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A Plan of IDG

U.S technology firm IDG plans to invest up to US$100 million in the Vietnamese market

By Lan Anh

Mr. Patrick J. McGovern

While many big information technology companies are still skeptical about Vietnamese market, International Data Group thinks differently. Early October, during a trip to assess the Vietnamese market, Patrick J. McGovern, IDG's founder and chairman, told the press that IDG does have plans to greatly expand its operations in Vietnam between now and 2010. IDG started business in Vietnam before the United States lifted its embargo against the country in 1994. Now after nearly 10 years operating in Vietnam, Mc Govern is considering if IDG should pump more money into Vietnam and expand IDG's other businesses, such as IT market research, more publications and technology venture investments. He was participating in the 10-year anniversary of PC World Vietnam.
He said IDG is going to increase the number of publications with which it is involved by adding three or four more publications covering different areas of technology such as computer networking and telecommunications, IT strategies for executives, and electronic product design.
In addition to its current tradeshow activities, IDG wants to add some more annual conferences and IT exhibitions on technology education, IT banking and clinic shows. "We intend to invest from US$50 million to US$100 million in commercial ventures in Vietnam." The American millionaire announced, "First, we will turn our recent rep office in HCM City into a wholly-owned IDG Vietnam company with a charter capital of US$300,000 next year."
The publisher of technical magazines including PC World and Computerworld is likely to pump into startups an initial investment of US$500,000 to US$1 million each, and US$5-6 million in subsequent stages.
Asked what makes him so confident in the Vietnam IT industry, McGovern said he highly values the IT market in Vietnam. "I believe it will be one of the fastest growing markets in Asia. With an annual IT growth of 22%, Vietnam has much potential for IT development so we are very confident of success here."
McGovern also gave some predictions for the worldwide IT industry in the year to come. He forecasted that overall, the IT market is growing 3% worldwide this year, and it will increase to 7% in 2003 and 10% in 2004.
Asked about the telecom industry current crisis, he said the telecom industry is struggling because it overpaid for licenses for a new spectrum, overestimated the demand for new services, and as a consequence took on too much debt compared to its operating earnings capacity. Therefore, many companies have to be restructured. After they complete restructuring, they should be in a healthy condition to begin to offer 2.5G and 3G services for which there is now a growing demand. By tracking real market needs rather than being distracted by financial pressures, they should be able to grow healthily and profitably in the future.
McGovern affirmed that IDG has been leading in the data business. He explained, "One of the reasons that IDG has been judged to have been the most accurate forecaster of the demand for IT is that we rely upon intensive gathering of data from actual buyers of the technology rather than relying upon sales forecasts of the IT industry. The industry is typically optimistic, and many companies overestimate what they can gain. By relying upon a detailed survey of the actual intentions of buyers to acquire products and services and their approved budgets, we are able to consistently be more accurate in our forecasts of demand.".
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