Keeping up with Grab Vietnam

“Change is coming to transportation, whether we’re ready for it or not.”

Deloitte University Press stated that strongly in their report regarding Digital Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility in 2012. In the same year, Grab Holdings Inc., formerly known as MyTeksi and GrabTaxi, a Singapore based transportation network company established with a vision to be “Southeast Asia’s largest mobile technology company that connects millions of consumers to millions of driver, merchants and businesses.” (Grab, 2019). And in 2014, Grab landed its business in Vietnam and Indonesia (Dragan 2018).

Grab expanded to Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in 2013 and in Vietnam and Indonesia in 2014. Then they started expanding as it launched GrabBike, GrabCar, GrabHitch and GrabExpress. By May 2014 GrabTaxi had 1.2 million and in June 2017 it had over one million drivers registered in the network and the app was downloaded on more than 45 million devices across Southeast Asia.

For over the past few years, Grab has been growing strong and becoming a generic term people use to call the transportation service via mobile app in South East Asia. The Grab app was launched in 2012 by its founder Anthony Tan after receiving USD 25,000 from Harvard Business school. The company first started as a location-sharing system, assigning taxis nearby commuters through its app. One year later, Grab expanded its business to the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Adapting and innovating based on market demands in different locations, GrabBike, GrabCar, GrabHitch and GrabExpress were launched. By June 2017, it had over one million drivers registered in the network and the app was downloaded on more than 45 million devices across Southeast Asia (Dragan 2018). It is often to hear  “Let’s me take Grab to the event”, “I need it immediately. Can you please Grab it over?” (meaning Can you use Grab delivery service to send it over?). Grab has become an important part among Vietnamese daily transportation and slowly we accept it as the cheaper alternative of Taxi and “Xe om”.

Vietnam late 1990s and early 2000s, motorcycle became popular. Riding service “xe om” – an informal word that Vietnamese use to refer to “motor-taxi” grew to be a crucial part . It is cheaper, faster and it could carry more goods loads compare to “xich lo”. “Xe om” is so popular for people to get from place to place without having their own vehicle or a mobile phone.  You could find “Xe om” at the intersection of the streets, the market, the park, the mall or could be at the street food stalls. All you need is agree with the rider about the fee and pay by cash. How simple!



The only issue is you need to know how to bargain! Since there is no official price benchmark, the “xe om” rider could just tell you any amount of money comes to his mind. Besides, the safety issue is a major concern for young adults and women in the Asian countries A large amount of criminal news on national broadcast, radio, newspaper appearing non-stop could make everyone hesitate to sit on any transportation service except their own.

Coming from Harvard Business and strong Asian background, two Grab founders Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling started Grab taxi to solve Asian transportation issues such as safety ride and better working conditions for all riders and drivers. Those are the reason why the goal and the core of Grab business apply well in Vietnamese riding culture and daily life. After 5 years running Grab service running in Vietnam, Grab has been widening their business to not only Grab Taxi but also Grab Bike, Grab Express (Delivery), Grab Food, Grab Express and Grab for Business as well as a partnership with local digital payments vendor, Moca.

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Transportation Services

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Other transportation services

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Grab Food

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Moca Wallet

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Grab Express Delivery

The collaboration helped push Moca’s payments volume on Grab’s mobile app up by 150% in the first half of 2019, with monthly mobile active users increasing more than 70%, said Grab in a statement Wednesday (Yu, 2019).

Grab Food delivery service also reached a massive 400% climb in gross merchandise value in the first half of the year, ringing in 300,000 orders a day on average (Yu, 2019).

Based on its successful launched for the above services, Grab announced its plan for $500 million investment, which will go towards the introduction of new services and expansion of existing ones such as their main transport services and online payments. To span over five years, the funds injection will help the ride-sharing operator tap opportunities in technology, logistics, and local mobility (Yu, 2019).

Despite very good picture Grab showing us through their numbers, there are other local issues exist such as strong competitors on transportation services Go-Viet, Bee, Vato and also local delivery and online payment businesses. Consumer behaviour is also changing!

However, moving from a successful year in 2019, and reading from recent events above, I believed we sure hope to see a great growth of Grab Vietnam in the future.

Please leave a comment below to share your thought and any experience with Grab Vietnam or Grab services in other countries that you have.




Personal insight: Vietnamese Authentic Watch market

This is the first time Scarlet File has a post about Vietnamese Watch market. This post is a special insight shared by one of my best friend, who has been doing business in the market for over 3 years. As a young entrepreneur, he would love to share his experience to give us an idea of what is going on in the current market in Vietnam, which is such a fruitful land for young entrepreneur starting up local and international business.

The post will be shared with you in two languages, Vietnamese and English. I will keep the Vietnamese post in its original form and only translate the English version for your reference. Hope you enjoy this post.

This is a personal view of an amateur watch traders on the watch market in Vietnam, of course, I am talking about authentic watches, branded ones. Friendly reminder before we start: all sellers must have a calm mind. 

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I am K, a young man belongs to the 9x generation. I started to participate in the field of foreign imported watches into Vietnam for over 2 years from 2016 to present. I do not consider myself an expert in this field but have some knowledge and experience in this market.

How does the watch market in Vietnam work?

