Amazon, SAADO has received many positive comments, with buyers describing the sandals as “highly recommended”. But despite running such a successful startup, Mr. Hai said he has no plans to set up physical outlets to sell his products.

“My goal is to turn SAADO into the ‘Uber in Retail’ and establish a platform to help young people learn how to run a business,” he explained. “Vietnam’s education system doesn’t offer concrete experience and I would like to provide opportunities for future generations, to provide them with the hope of running an internationally-recognized business.”

SAADO has proven to be popular in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar and is now preparing to enter the India, Nepal, and Thailand in 2019 and 2020.

It has business partners in 40 of Vietnam’s 64 cities and provinces and plans to build a business partner network around the world. Mr. Hai said they will be meeting with interested parties seeking to learn about business operations and help them grow their own businesses in the local market with SAADO.

SAADO’s unique business model won the Best Innovators Award in Asia last year and the company was selected to be one of three Vietnamese startups to present its business plan to the international SEPT Program of Leipzig University.

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