[ENG] RECAP VNG CONNECT NO 2/2021

18/07/2021 385

Over the past recent months, the Covid-19 outbreak has greatly affected the lives and work of our people across the country. Thankfully, we can still gather here together, “online” at the second VNG Connect of 2021, which took place on July 14’s afternoon. This is also our second virtual meeting after more than a year ever since VNG had to WFH due to the pandemic.

During this VNG Connect, Starters were able to hear the SMT share about the company’s business in the second quarter along with development strategies and plans for the third quarter of 2021.

I. REVIEW OF VNG’S BUSINESS ACTIVITIES IN Q2/2021 & OVERALL STRATEGY PLANNING FOR Q3/2021

Mr. MinhLH shared: “2021 is the year our country is severely hit by COVID at it peaks in terms of contagion. It would be best if the current status quo is put to an end soon. Yet, if the situation prevails, let us not worry too much and be mentally prepared to continue living with further developments of COVID. For the remainder of the year, VNG will focus on ensuring the mental and physical health of Starters, giving priority to hold the second vaccination campaign, and simultaneously lend our hand to the community by donating medical equipment to frontline hospitals, developing new platforms for Saigon Bao Dung and other projects from the product teams…”.

He proceeded to share his personal thoughts, “We should take advantage of this difficult time to slow down, focus on ourselves to overcome our own limits in times of crisis. We should try to be understanding towards the inevitable and put efforts in what is changeable in the future”.

A/ Overview of Q2, 2021:
– All business units of VNG have thrived for 2 reasons:
(1) Digital business is less affected by the impact of Covid-19;
(2) All of our business units are focusing on implementing strategies and aligning the organizational structure.
– The epidemic situation of HCMC and Vietnam may persist until the end of the year. We need to strengthen our will to face this difficult time by making appropriate work plans and joining hands to prevent the Covid-19.
– VNG’s top 3 priorities in the current situation:
(1) Ensure the mental and physical health of all VNG members;
(2) Ensure jobs and projects are implemented to the best of our ability;
(3) Develop activities to support the community and accompany the government in the fight against the pandemic.
– Financial situation: Net revenue reached 3,515 billion dongs by the end of June, experiencing a growth of 23% compared to last year.

B/ Update business segments:
1. GE
a. Overal
– For GE, our Gross Revenue was VND 3,375 billion dongs for the first 6 months and we have achieved 46% of our annual plan for 2021. Compared to our stretch targets we have achieved 40% of that plan.
– We had two very strong months in May and in June this year, with May being the single highest month ever in GE history, and June only slightly behind.
– This was well above our annual plan and has helped us to grow by 17% for the first half of 2021.
– Our MAU has also improved driven by key game launches in the first half and we are at 41mio MAU compared to 39 million at the end of 2020.

b. Publishing
– Overall, in 2Q 2021 Publishing had a very strong quarter reaching VND 1,572 billion dongs in revenue, increasing 62.7% compared to the same time last year.
– The quarter’s strong growth was driven by several game launches which helped us to drive growth.
(1) We saw JX1M launched in March and saw the results for the full 2nd quarter.
(2) We also saw the launch of OMG3 in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. This was one of the important game launches because of the quality of the title but it was one of our first regional launches of a game under the new country team model. It was challenging for the teams involved as this was the first time that this was done, but I want to recognize everyone for their hard work and making the launch a success.
(3)  In 2Q we also had Valorant and Forsaken World launched.

– Products to be launched in Q3:
(1) In 3Q, we will have 2 titles launching in Vietnam, One Punch Man and So Luu Huong.
(2) One title that will launch across SEA will be Cloud Song. This collaboration will be between multiple countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam,…All the different teams have been working hard on getting organized for this launch and I want to wish everyone luck on this.

– About the personnel structure and the process of expanding the Publishing group:
(1) In the last quarter, we welcomed two new members Woo and David who have so far helped us build up the IN/PH and TW/HK teams.
(2) This quarter I want to recognize two other individuals that have been selected and promoted through GE’s Leadership Development Program:
+TrangNQ from GS3 has been promoted to head up a new studio NTS who will look after developing a global publishing platform that will be aimed to help us develop our Global IP investments.
+NgocTTK from GS2 has been promoted to lead the Malaysia/Singapore publishing business. She will be in charge of building out a team there to help us deepen our publishing capabilities.