In my opinion, the Vietnamese watch market can be divided into the following main parts:
– Gray market
– White market
– Black Market
First of all, the “black market” is one of the most well-known and most recognizable segments of the market for many the sidewalk sellers (most known in Nhat Tao Market in HCMC). Here, the real-fake confusion and the origin of goods is not clear, the quality of the product is a big unknown issue (only until you see what’s inside the watch). Usually, the diamond-diggers love to go through this messy place and use their tricks to get close to the aunts / aunts / uncle / salesman at the market for a better hint.

Black market is not for innocent people, 10 units you see are actually 9.5 fake. The remaining 0.5 usually only replacement parts. In return, the price is cheaper or more affordable to most of the buyers. However, no one really tells that it’s fake. The common reason they whisper in your ears is “I’ve got this from a super cheap discount in USA/Canada/Korea/UK)”. 99% of watches in the black market are poor quality and won’t last long. But who say you are not the lucky 1% remaining? It’s quite rare if you ever buy an the authentic watch in this market, either you must be super lucky as I said, or you are an experienced one. This playground must an absolutely no-no to the newbie entering the business. Don’t take the bait.


Next, the “white market” sounds like it, really is a beautiful showroom. The store is the genuine dealer of the brand, which have a decent registration license. This is the most prominent place. Famous stores local people know are Xwatch, Duy Anh, Hai Trieu. And the price is, no need to mention how expensive it is, as buying a watch and the Mount Everest comes with it. Of course, explanation for expensive price is because of advertising fee, staffing, renting price, transportation, the cost of shiny display, etc.

Source: & 

The amount of tax 35% paid for every imported watch from overseas is the average tax rate in Vietnam. Plus, there are a lot more to contribute to a high selling price for buyers. However, stores can guaranty the prices will worth buyer’s expectation in quality of products. When people shop in store, they can be assured that 90% that they buy are genuine, high quality and come with a package of brand warranty. But why only 90%? As far as Einstein was concerned, it is impossible to say one thing in an absolute sense. The lower chances depend on the ethic of each business, the profit they make, and if the sales fraud allow to mix fake items to cheat customers. There are always choices and so you have lots of references from a variety of sources to check on the products. Google is the simplest way to help you minimize the risk of buying the most perfect fake item.

Finally, the “gray market” is the area where I am rolling and crawling through suppliers to bring back the best products at the most affordable price for all (of course there must be profit for me). You often call the gray market product is a my-friend-bought-from-oversea watch (People usually say they bought it themselves when they travel oversea, or their relatives bought who living abroad send the products over). Actually, this is only half accurate saying.  Because, for example, I buy a Tissot watch from the Tissot store in Switzerland and carry it back to Vietnam, the price maybe even higher than the Tissot watch I buy in Tissot store in Ho Chi Minh malls. So how does this gray market work?Simply put it this way. We, the sellers, focus on the area of authentic ​​products sold at reduced prices from 30% -70% off on the label. And of course, it is 100% genuine, brand new. You will wonder why those products are in such attractive discount and buyer may consider it as a fraud.

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Honestly, at the beginning, I thought so too. After learning and observing the market for 3 years, I can tell you that there are such discounts and you name it Festivals, Black Friday, Mid year sales, End of year sales, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter ….) in many countries: Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, and especially US). Products on sales are usually end of season, old collection and no longer preferred in the country domestic market. Some displayed sale items are items were refund or exchange by customers. In Vietnam we call that real-discount, proved by a large amount of money actually decrease from original price since in local stores here will increase the price before put it on sales and use the word “sales” as a trick.

Special discount websites like Ashford, Jomashop, CreationWatch, Amazon …. You must pay special attention to the products on these sites, they always come with warranty for 1-5 years depending on the product. And why these sites can offer such a good price? I will explain a simple way. Online stores such as Amazon have long-term partnership with brands and experience in online business, selling large quantities and have loyal customers. Therefore, they are offered good deals, in some cases, almost impossible to compete for other smaller retail outlet.
Of course, Amazon has a lot of want to move to business in Vietnam, however, for many reasons such as the tax system in Vietnam and the high tax rates make the goods and businesses travel from abroad to Vietnam too expensive, higher cost, longer rotation, lower profit, etc.

Understanding there is a gap in this market segment, many private shipping companies specializing in receiving orders from overseas to come in to meet the needs of customers, such as OSVSHOP and some other prestigious units. With these shipping units, you will be able to shop for sale items, without the hassle of costly customs clearance, and the cost of using the service is also very low. This service is reasonable and rational. However, to save cost, to optimize the shipping fee for all, people often collect multiple orders to ship at one. The effect of this procedure is delaying in orders (due to objective factors such as warehouse process, transportation conditions, weather, etc.). In addition, the human factor is equally affected, such as the unit difficult to avoid the loss / damage (stolen goods by employees, transported carelessly).


The existing 3 markets: the black, the gray and the white are parallel and support each others undeniably. Each market serves different segment of customers and sellers. Personally, I believe the gray market is the right path for you, young entrepreneur to enter the business. Take note that, you must consider carefully all factors, the good and the bad before you start.

The above are spoken from my personal view and experience of the watch market in Vietnam in a global context that I’ve been working in and have experiences. Of course, there are quite a lot of ‘personal’  opinions due to my exposure and extensive access. I strongly suggest the readers to look for additional references, and enrich your own experience from daily observation and consumption habit.

The article is only intended to express the perspective of young watch seller. Should you have any comment about my post or would like to share your own profession opinions, please leave a comment below.




