A Vietnamese entrepreneur who has made a fortune by staffing an airline with women in sexy bikini attire is on her way to becoming Vietnam’s first female billionaire.
VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao’s idea of dressing up the airline’s flight attendants with sexy outfits is about to pay off big time. Her fortune is expected to increase to $1.37 billion when the privately-owned airline goes public within the next three months.
Thanks to Thao’s idea, the company has grabbed more than 30% of Vietnam’s airline market share in just a few years. The brilliance of the company’s campaign, which boasts the motto “Enjoy Flying!”, is further highlighted by its very effective marketing tool: steamy calendars featuring the sexy attendants.
Thao, who made her first million at 21 by selling fax machines and latex rubber while studying finance and economics in Moscow, brushes off criticism of her unique business’s approach.
“You have the right to wear anything you like, either the bikini or the traditional ao dai [traditional Vietnamese clothing]. We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy.”
Thao, who owns 90% of the airline, also holds a 90 percent stake in Ho Chi Minh City’s Dragon City development and majority stakes in three resorts in Vietnam.
Take a look at the promotional video below: