Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s wealthiest individual with a net worth exceeding Rs 39,000 crore ($4.7 billion), is emerging as a formidable contender to Elon Musk’s Tesla in the electric vehicle (EV) market. Unlike India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, Vuong is spearheading this challenge with his company, VinFast Auto. He plans to invest an additional $1.8 billion to establish manufacturing plants in India, the US, and Indonesia by 2026, according to Forbes.
Vuong, aged 55, is directing over $10 billion (almost Rs 83,300 crore) towards making VinFast a global leader in the EV sector. His ambitious goal is to turn a profit by 2025, achieving this milestone nine years faster than Tesla. Despite his reputation for taking risks, VinFast faces skepticism as it strives to sell a million units within six years, a feat accomplished 11 years after Tesla.
The substantial investment encompasses the development of a fully automated manufacturing plant, charging infrastructure, and a diverse range of EV models tailored for the local market. Vuong’s journey began with studying economics at the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. He initiated his business career with a failed restaurant in Ukraine but later found success in selling instant noodles, earning $150 million when he sold his brand to Nestle.
Beyond the automotive sector, Vuong expanded his ventures to include a luxury resort on Vietnam’s Nha Trang island, the launch of the VinSmart smartphone brand in 2018, and the development of a cable car and commercial skyscraper in Hanoi. His strategic meeting with billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani and Adani Group’s reported interest in expanding in Vietnam further highlights the dynamic shifts in the global EV market.