Góc nhìn cá nhân của một thương lái đồng hồ nghiệp dư về thị trường đồng hồ đeo tay tại Việt Nam, tất nhiên là hành chính hãng nhé. Bán hàng phải có tâm chứ lị

Chào các bạn, tôi là K, thuộc thế hệ 9x, tôi bắt đầu tham gia vào lãnh vực buôn đồng hồ xách tay nước ngoài về Việt Nam được 2 năm từ 2016 đến nay. Tôi không tự cho mình là chuyên gia trong lãnh vực này những cũng có một số kiến thức, kinh nghiệm xương máu cho thị trường này.

Thị trường đồng hồ Việt Nam được chia ra thành bao nhiêu phần?

Theo ý kiến của tôi, thì thị trường đồng hồ Việt Nam có thể chia thành những phần chính như sau:

  • Chợ xám
  • Thị trường trắng
  • Chợ đen

Trước tiên, “chợ đen” là phân khúc thị trường mà ai cũng biết và dễ nhận biết nhất đó là những cô/dì/chú/bác bán đồng hồ vỉa hè ở chợ (chợ Nhật Tảo nhiều người biết nhất). Hàng hoá ở đây, thật giả lẫn lộn và nguồn gốc hàng hoá cũng không rõ ràng (chợ đen mà), chất lượng sản phẩm thì khỏi phải nói luôn (có trời mới biết nếu không bung máy). Tuy nhiên với các cao thủ chuyên săn mồi, thì việc nhận biết kim cương trong đống rác này cũng có một số thủ thuật (và 01 trong số đó là đánh bạn với mấy anh/chị/cô/dì/chú/bác bán hàng). Nói chung thị trường này không dành cho dân gà mờ và kẻ yếu tim, 10 chiếc thì giả hết 9.5 chiếc, còn lại 0.5 chiếc là hàng replica (hàng thay thế phụ kiện). Giá cả ở khu này thì các bạn phải biết trả giá mặc cả, để đạt mức giá vừa phải kiếm lời, nhưng đa số là siêu rẻ siêu giảm giá, ahihihi, vì đa số là hàng kém chất lượng và fake, hiếm lắm mới có chiếc thật, mà bạn phải siêu may mắn hoặc là thợ chuyên nghiệp thì mới chọn đúng được. Sân chơi này phải tuyệt đối tránh cho mấy newbie ham hố nhé, ngay cả thợ nhiều khi còn dính chấu.

Tiếp theo, “thị trường trắng” nghe có vẻ kêu, nhưng thật chất đó là các showroom, cửa hàng là đại lý chính hãng của các thương hiệu đồng hồ (có giấy phép đăng ký đàng hoàng nhé). Nói sơ qua thì thị trường này hiện này nổi nhất đó là Xwatch, Duy Anh, Hải Triều…. Và giá cả thì khỏi phải nói rồi, cao như đỉnh Everest luôn. Và giá cao vì đâu, vì tiền mặt bằng, quảng cáo, thuê mướn nhân viên, tiền thuế (ây dà, 35% cho mỗi chiếc đồng hồ nhập về từ nước ngoài là giá thuế bình quân đó nha), cộng lại vô vàn chi phí đó tạo nên mức giá cao vời vợi mà chúng ta (học sinh, sinh viên hoặc ít tiền) khó mà sở hữu được. Tuy nhiên, giá cả thường đi với chất lượng, khi bạn mua sắm bạn có thể an tâm 90% là bạn mua được hàng chính hãng, chất lượng cao và bảo hành tốt. Vậy còn 10% đi đâu về đâu, như Einstein đã từng nói: “Không có gì là tuyệt đối!”, phần còn lại thuộc về những cửa tiệm làm ăn chụp giựt, lấy lợi nhuận làm chính, bán hàng lừa gạt và thường trộn các mặt hàng giả vào trong để lừa gạt khách hàng. Luôn luôn có những con sâu làm rầu nồi canh, các bạn phải tham khảo thật nhiều từ nhiều nguồn, và Google là cách đơn giản nhất, giúp các bạn hạn chế tối đa rủi ro mua phải “hàng fake đỉnh cao”.

Cuối cùng, chợ xám chính là khu vực mà tôi đang lăn lộn lăn lê bò trườn để mang về các sản phẩm tốt nhất giá “bèo” nhất (đương nhiên là phải có lời một chút cho tôi rồi :D) dành cho các “thượng đế”. Các bạn thường gọi sản phẩm ở chợ xám là đồng hồ xách tay, thực ra chỉ đúng một ½ à. Vì nếu mình mua một cái đồng hồ tissot từ cửa hàng Tissot bên Thuỵ Sĩ về thì cũng là hàng xách tay vậy và nhiều khi còn mắc hơn gấp mấy lần sản phẩm y chang vậy bán tại cửa tiệm Tissot Việt Nam. Vậy chợ xám thực ra là gì? Đơn giản thôi, đó là khu vực tập trung các sản phẩm được bán với giá giảm từ 30%-70% giá trên nhãn mác, và là chính hãng 100%, hàng mới brand new 100%. Bạn sẽ thắc mắc tại sao những sản phẩm đó lại được giảm giá kinh khủng như vậy và sẽ mặc định luôn nó là những sản phẩm không tốt, bị lỗi hoặc hàng fake 1. Lúc đầu tôi cũng nghĩ vậy, nhưng sau khi tìm hiểu và chuột bạch nhiều nhiều lần về hàng, tôi phát hiện ra rằng, đây thật sự là những món hời kinh khủng mà ít người biết đến. Trước tiên phải đả thông cho các bạn lý do vì sao những món hàng này được giảm nhiều như vậy:

  • Lễ hội, ngày giảm giá (Black Friday, Father Day, Noel, Lễ Phục Sinh….) ở nước ngoài (đặc biệt là Mỹ) thường niên đều được giảm giá rất rất nhiều.
  • Các sản phẩm qua mốt (tạm gọi là hết mô đên, không còn được ưa thích nhiều ở nước đó nữa) cũng được giảm giá, ở Việt Nam người ta gọi là xả kho thanh lý đó, nhưng bên đó người ta làm thiệt xả giá thấp thật sự chứ không như bên Việt Nam mình kê giá cao lên rồi giảm xuống ih chang giá bình thường rồi gọi đó là xã,
  • Các mặt hàng được trưng bày, được khách hàng trả lại do không ưng ý (các mặt hàng này thường rất mới, hầu như chỉ ướm thử lên tay rồi trả lại), cũng được giảm giá cực hót
  • Những trang web đặc biệt luôn có hàng giảm giá như Ashford, Jomashop, CreationWatch, Amazon….(đặc biệt lưu ý nha)

Các bạn phải đặc biệt lưu ý các sản phẩm ở những trang web này mặc dù được giảm giá nhưng nó lại luôn được bảo hành từ 1-5 năm tuỳ sản phẩm.

Nói đến đây chắc các bạn cũng thắc mắc, vì sao những trang web này có giá tốt nhiều đến như vậy. Mình sẽ giải thích một cách đơn giản như sau, đơn giản là họ có kinh nghiệm lâu năm, là đối tác mua hàng dài hạn với số lượng lớn với các nhãn hiệu đồng hồ lớn nên họ có giá rất tố, hơn nữa đặc biệt là họ bỏ qua các chế độ bảo hành của các nhãn hiệu đồng hồ, mà tự họ sẽ đứng ra bảo hành các sản phẩm đó đối với khách hàng của họ. Với những lý do đó họ có một mức giá cực tốt mà ít đối thủ nào sánh được, với mức giá gần như không thể cạnh tranh.

Nghe có vẻ tốt quá hen, bạn sẽ thắc mắc tiếp tại sao những nhãn hàng này không xuất hiện ở Việt Nam. Câu trả lời là họ rất cố gắng đó chứ, đơn cử là Amazon có rất nhiều đồng thái muốn chuyển về kinh doanh tại thị trường Việt Nam, nhưng do nhiều lý do như hệ thống thuế khoá ở VN còn quá nhiều thủ tục, các mức thuế khá cao khiến cho việc vận chuyển hàng hoá và kinh doanh từ nước ngoài về Việt Nam bị đội chi phí quá nhiều, từ đó không thể kinh doanh được (chi phí cao, thời gian xoay vòng vốn lâu, lợi nhuận thấp thì có ma nó làm).

Nắm bắt được phân khúc này nhiều công ty vận chuyển chuyên nhận order hàng từ nước ngoài về ra đời để đáp ứng nhu cầu cho khách hàng, ví dụ như OSVSHOP và một số đơn vị uy tín khác. Với các đơn vị vận chuyển này bạn sẽ được thoả sức mua sắm các món hàng sale off cực lớn, mà không phải thực hiện các thao tác thông quan nhiêu khê tốn rất nhiều thời gian, và chi phí để sử dung dịch vụ này cũng cực hợp lý. Tuy nhiên, quá nhiều ưu điểm thì làm sao không có khuyết điểm, hiện tại để tối ưu chi phí cho khách các đơn vị vận chuyển thường gom nhiều đơn hàng mới vận chuyển về một lần, điều này làm thời gian chờ nhận được món hàng dài, và thường bị trễ hàng (do các yếu tố khách quan như thời tiết, chiến tranh, bạo động). Bên cạnh đó yếu tố con người cũng ảnh hưởng không kém, như các đơn vị khó tránh việc mất/hỏng hàng (do nhân viên lấy cắp hàng, vận chuyển không cẩn thận).

Trên đây là góc nhìn của riêng cá nhân tôi trong thị trường đồng hồ đeo tay mà tôi chiêm nghiệm và trải nghiệm được, tất nhiên là còn khá nhiều ý kiến chủ quan do thời gian tiếp xúc và khả năng tiếp cận sâu rộng của tôi cũng có giới hạn. Các bạn chỉ nên xem qua để tham khảo, bổ sung làm giàu kinh nghiệm cho bản thân. Bài viết chỉ nằm mục đích thể hiện góc nhìn các nhân, có thể đúng hoặc sai, mong anh/em trong nghề đi qua để lại một nhận xét cho mình.

Thân mến,



Marketing Books that we should read this year, suggested 20.

I came across this title on LinkedIn today and found it pretty interesting. “20 Marketing Books You Should Read in 2018” by Alex Rynne.

To be honest, I wasn’t a big reader. What I had done was skimming and skipping through all of my university text books until I found a part that can be used in my assignment. Pick up little bit here and there. Some how I felt that these books are just written in such a wordy way and not necessary to be. Surprising, now I think differently. Event thought every writer has his own experience and his own way  to express their writing style, it was me who didn’t look at the big picture and jumped in conclusion so fast.

Despite my busy time searching for material for work and complaining how annoying that my work bring me troubles some times, now I read more than when I was at university. For today, let’s see what we have missed in the first 5 months of 2018 and let’s catch up this year in the dynamic marketing world by reviewing the below 20 books we should read, recommended by Alex Rynne – an award winning Global Content Creator and Millennial Marketer (so she is good in her field and I believe in her suggestions).

No. 1: Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit, by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose

According to Alexandra, the authors of this book are “the foremost voices in content marketing”, well-known by their previous published in 2011 Managing Content Marketing. “Playing off the perception that marketing is primarily a cost center, the authors suggest sending this discipline out to pasture — at least the less strategic, less insight-driven, less innovative version they now see — and restructuring it”. In this book, Pulizzi and Rose aim to recognizing media and monetization trends then turning the department into a clear-cut profit center in order to answer the question: “What if we completely flipped the idea of the marketing function on its head?”

No. 2: Integrated Marketing Communications: Putting It Together & Making It Work, by Don E. Schultz, Stanley I. Tannenbaum,‎ and Robert F. Lauterborn

“This book made a great impact on me early in my career. The author (and father of IMC) Don Schultz stresses that everything about a company can be copied (price, place, etc.) except for how we communicate as a company. I believe in this 100% and it was one of the reasons I was drawn to content marketing.” – Joe Pulizzi 

No.3: The Practice of Management, by Peter Drucker

“A classic and must-read for ANYONE in marketing and/or sales. The lessons that Drucker had for us 60 years ago are still as relevant today.” – Robert Rose

No.4: The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business, by Rita Gunther McGrath

“This book is what has convinced me that businesses (marketing or sales) don’t need to figure out what to adapt into. They just have to develop the skills to adapt.” – Robert Rose 

No. 5: The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life, by Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey

Drawing from deep backgrounds in the field of technology, Luckett and Casey offer a scientific look at the world of social media and explain how these networks mimic the rules and functions of biological life. There is actually a chapter called “Cracking the Memetic Code” (referring to memes), which is pretty awesome. By better understanding the deeply interconnected nature of social media, and what it tells us about the human condition, marketers can formulate plans more intelligently.

No. 6: AdCult USA, by James Twitchell

“During my time in college I studied the early technologies of the renaissance in creating a literate society and the mass distribution of ideas. When I started my career in the Internet and started seeking more and more theories and metaphors to understand the power of mass media and underlying themes, I stumbled upon a book by James Twitchell called AdCult USA. His analysis of the commercial distribution machines of the modern advertising world had a profound effect on me, and my perspective and fear of the power of saturating American society and culture with the cults of desire. I highly recommend this quirky find.” – Oliver Luckett 

No.7: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and‎ Renee Mauborgne

“I found the philosophy behind this book compelling, as it aligned with my view that businesses will grow in the decentralized, network-driven economics of the digital era through collaborative expansion rather than zero-sum approaches to market share.” – Michael J. Casey 

No. 8: Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy, by Anindya Ghose

We all know that mobile device ubiquity has completely transformed the fundamentals of commerce and consumer behavior. Yet, plenty of marketers are still trying to determine how best to alter their strategies for maximum impact in this smartphone-driven society. Last year, Ghose was recognized by Thinkers50 for his ability to “convert the digital language of the 0 and 1 into useful human insights,” and his translation skills shine through in this work. Complex subject matter is presented in a very digestible and comprehensible manner.

No. 9: Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One, by David Bell

“A great book on a fascinating topic. It provides an excellent framework by the name GRAVITY that helps firms think through how our offline locations drive our online behavior. It is based on years of academic research. And David is a master at storytelling.” – Anindya Ghose

No. 10: The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! 2.0, by Stoney DeGeyter

Want to organize your marketing efforts and ensure you’re leaving no stone unturned? deGeyter has updated his acclaimed handbook from 2014 to ensure it remains a comprehensive resource for today. This collection of checklists spans every facet of digital marketing and helps you avoid missed steps that could hurt down the line. Great for the self-sufficient, jack-of-all-trades marketer. In the 2.0 version, you’ll find traditional staples as well as new additions such as video and PDF optimization.

No. 11: The Unexpected: Breakthrough Strategies to Supercharge Your Business and Earn Loyal Customers for Life, by Howard Brodsky

“This created a fundamental shift in how we go about customer service. It’s not about meeting their needs, but giving them even more than they expect.” – Stoney deGeyter

No. 12: Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You, by John Hall

“So many of our judgments and decisions, from the strategic to the mundane, come down to the information we can call to our conscious minds in an instant,” argues Hall in the introduction to his book. “By ensuring that you are top of mind among the people in your networks making those important decisions, you are position yourself for success.” Top of Mind explores the latter imperative deeply. You’ll learn how customers have changed, what you can do to build trust, and why transparency, likability, and consistency are cornerstones for sticking in people’s brains.

No. 13: Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention, by John Rulin

No. 14: Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant

“Both are great books that change the mentality of a marketer to helping and being thoughtful. That’s a key differentiating factor for me in a successful marketer so I think both are amazing.” – John Hall 

No. 15: Powering Content: Building a Nonstop Content Marketing Machine, by Laura Busche

These days, content marketing isn’t the mystery it once was. Most business professionals have a solid understanding of what it is, and why it’s important. Yet, the strategic underpinning is still amiss in many organizations. A reputed branding expert, Busche dives into the nuts and bolts of effective content creation and management, offering examples and exercises to help you develop a sustainable marketing engine.

No. 16: Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, by Delbert Hawkins and‎ David Mothersbaugh

“While I’ve read many impactful business books in my career, none has steered my perspective on marketing like Hawkins & Mothersbaugh’s Consumer Behavior textbook. We tend to go for short reads to understand emerging ideas in our field, but there is nothing like a comprehensive overview of the place where marketing and psychology intersect: consumer behavior. This book is loaded with great examples and visuals to welcome anyone to the fascinating world that is our mind when it interacts with advertising stimuli, environmental influences, and the personality traits that define us.” – Laura Busche 

No. 17: Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, by Melissa Agnes

In many cases, the things we’d least like to think about are the ones we ought to be thinking about most. In an age where marketers are increasingly wearing the hats of PR and crisis management, familiarity with the principles in this book is critical. Agnes doesn’t focus on reacting to negative events, but rather becoming proactive so your business can anticipate rising threats, then handle them as they inevitably arrive with resiliency and poise.

No. 18: Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact, by Phil M. Jones

“A powerful short read that helps you know exactly what to say, when it matters most. The “magic words” that Phil M. Jones shares within this book can be directly applied to marketing messages to increase influence, action, and conversion.” – Melissa Agnes 

No. 19: Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World, by Nick Westergaard

Branding is a different animal here in 2018 compared to even a decade ago. A heralded brand strategist, Westergaard shares his thoughts on what it takes to capture attention and keep it at a time where doing so is more difficult than ever. Among the elements scrutinized in his latest work: giving your brand meaning and purpose, reinforcing with the right touchpoints, cultivating a sense of community, and more.

No. 20: Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers, by Seth Godin

“It’s hard to believe that this book is almost 20 years old! This classic from Seth Godin was one of the first books to recast the role of marketing in the digital age. Instead of using these new tools to blast even more messages at an even louder volume, Godin teaches us to offer value up front in exchange for permission. And with that permission, we can continue to build and deepen the relationship with our customers over time. I read this book early in my career, when I was working for an educational publishing company, leading the transition from direct mail to internet marketing. I couldn’t imagine navigating today’s media shifts without it. With more networks and more noise, the lessons are as relevant as ever.” – Nick Westergaard

And finally, don’t forget to “Replenish Your Reading Shelf”. If you have any thoughts, comments, don’t forget to put it down below here and share with me.








Acer – The Rise of Predator Empire in Vietnam 2016 – 2018



On the 31st March, there was the biggest exhibition of Acer gaming product line: Predator, The Rise of An Empire in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The 1 day event gathered more than 3000 gamers from across the country and more than 35 Vietnamese media.

It was very impressive that Acer, for the first time, hold such a huge exhibition on their gaming product line, Predator, which show-cased 12 gaming laptops. Some of the products are well known by gamers such as the Predator 21X, Nitro 5, Orion 9000, Helios, Triton 700. Some other laptops are particularly represent Acer latest technology and innovative ideas such as the Switch 5 and Switch 7 for Business person.

What is a Predator?

Source: Acer Youtube Channel 

And why this event named “The Rise of The Predator Empire”? I will tell you in the following story.

I attended this event with a free ticket from a friend, as a participant but walked out with as a student who just finished Marketing 101 class. I walked in that day at a very beginning point where I am not a target customer of Acer. In addition, I am not aware of the brand products and I do not intend to buy any of Acer laptop or computer in the next 10 years but there are changes in my perception about the brand after that day.

I learnt.

Acer started in Vietnamese market as a brand for everyday computer use, cheap to average price and their biggest disadvantage is cheap computer easily get error and broken parts. According to Dien Vo, General Manager of Acer Vietnam, he took this job as Acer Vietnam General Manager in 2015 and he has spend 2 years struggling in many ugly truths of the brand and how to improve it. Acer was positioned in a low to average market and re-evaluated by many dealers and customers. Lowering the prices of product didn’t help to increase the sales. Many promotion programs released but the dealers are leaving Acer for better products from other brands.

Recognized the challenges and wrong direction Acer going, Dien Vo started to do plenty researches on the Vietnamese market and he is determined of recognizing what is the real potential market for Acer, what are Acer strengths and how to focus on those.

Source: Acer Youtube Channel

From 2015, moving toward to the future plan as a result of Acer Marketing Researches, Dien Vo put the team effort in developing and repositioning the gaming product line, which is the strongest selling point of Acer Vietnam. However, it was never a piece of cake! The Marketing team of Acer always search to find where and who is the target market for gaming laptop products. And it seems like the light at the end of their caving journey, they hosted gaming exhibition, for the first time in Vietnam. Acer had perfectly found its target market and effectively market their gaming product line such as Predator, Nitron, Helios to the target customers without going door-by-door. Customers come to them!

The all day event was successfully hosted, started by introduction speech of Andrew Hou and Dien Vo, welcome all participants. There were product exhibition displays, product trial, lucky draw and special promotion on the day.

Based on my observation, most of the gamers registered prior event but some of them also joined accidentally but love it so much. Besides, the special promotion on the day, down the price of gaming laptops to 50% dramatically increase the sale of Acer gaming product in few hours time.

During the event, I also learnt that Acer has plan to host a Game Competition at for all gamers in Asian region. The first Gaming Competition named Predator League was successfully done earlier this year 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, which offer the prize of 150,000USD. There were 8 countries with nearly 1200 gamers participated. The competition has made such big noise by live streaming the final rounds on many gaming forums and almost every Asian countries. The event was exceed any expectation that Acer announced next year Predator League will be in Thailand and a bigger prize will be offered.

