A lot has happened in Vietnam over the past 24 years, and Factory Manager Phuong Le Thi Anh has been at Sika for all of it. Sika began serving the Vietnamese market in 1993, and the Hanoi branch was opened in 1997, making Phuong one of the first employees. Today, she manages a mortar factory in the Bac Ninh province near Hanoi, the hot and humid capital of Vietnam.

Sealing the Future in North Vietnam

During the Vietnam War in the early 1970’s, Hanoi was shattered – its bridges and railways were bombed by the Americans. These were later repaired, but scars from the war lingered, and it took Western investors decades before they put money into serious infrastructure there.

As a result, Hanoi’s construction boom happened only recently as war memories faded. Skyscrapers have radically changed the landscape, and infrastructure is constantly being upgraded. Hanoi will be among the fastest growing cities in the world in terms of GDP from 2008 to 2025, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers.

"What really interests me is bringing all the different roofing technologies together into one powerful, integrated Sika offer that establishes the company as a serious player and leverages the strengths of all areas. Bringing together all the pieces of the jigsaw has been critical to driving success in UK roofing. For me, this provides an exciting and engaging challenge."
Factory Manager Phuong Le Thi Anh
Image: Factory Manager Phuong Le Thi Anh

Huge Infrastructure Development

Phuong has witnessed the completion of landmark projects made with Sika products, such as the Son La Hydropower Plant in 2006 – the largest hydropower plant in Southeast Asia – and Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge Nhat Tan in 2015, a new icon with its five towers symbolizing the five ancient gates of Hanoi.

" I feel very proud that I have been growing as an individual alongside these remarkable milestones for my country,” she said."
Nature in Vietnam
Image: Nature in Vietnam

Team of the Year

Sika is the leading supplier of construction chemicals in Vietnam, and most revenue here is earned through waterproofing, which makes sense for a country hit by monsoons and flooding from May to October. According to Phuong, Sika and the Vietnamese place similar value on resilience.

"To Vietnamese people, home is the most important place. It’s where the whole family lives, where they engage each other. Therefore, people always want to build resilient houses for their families. Similarly, Sika is a company that always focuses on reliability. This is aligned with our culture."

Her best experience at Sika was eight years ago, when she was promoted from a Customer Service Supervisor to Factory Manager of the Bac Ninh plant. “This was a huge challenge for me as my experience was limited at the time. With the support from my line manager and colleagues, I learned the skills to successfully manage the plant from 2014 until today.”

She describes the Sika Spirit as “Work hard and play hard. Especially in the Bac Ninh Plant, ‘Sika Spirit’ is represented as empowerment, respect, and collaboration between colleagues,” she said.

Sika Bac Ninh Plant
Image: Sika Bac Ninh Plant

The most valuable thing she learned during her career is that she is never alone. “I have a strong team with me who always try their best to make the plant stronger.” For the future, Phuong Le Thi Anh will train successors in the Bac Ninh Plant to follow in her footsteps as they brace for more rapid urbanization in Vietnam. “I hope I can maintain high spirits, and a burning passion to learn at Sika. Maybe I could be a role model for women and next generations in Sika to follow.”

Nelson Silva
Image: Sika Day in Bac Ninh province near Hanoi