– GE recruitment and leadership development programs:
– From our 2332 perspective we are now 4 months ahead of schedule in setting up our regional teams, thank you to all our team members and especially HRBP that’s been able to make this happen in such a short time.
– We have launched our leadership development program called Summit 2332 which will run for 9 months. As part of the program, GE Leaders and Potential Leaders will go through a series of soft and technical training programs with the goal of equipping everyone with the right skills to lead and manage high-performance teams to achieve our 2332 strategy. This is a big commitment by everyone, from the participants and the organizers as these are additional courses on top of the day-to-day work. Thank you everyone for putting this together and also to the participants for investing the time in joining.
– In GE we also just finished running the Level Up Fresher Program which is designed to attract the best candidates to GE. This program ran across GE Publishing and was targeted to recruit for both Product and Marketing roles. We had 1,200 applicants and the top 27 candidates will be joining us this July.

c. ZingPlay Game Studios:
– ZPS expanded its portfolio by an additional 4 games and in 2Q2021 launched games in Indonesia (SEA), Argentina (LATAM), and Columbia (LATAM) and achieved 100k DAU.
– They also started to shift focus on 4 new markets India, Russia, Argentina & Indonesia.
– During the past quarter, ZPS has collaborated with Zalopay to provide a new payment channel to ZPS users and helped to convert 90,000 users to become ZaloPay users a clear indication of Enhancing Partnerships.
– In May, we also celebrate the 2nd anniversary of ZPS Philippines, the team launched many activities to mark this occasion. I want to take this opportunity to thank our global team members who continue to work hard despite the current situation to help move our business forward. Also Happy Birthday ZPS Philippines!

d. Global IP
– For MPS, we ran the Junior Game Designer fresher program to attract young talent with a strong passion for game design.
– We had over 260 applicants and the top 8 have already joined us in MPS.
– They are starting their 4-month training program now, so I would like to congratulate MPS on the success of the program and also welcome our new members.
– Next quarter, MPS plans to launch 2 new games on a global scale (Sniper zombie & Zombie hunter) so please get ready to download these now!

2. ZA
Overall, despite several drawbacks, the first half of 2021 is Zalo Group’s most successful six-month period.

a. Zalo:
– The core product Zalo’s growth is drastically increasing. YoY growth of Mobile version increases by 20% while that of PC version rises by 60%. In the third and fourth quarters, Zalo will continue developing its core values – privacy and security, prepare to launch the message auto-delete feature this July and officially implement end-to-end encryption by the end of the year.
– During the past period, the Zalo team has made our best effort to support the government and the Ministry of Health in communicating information about the COVID-19 vaccination, which is highly appreciated by the State and everyone.
– Successfully catch up with the QR Code trend.
– In the long run, QR Code is the bridge from Offline to Online. Our hope for the future is that Zalo is going to change our consumer habits so that every time they see a QR code, they will use Zalo to scan it.
– At the moment, 10% of Zalo users have picked up using QR codes with 10 scans per day, which is expected to further increase in the upcoming period.

b. Media:
– News service thrives as growth accelerates, especially traffic due to 2 primary factors:
+ Our delivery is fast, timely, and accurate.
+ Zalo Group has invested heavily in media growth.
– The MP3 product sees a slowdown in growth in the second quarter of 2021 as the music consumption trend goes down during this WFH period. The number of users remains unchanged.

c. Adtima:
– The first 6 months of this year can be considered a golden period for Adtima’s growth, reaching more than 30% which exceeds stretch KPI by 10%.

d. AI & Fintech:
– AI has successfully integrated Kiki onto Go Tech’s car screen. Its biggest competitor, ZesTech has also contacted us to partner with us, and we have successfully modified our product to be integrated on car screens of these two connected head unit distributors. In the near future, we expect our product to take up 70% of Vietnam’s connected car market.
– We are working with Lumi, the biggest smart home company in Vietnam to launch Kiki on smart speakers to connect to their smart homes.
– Our fintech product Fiza is working with financial companies to provide the best programs for users. Revenue doubles from that of last year, contributing to the overall business of our company.