Source: Predator Gaming Youtube Channel 

And through this event, I also learn that it is not the end if you loosing the market for 5 years or more, it’s more about how you recognize your problem, ask the right questions and do your own research. To me, Tony may not the best GM for Acer but he is the one who asked the right questions, which help Acer to come back to the industry the way it should be.

My day at Acer – The Rise of The Predator Empire wasn’t fulfill because I didn’t get a chance to play any game and honestly there wasn’t enough time for me to learn about their product. However, there are key messages of Acer that as a Marketer, I understand and appreciate Dien Vo’s vision for the company and the target customers. I believe this is the rise of the Predator Gaming product line and also a new empire of Acer Vietnam leading by Mr. Dien Vo. I hope in the future, my next visit to any Acer Vietnam event, there will be another rise of another product line for different group of customers that I can tell you all about. And I hope Acer will gain what worth their effort in the last two years.

If you are out there, reading this, remember don’t give up your business. There is always a strength of your product/service that people will remember it and buy it. All you need is asking the right questions.

Finally, don’t forget to leave your comment below for any thoughts and question. See you in the next post!




Note: The post content based on my observation and experience at Acer – The Rise of The Predator Empire event in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. The content also included Dien Vo’s speech on the day and other information were discussed with Acer Vietnam staffs. There is no written academic and non-academic source used readings to the above content.

“Hat boi” – Vietnamese Opera



“Red has a  symbol of joyfulness”, Qiang 2011.


This Lunar New Year 2018 celebrates the year of the Dog, lasting from the 16 Feb 2018 (first day of the new Lunar Year) to 26 Feb 2018. We, the Vietnamese simply call it “Tet” time. Tet usually has 10 days celebration with different activities and cultural customs during these days. Most of the activities aim to bring the family together, celebrate the moment and remember the ancestors and embrace our culture. Tet is joyful. Tet is Red.

The local community and the government organizing so many activities for the people to celebrate Tet in Ho Chi Minh City such as the Nguyen Hue Flower Street, Tao Dan Flower Exhibition, Live Music everywhere, LED screens everywhere, temple and pagoda activities for old people and kids, etc. Despite many live music shows at many city central spots, I caught myself looking at a small ad on Facebook, about a traditional art performance on the 7th day of the Tet holiday. A Vietnamese traditional art performance group named Ngoc Khanh will come to one of the most popular temples in Ho Chi Minh city to perform the “Ngoc Ky Lan”.

What is exactly this Vietnamese traditional art performance? It is “Hát Tuồng” –  a form of Vietnamese Classical Opera. “Hát tuồng” (local word from Ha Noi) or “Hát bội” (local word from HCMC) is a traditional form of Vietnamese theatre. This is often referred to as classical Vietnamese Opera, influenced by Chinese Opera. With over nearly 800 years of establishment and development, Hat Boi has become an integral part of Vietnamese Culture, being regarded as a classic and unique performance of Vietnamese traditional stage.

The stories in Hat Boi tend to be ostensibly historical and frequently focus on the rules of social decorum and can include legends from either the history of China or Vietnam. The characters are strongly recognizable from their make-up and costumes, which are typically extravagant and elaborate. There is usually a full Red stage with curtains and carpet, a traditional drum and a lot of shiny, decorative adornment. The decoration is usually in the shape of the Dragon, Pheonix, and Lion or in a shape ancient Vietnamese language characters. The colour and the origin of Hat Boi through its history and its development make a strong association with Tet and other Vietnamese ritual events.



                                Costume of Hat Tuong in 1874                                   Costume of Hat Tuong in 2018 
                                Source:                                              Photo: Nguyen, 2018 

The performance takes place at Tomb of Le Van Duyet, in Binh Thanh District, HCMC once a year to celebrate the Tet Holiday. This is a great location in the city centre and has a long cultural and spiritual history with the local people.


Tomb of Le Van Duyet, HCMC, Vietnam 
Photo: Nguyen, 2018 

The show began at 10am but I got there an hour earlier, trying to find myself a good spot in the crowd. Kids, old people and photographers were surrounded the group of artists and took every chance to observe them with so much excitement.

In a Green Room, about  10m x 3m, there were about 20 artists carried makeup, costumes, food, accessories, stage props and so on, parked their scooters on the side and started the preparation while stuffed with fans and photographers. It often took about 2 hours for the artists to finish the dramatic makeup and put on heavy detailed costumes.



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Most of the time, the artists help each other, have a quick meal or setting up the props. There is usually a team leader, who watches over for the group, takes the booking and simply manages finance, HR, performance and everything else. There is no production manager, no stage manager, no assistant. They are on their own.

A full performance usually last for few hours and artists take-turn to be on stage. There will be an opening session, different acts in middle and recap ending. The music was very loud and dramatic, played by 3 folk musicians on the side of the stage throughout the show.



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Photo: Nguyen, 2018

Despite the difficulties in set up, technical condition and limited in space, all artists of Ngoc Khanh group had such an amazing performance with many applauses.



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Honestly speaking, I am not an expert in Vietnamese Classical Opera and I had never watched a live Vietnamese Classical Opera performance until this event. But I love the feeling and the connection it brings to my people. A strong reflection of the past but absolutely move into the current age. Despite my little knowledge that I share with you about “Hát Tuồng”, still, I believe this traditional art worth your time of research and try to watch a live one once you are in Vietnam.

