Andrew P. Rowan: How To Do Business in Vietnam (and Why You Should Consider It)

In this episode, I sit down with Andrew P. Rowan, author of Startup Vietnam: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Socialist Republic. In this interview, we dive into what it means to do business in a culture that’s different from your own and what entrepreneurs need to know before taking their business far from home.

Topics include:

  • Andrew’s first trip to Vietnam (and what inspired him to write his book)
  • The surprising cultural differences in business structures
  • The core differences in startup culture and the type of introduction that is very rare in Vietnam
  • Why the division of personal and professional is actually just a cultural construct (and what Andrew learned about alcohol consumption)
  • Why Andrew felt this book needed to be written
  • What many people get wrong when they choose to dismiss companies overseas
  • How status is viewed in Vietnam (and the surprising truth about how much sway it actually has as compared to here)
  • The difference between an insult here and there
  • Are there internet trolls in Vietnam?
  • The dangers of saying the wrong thing on social media (and what that can mean for your business)
  • What it means to be “rich” in Vietnam
  • And much more!

Andrew P. Rowan is an American entrepreneur who has lived and worked in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang since 2013. As the founder and director of GKTA Group, he established a partnership with the Finland-Vietnam Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), which accelerates growth for startups originating in Vietnam, with support from the governments of Vietnam and Finland. A leading expert on entrepreneurship, startups, and economic development, Andrew has collaborated on innovation initiatives in Vietnam with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, as well as with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology. He graduated with honors from Sacred Heart University and holds a master’s degree in international business from Hult International Business School.

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