Mr. Scott McDaniel, Senior International Development Director at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, tells VET that Vietnam has a bright future in IT development
■ How do you view Vietnam’s IT market at this time and why are you seeking franchisees in the country?
Well, as most people know, Asia is the primary growth area of the world. Sure, there have been a few signs of softening from the amazing growth figures over the past decade, but fundamentally the region still continues to grow faster than the rest of the world.
Vietnam has maintained around 6 per cent GDP growth per annum over the last five years, but IDC predicts IT spending to have a compounded annual growth rate of 12.3 per cent from 2014-2018. IT is a key driver of growth in the country. We are also seeing a number of IT service companies in Vietnam secure external clients and really challenge the dominance of India and the Philippines in IT outsourcing.
With the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community the future looks bright for IT in Vietnam.
We are confident the skill sets needed by professionals and individuals that have already graduated from university and are now employed in the industry will need to further develop over the next decade as the IT industry continues to evolve. The more that Vietnam is linked into the global economy the more IT skills will be needed in the country and throughout the region.
Finally, Vietnamese seem to be genuinely embracing English as a second language more rapidly than many of the other markets and are quickly catching up to countries like Malaysia in English proficiency. All of this adds up to a great opportunity over the next decade for IT training in Vietnam.
■ What will be main criteria for your franchisees in Vietnam?
Historically, we have looked for franchise candidates that are in one of three main areas. The first is the education business. New Horizons has a number of solutions that are quite developed from a training perspective. We utilize a number of learning methodologies, in the classroom and in the cloud, and have one of the largest R&D budgets for learning delivery in the industry.
The second criteria is the IT service business, which makes sense in that an IT company that is able to implement IT solutions for clients can theoretically train those clients in how to better utilize those same solutions.
The third is entrepreneurs with an education or IT background or even both (for e.g. someone starting his or her own IT training business).
A company or individual that is keenly interested to own a business that can be profitable but more importantly provides for the continued success of their clients by elevating their knowledge is a potential partner of New Horizons. Certainly, they also need to be financially capable to develop a great business and extensive local knowledge of the IT industry and local contacts in both the industry and the government add to the possibility of success.
■ When do you expect the first franchisee of New Horizons to start in Vietnam?
New Horizons utilizes an exclusive franchise model, which means we only have one partner per metro city. A strong percentage of our business is corporate training, where companies are paying for their staff to complete training.
Add this to the excellent growth of IT in Vietnam as reported by IDC and we are very excited about the future of IT training in Vietnam. What this means for Vietnam is that we are only looking for one or two partners for the entire country that will initially focus their business on Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
We are committed to finding one long-term partner and will need to take a number of months mutually evaluating each other before either party is ready to launch the business. This process typically takes about six months, and as such our expectations are to find a partner by the end of 2015 that will launch the business in 2016.
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers is the largest independent IT training company in the world. As an operator and franchisor of computer training centers, our more than 300 centers in over 60 countries around the world offer a broad range of IT applications and technical training courses to companies, government bodies, and individuals, building their careers. Many of our locations also offer complementary non-IT courses, such as Business Skills and Healthcare Information Management.