Overall, ZA Group is growing steadily both in terms of revenue and products. However, our general assessment is that we are likely to be faced with many difficulties in the upcoming period. ZA will make sure that we are prepared to tackle potential challenges in revenue and people in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

3. ZALOPAY
a. About the product:
– Update the progress on 02 main goals of ZaloPay: DAT: ~ 700K (met 61% of this year’s target); MAU: 2M+ (49% of this year’s target).
– Growth of metrics: binding access rate, retention rate, cost efficiency.
– The number of people using ZaloPay for payment (monthly paying users) and the rate of using ZaloPay in many payment contexts grew continuously.
– Every month witnessed big promotions (Mam Mam, Oan Tu Ti, Map Card V5) that were upgraded continuously through many versions to improve quality. The effectiveness of those campaigns is improving day by day.
– Deployed loyalty program where users can accumulate coins and redeem gifts on ZaloPay.
– ZaloPay becomes the largest payment partner of many big merchants such as electricity companies, LAZADA, Baemin, VNG Games, ZingPlay. With the ZaloPay payment feature on Zalo, Zalo is also an effective sales and customer service channel for BigC and Co-op Mart.

b. About the structure:
– Focus on building team structure: restructuring Tech team, welcome new managers on board in Tech team and Partnership team.
– Tech team emphasized building an agile team, setting a 3-year goal which is not only to achieve KPI in business but also to set up a team that operates under Agile level 3.

c. About the community:
ZaloPay implemented 02 projects to support the community, implemented in a short time:
– Shopping in the Covid period: creating a simple platform for small merchants in the traditional markets to supply goods to buyers, connecting buyers and sellers.
– Saigon Bao Dung is a project initiated by VNG to gather information about benevolent organizations that serve free home-prepared foods and supplies for needy people. ZaloPay’s users could donate to the organizations or share this information with those in need.

4. VNG CLOUD
In the first 6 months of 2021, VNG Cloud’s revenue grew by 34% compared to the previous quarter. The year-on-year index reached 83%. The total reached 41% of this year’s target which was set by VNG Cloud in advance.

* A detailed look at customer segments, we saw that:
– Business with large customers grew quite strongly, with figures of 74% and 170% compared to the same period last year. Many large orders from important customers, especially from the Government & Banking service were recorded in the last 2 quarters. There are also some orders from large units such as Betrimex, Vicoland that were delayed to early July.
– Small customers grew by 21% in Q2 and increased by 61% YoY.

*A detailed look at product segments told us:
– During this time, digital products have not been affected too much, still experiencing stable growth. There was a rise of 36% in Server, CDN products during Q2.
– Particularly for VCloudcam products, which were greatly affected in June, a few orders were delayed for large customers.
=> VNG Cloud’s goal is to grow the small customer group by 800, the number of new registered customers is 10500, and continue promotion activities, aiming to grow by 30% in Q3 compared to Q2.

* Human resource:
– Although in Q2 we spent almost half of the time working from home, the Sales team managed to welcome 10 new hires, completing 95% of the recruitment plan for the Sales team for 2021. The HR team has also prepared an online onboarding program for new staff to demonstrate the efforts of VNG and VNG Cloud for employees under any circumstances.

5. HR
a) Regarding Recruitment:
– 217 new hires joined VNG in Q2.
– Salary review: 497 Starters have been promoted to new roles.
– VNG Tech Fresher 2021: 50 freshers were onboarded with ZLP, GE, and Cloud
Junior Game Designer: 8 freshers were onboarded virtually.
– VLUP: changed to 100% online in the selection process; 27 freshers got the offer and will be onboarded this month.
– HR is pivoting to new ways of working: not only meetings but also the onboarding sessions and hiring processes are being moved online. Specifically, we are changing the hiring method in this current situation by using Zoom and videos.

b) Regarding WFH support:
– Mental health support: collaborate with a professional organization called International SOS to provide a 24/7 hotline, where all starters can reach out to the counselors and book a consultation session.
– Health insurance: renew the health insurance with the same provider, Generali. We will continue using premium packages and add more beneficiaries.
– The HR & IT team are working together on the new HRIS system: cloud-based, mobile-first.
– For the 3rd year in a row, VNG has been selected by HR Asia Award to be the Best Employer Branding in Vietnam.

6. AF
– In the last 3 months, we’ve done a number of projects:
+ Completed 2 new meeting rooms in GE areas, on the 3rd floor.
+ Completed reception areas.
+ Placed seats in the Yellow Zone.
+ Upgraded gym equipment.

– The Vaccine Day campaign was conducted successfully within 2 days. We supported TTC for the vaccination for 6000 people on site.
– Koi Pond & Phuc Long will open soon.
– 60% of the smart meeting room facilities have been installed.

– VNG DC Tan Thuan:
+ Completed the groundwork last month.
+ Hopefully, 50% will have been completed when Starter returns to the campus.
+ Expected to add 1200-1500 seats.

7. TECHNICAL
The second quarter of 2021 witnessed a significant change that the HR team, Finance, IoT,… were moved to the TS team, so the team changed the structure and centralized to have a more holistic view on all the technology solutions we are using to provide better service to everyone.
– There are more security-related issues than last year, but the average time our team fixes problems and responds to you is also much faster.
– Support to build a separate security team for VNG Cloud and have some good results.
– Apply for ISO 27001 and other international information security certificates for various products, including several new and old ones. In the third quarter, we target to achieve ISO 27001 and PCIs certifications for all products.
– IT and infrastructure services: support employees to set up devices for WFH, deliver equipment and machines home for Starters.
– A new policy related to the cost of repairing damaged machinery has been put into practice. For damaged equipment that needs repair, the company will bear 50% of the fixing expense for Starter and, at the same time, we have reduced the insurance cost from 1 million VND/case to 0 VND. The new policy shows that the company will share responsibility when the machine is damaged while being used.
– FIS, IFRS: meet the deadlines.
– Data platform: support for IFRS to pull back old data of previous years to collect the calculations for plans and projects.
– Bshield – mobile app security product has been deployed and integrated into a few products, for example, the version designed for ZaloPay is to protect its users on Zalo and the product is also included in VLTK. Currently, Bshield has more than 700k daily active devices using this solution. The system is operating stably, no problems have been arising, which is a good result. Moreover, Bshield is also working with ZPS to test its function on some games.

Plans for the next 6 months:
– Completed certificates for all units and vảious products of VNG in Q3.
– Bshield aims to achieve more than 3 million daily active devices using the solution, besides VNG’s products, the team also tries to connect with an external product so that in the future it grows as a lucrative new product for the company.

TS has 02 new construction products:
(1) Engineering Platform is built for the company’s engineers to create an environment for everyone to provide resources for building and developing products. We are testing this product and expect to release it widely in the next 1-2 days.
(2) MyVNG: a product for everyone to use in their daily work, which included a social platform so that Starters can communicate with each other, receive company announcements, join groups, check the company’s meeting schedules or events, submit requests such as applying for leave, WFH,… on this system. My VNG will have both web and mobile app versions for everyone to use, and we expect to release them at the end of August.

II. Q&A BETWEEN STARTER & SMT

1. It’s mid-July and it’s almost VNG’s birthday when each employee gets a small gift from the company. I suggest that SMT encourage all VNG employees this year TO DONATE this gift to the company’s charity activities during this time.

=> At the moment, our theme for VNG17’s celebration is also community-oriented, so this seems quite a fitting suggestion.

2. Hi anh Minh, do you ever think that “WFH” will likely be the future of work at VNG? What do you think of a hybrid workweek where WFH days are divided equally to office days? In the context of WFH, does VNG actually need to invest in huge, nice offices?

=> WFH is inevitably going to be a big trend in the upcoming future. VNG is still closely assessing how it will be implemented because there are pros and cons for either working at the office or WFH. Personally, I still believe the demand for working in the office remains to be strong, so VNG will continue to invest in building offices and a good working environment for Starters.

In the future, when VNG expands to more offices and cities, remote working undeniably will become a very important skill to have. That’s why I encourage all teams to take advantage of this WFH time to develop the most productive remote workflow.

3. Does ZaloPay plan to work with hospitals that allow cashless payment? Because whenever I go to these hospitals to take care of my relatives, it’s still very difficult and inconvenient to pay for hospital bills?

=> ZaloPay has some hospital partners, but at this stage, we have yet to expand this partnership area. In the future when things go back to normal again, ZaloPay will work to promote cashless payment at hospitals.

4. When is the vaccination campaign for uninsured collaborators?

=> By August-September, when the supply of vaccines in HCMC is no longer limited, VNG will try to work with the city to get all VNG employees vaccinated. This is the highest priority of VNG at the moment. We will notify you as soon as there’s any update.

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