According to Arvigor Trading & Co. CEO Duc-Anh Do, there is no playbook to his work. Each account, client and project is different, and that is one of the reasons he loves his work.
Located in Berlin, Germany, Arvigor Trading works with small and medium-sized companies from all over the world. However, Do and his associates aim much of their focus on countries such as Vietnam, Russia, Great Britain, Germany and Armenia.
Do worked for a number of investment groups before taking on his current role at Arvigor Trading & Co.
No day is the same for Do and his associates, but they are meticulously planned. Luckily, he was able to afford Totalprestige Magazine some time for an interview, recently. During our talk, Do told us all about Arvigor Trading & Co., his hobbies and a wide variety of other things that make him smile.
Duc, can you please tell us about Arvigor Trading and the services you provide?
Arvigor Trading is a trading company with a hybrid business model, which means that we are involved in physical trading, e-commerce, public relations, trade advisory and business consulting; to mention our core fields of activity. Our service portfolio covers many areas in international trade, including market entry, sourcing, advisory and business consulting for small and medium-sized enterprises that intend to diversify their business on an international scale.
Can you please give us more information about your trade advisory and business consulting solutions?
Our trade advisory and business consulting solutions are customized to the individual requirements of our clients. To improve the effectiveness of our solutions for the business of our clients, we employ internal models to quantify risks, to analyze data and to predict reasonable outcomes.
With a number of trading companies out there, what makes your company stand out from competitors?
It is diversity. Our business is diversified, but compact; so, that our clients entrust us as a central point of contact for services in international trade. Due to the various fields we are involved in, our competitors compete with us in one or several dimensions, but there is no single competitor for us with respect to all dimensions.
Duc, tell us how your career began and what have been some of the highlights?
My career began as an international graduate of a major international banking group in the corporate and investment banking division. Upon graduation, I started to work with multinational corporations for some years. As this method of recruitment is meant to build an internal supply of management talent, it did not take long until I was invited to participate in a talent development program, where I was provided with a personal mentor, and all participants regularly met with senior executives and collaborated on inter-departmental projects.
What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
An incorporation is the culmination point of a long period of planning, organization and hard work.
How do you find inspiration?
Work itself is a source of inspiration, especially the people I am dealing with from all over the world. Apart from work, I also enjoy visiting art galleries and contemporary art museums, especially avant-garde. Indeed, some years ago, I started my own collection of fine art, consisting mostly of Vietnamese lacquer paintings.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
To break down the challenges into little pieces, to analyze them, and to solve them. There is no playbook.
What do you have your sights set on next?
In the near future, I will likely incorporate our e-commerce marketplace and another tech project.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
I was fortunate to grow up with people who would later become entrepreneurs or who come from a family of successful entrepreneurs. Since I am a very careful listener, I have been learning a lot from the experiences of others.
What is a day in your life like?
It is very long due to the cross-regional time differences. Therefore, I plan and organize my time meticulously.
What makes you smile?
I enjoy understated British humour.
What scares you?
Being scared and not trying.
What is your greatest achievement?
There is reason to believe that anything which could be deemed a great achievement still is in front of me, as I tend to look forward rather than backward.
What is your secret talent?
You know I cannot tell you that. But I can imagine whoever does business with us will likely figure it out.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
The beauty of history is exemplified in the power of reconciliation. Hence, there are many, rather than a single individual, I admire for different reasons. Even though parts of my family can look into a long lineage and well documented history in Vietnam that stretches back over a millennium, including figures such as Mạc Hiển Tích, millions of other Vietnamese and I appreciate those historical figures in my family who endured years as political prisoners under severe conditions, humiliation, mistreatment and torture, in particular during the 1930s and 1940s, in French prisons on Vietnamese soil for the liberty that I and others can enjoy today. Some of them would later hold political and the highest judicial office. They were very modest people.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I play tennis and basketball. Soccer also from time to time. Or I meet with people, enjoy wine and conversations, go to the theatre or movies. I also like to travel, to the Côte d’Azur in particular.
What are you never without?
My glasses. No not the glasses of wine. As I am shortsighted and I do not want to use contact lenses. It is also useful sometimes as I do not need to see everything so vividly, which means I can take my glasses off.
Can you tell us your favorite quote?
From a book that I read: “He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision.” (J.S. Mill, On Liberty). I guess it is quite a long one.
How do you define success?
I shall reserve this definition for the very last days of my life.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
Close the backdoors, open the front door and keep the side windows half-open.
Arvigor Trading is a German-based trading company located in Berlin. For more information on Arvigor Trading and Duc-Anh Do, please visit www.arvigortrading.com.