Travel business story: From buffalo to kiteboardschool!
This story is about Hai. How he becomes the owner of a kitesurfschool, bar and restaurant. Key moments? Sell his fathers buffalo and marry on the right moment.
In Ho Chi Minh I met Jaap a guy from Holland who was working for a kiteboardingschool in Mui Ne. He told me the business story about his boss Hai. He and his family lives on the country side of Vietnam. Hai went to Mui Ne and starts his own Kiteboardingschool over there. But to become the owner of the kiteboardschool he has to work hard and believe in the opportunities. I went to Mui Ne to met Hai he told me his full story. Wow that’s inspiring!
The father of Hai has served in the army and was a banker. After he gets sick he doesn’t get any money from companies anymore. They move to the country site and starts farming in a little town in the center of Vietnam near a delta. Thats the place where Hai grows up. It was a hard life, when it was raining the water flooded the village.
The only way out is to study. So Hai goes to a school 16 km away from his village. Everyday, 30 km a day. In the school borns the first business idea of Hai. There was a pool table, his friends played everyday many games of pool. The people seems addicted to the tables. What if he could bring the pool table to the village?
His father sold his buffalo as investment
Hai (at that moment 15 years old) asks his father to sell his buffalo and his father says yes. Hai bought a pool table and billiards table and in four months he pays his father back with money he owned by the tables! The next three year he keeps the tables to make money for his study.
School is important
When he was finished Hai tried to get on the Border police university but failed the test twice. He goes and stays at the IT school in Nha Trang. Hai had different jobs in his summer holidays like, store manager at his uncles company and waiter at a coffeeshop.
First contact with the watersports and kitesurfing
In 2001/2002 Hai gets a job at a English watersports company in Nha Trang. He learns in 1.5 year to Wakeboard, Surf, Kitesurf and a lot of other watersports. At the same time Hai started with two friends a business in second hand computers and computer parts. They make good money till the big companies will compete them. The business is going down and Hai sells his part to the other owners.
Move to Mui Ne
With the money he earned from the sale Hai moved to Mui Ne. He worked for different kiteboard schools in Mui Ne. Hai was the first IKO in Vietnam. He worked 1.5 year for other school till he started is own school.
Marry as investment
Hai wanted to start his own kiteboardschool but didn’t have money. But he had a plan. When people parry in Vietnam they het money from guests and family. So He gets married. With the money he and his wife get he bought 5 secondhand kites and 3 boards. After every season its gets better and he looks for the cheap after season sales. In 2009/2010 he could buy his first five brand new set of kites. The business does so good that after this season he could invest in new boards, kites and work on the quality and service of his business.
In 2014 the club and restaurant next to his school was for sale. He had only 4 days to decide but did it! He had three days left for the opening. That was a success! The club and kitesurfschool are a good combination for both businesses. And of course the club has a pool table!
Thnx Hai that you would share this inspiring story!