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Madame Le Hoang Diep Thao, Founder & CEO of King Coffee, was interviewed by the international magazine The CEO Insight Asia Magazine

Created At: 23-12-2023

Updated At: 06-06-2024

Le Hoang Diep Thao , CEO

CEO Le Hoang Diep Thao

For many people, a perfect morning begins with the tantalizing aroma and taste of a steaming cup of coffee. With each sip, a sense of calm, comfort and sophistication washes over you. And when it comes to making your day special, King Coffee is there with a selection of fine Vietnamese Robusta coffee. King Coffee's founder, Le Hoang Diep Thao, has more than two and a half decades of experience in the coffee sector and is dedicated to bringing Vietnamese coffee to the world. As CEO of King Coffee and co-founder of Trung Nguyen Group, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the companies' legacy and helping the country's coffee achieve global recognition.

In 2016, she introduced the King Coffee brand to the U.S. for the first time and was quickly supported by the Vietnamese and Asian communities in the United States. This milestone enabled King Coffee to distribute its products throughout the U.S., followed by expansions to Korea, China, etc. Currently, King Coffee's products are exported to 120 countries around the world and are on the shelves of major supermarket chains such as Costco, Walmart, Aldi, Amazon, and others.

Despite the global reach of her businesses, Le Hoang Diep Thao remains deeply connected to her roots. She has brought the King Coffee brand back to Vietnam, where it all began. During her journey, Le Hoang Diep Thao has tirelessly travelled to more than 43 countries and participated in about 230 international forums and seminars to promote Vietnamese coffee and express her firm belief in 'changing the game' in the international coffee industry.

CEO Insights Asia is pleased to interview this meticulous leader.

How would you describe your path to success and what principles have guided you along the way?

In my 27 years of professional experience, I have had the privilege of connecting with coffee lovers around the world. It gives me great proud to see my name resonate with coffee lovers around the world. Through my active involvement in many activities in Vietnam and aboard, I have been actively working to promote the value of our coffee and contribute to its growth in our country.

To succeed, it is critical to choose the right industry. This segment of the hospitality industry has always been my passion, and I firmly believe that you can only succeed by doing what you truly love.

Along with a clear vision and unwavering commitment, perseverance and inner strength are essential to overcome the challenges in any segment. It's a demanding field, and overcoming obstacles requires perseverance and determination. Moreover, it's not just about business success, but also about making a meaningful contribution.

My ultimate goal is to contribute to the growth of a billion-dollar coffee industry in Vietnam, my home country, while creating pathways for younger generations to succeed on the global stage

How do you define King Coffee as an organization and its position within the market?

King Coffee is the largest Vietnamese premium coffee brand with global reach. With registrations in 179 countries, we have a wide reach that provides a solid foundation for long-term growth. Besides, King Coffee has a wide and unique coffee portfolio to meet the demand of consumers around the world.

What sets King Coffee apart is our unwavering commitment to quality and the best ingredients. In addition, King Coffee has revolutionized the industry by building a solid supply chain. In the past, Vietnam focused primarily on exporting green coffee beans without addressing production, marketing and distribution. King Coffee recognized the untapped potential and made it its mission to change the Vietnamese coffee landscape. We implemented an integrated approach that encompassed the entire supply chain. By taking control of the production process, we ensure that each step meets rigorous quality standards and delivers a product that exceeds expectations.

Through rapid and innovative development, King Coffee has expanded its presence to over 120 countries and territories, solidifying its position as a leading coffee brand. To improve accessibility, we launched the King Coffee Super App, which allows consumers to conveniently purchase our coffee anytime, anywhere.

Coud you share insights into your leadership approach?

My leadership approach is based on reason, strategy and a strong commitment to achieving our goals. Passion plays a critical role in leading with determination, especially when faced with market challenges and enticing alternative opportunities.

I believe in a gentle and skilful use of power when it comes to making sensitive leadership decisions. By understanding the social status of women, I tap into the strengths that have propelled successful women entrepreneurs in Asia. In addition, I seek to motivate people to overcome their limitations and consistently pursue their goals.

What is your envisioned destination for the future?

Over the next five years, I am focused on building a business model that incorporates new technologies to expand our reach globally. We have a super app to bring our coffee to new regions and allow individuals to make money with the entrepreneurial opportunities available on the platform.

I want to pave the way for the next generation, just as I dedicated my book 'The Queen of King Coffee' to my children to symbolize my commitment to the future generations.

Le Hoang Diep Thao, CEO, King Coffee

Madame Le Hoang Diep Thao is an established author of ‘The Queen of King Coffee’, the first comprehensive business manual by a Vietnamese businesswoman. She has been recognized as one of the Top 50 GLOBAL Professional & Career Women by IFC, awarded Entrepreneur of The Year in Vietnam by Global Business Review Magazine, and honored as the ‘Most Admired CEO in Vietnam’ by Global Brands Magazine.

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