For Americans who still associate Vietnam with a 40-year-old war, it may be difficult to picture the South East Asian country as a thriving capitalist market, but like its neighbor to the north China, Vietnam has been enjoying a boom, with a busy stock exchange and a growing consumer market, both of which are attracting the attention of the giant global public relations agencies. When the multinational firms do arrive en masse, they are going to have their work cut out catching up with local leader Galaxy Public Relations, which has 65 people in its
Hoai, the firm’s chairman, has worked with several government agencies including the Ministry of Planning & Investment, the Ministry of Trade, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and the Ministry of Finance, experience that has been extremely helpful to multinationals who have worked with Galaxy to establish and develop their businesses in the Vietnamese market. Managing director Le Thu Quyen joined the firm in 1994 as a consultant responsible for foreign investment projects and was promoted to her current role last year. Pham Thanh Nga, managing partner, rounds out the leadership team, having joined in 2000 after working on the client side of the business with the Mitsubishi/Meiwa trading group and Raytheon.
Galaxy has grown at an impressive rate—up to 50 percent per annum—over the past eight years, and last year saw very healthy 25 percent growth, including high-profile assignments such as visits to Vietnam by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and chief executive Steve Ballmer and by the CEOs of clients AIG and Alcon. The firm also represented APEC in