There are many challenges for “Hat Tuồng” to survive in recent years due to many competitors in the Vietnam entertainment industry. And “Hat Tuong” is never an easy art form to understand. Not like an hour movie or 3-minute song, the audience needs to be educated about the story, the flow and the situation to understand and feel it a bit deeper while watching it live.  “Hat Tuong” is a unique art performance inspired by Chinese culture, rising again in some Vietnamese regions such as Hue, Binh Dinh ( However, there are limited resources, mostly in old books at local library and art institution. Not many researchers conduct academic work and studies about Vietnamese Classical Opera and translate it into English. I wish to find many credible articles to expand my knowledge but failed to. I believe “Hat Tuong” is a deep wheel that I haven’t gone far enough till I found the right resources.

Many of you recognise the Red through the mass Chinese culture, such as Red in wedding, and Red in Lunar New Year. However, the Asian culture as a whole also celebrating Red as a symbol of happiness and energy.  The Vietnamese Tet is a part of our heart to celebrate this unique time in the year, the Vietnamese Classical Opera art is one kind of the art performance, we believe, communicate with our spiritual ancestors. “Hat Tuong” could bring curiosity to the youth of Vietnam but to the old, it is the classical entertainment that is unreplaceable in some provinces.

If you have seen “Hat Tuong”, share your experience. If you have any resources, comment below too. I am very interested to learn.

In the meantime, for those who are curious in watching a “Hat Boi”, here is a full performance of another group of artists named Kieu Loan from the Southern cities of Vietnam here (my apology for no English subtitle) and share you thoughts below.


Personal Branding

Personal Branding.

Have you ever heard of this term? If yes, have you ever thought of your own personal branding? Do you think it is important and why? I bet most of us don’t.

We all have our favourite products, our preferred services, the brands we like. So many brands and products become so familiar that we are so loyal and commit to them. Think back to all the purchases we make day by day, year by year, do you think you are affected by ‘brand’? Why it is so important to your decision-making process? Must be because it makes the product/service stand out, more than the non-branded ones.

Personal branding is the act of marketing oneself as a brand. Building a personal brand involves two key processes: self-management and self-improvement. Theory says that personal brand could be detected by people in the first 5 seconds. The question is: How to build an awesome personal brand?

Firstly, from this moment onward, see yourself as a brand. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses. How would you like people to see you? Would your charming smile and friendly attitude attack their attention enough? Would your passion and work commitments are part of your brand? Understanding the questions of how you want to represent your own brand and how you expect people to see it is a crucial start.

Afterward, you would need more time to dig a little deeper and develop a detail strategic plan for your brand. Of course, you can still be yourself. However, if you are seriously considering a long-life career path or working for an organization, your personal brand should be well-shaped. You might not see how beneficial it is in the first week, but within a year, you will thank yourself.

Many of us know Ellen DeGenerges as one of the most successful Television hosts in the USA and we also know Martin Yan is celebrity chef (worth your Google Search if you don’t know him yet). But did we know about these two persons in 2000s? How long did they take to reach the level of personal brand recognition as what they have now? We don’t have the exact answer but I am sure it has been a very long journey they been through. It is true that personal Brand will take time, 6 months, 1 year, 10 years and even a lifetime but once you start seeing the results out of it, you will desire for more. Only you know how to build the best personal brand for yourself. Despite some confusion and you might feel stupid to do proper marketing job for yourself at first, it will be worth your time and effort in a long run.




How to work smarter?

We are all busy with work. Who has time for the fancy idea of applying some theory into my work-life when I have 100 of emails and a few overdue projects? However, John Rampton from Entrepreneur believes that “Nobody cares how busy you are or how work you late, they just care what you get done”. And it’s true. So if there is any chance I can work less and get more work done, I am down for it. Curious about what can you do to be more efficiency? Read my 5 recommendations below.

  1. Track your time.

Time tracking allows you to focus on your work, check your limited time resource of the day and remind you what is your next task.

2. Get up and have a cup of tea every 90 minutes.

I don’t know about you but my brain stops working every 20 minutes. Scientific proves that the brain can only focus for 90 to 120 minutes before it needs a break. So before you feel like you need to take nap due to the body naturally reaction, we should get up and walk around the office for few minutes. Take small breaks. It helps.

3. Take a 15-20 minutes nap

Taking a nap in the afternoon has been proven you can be more productive afterward. Besides, it also helps to get you more relaxed and reduce the risks like heart attacks.

4. Work in natural light.

Many scientists suggest that the workplace daylight exposure is strongly connected to the workers’ sleep, activity, and quality of life. Working next to a window or getting much natural light can impact your productivity and energy.

5. Plan your day the night before

Planning your work before hand helps you to schedule the work better and achieve your goals.

These sound like small steps that wouldn’t affect your daily work life much but trust me, small things can change the big picture. Keep your spirit and attitude but also change to work smarter, stay at the office shorter and enjoy your personal life out there.

If you have any suggestion or successfully become more productive after applying these methods, share with me.





Marketing Film Festival

When I emailed my Persian Film Festival Marketing Manager last week, she stated in the email: the priority now is pushing all the marketing material to social media.

Let’s say we are directors of film festivals. We set up the location; we choose the theme; we have all the movies, we schedule days and time, we also have the guest lists, and all the tickets are ready for sale. What’s now? We need the audiences to buy those tickets. Since we are just film directors, can we do all of the marketing jobs to promote our film festival and make sure tickets are sold?  Do we need a marketing team? What can they do for our film festivals? Would the marketing strategy work?



Usually, films or TV programs are marketed the way to maximize audience watching and rating then convincing them to go to the cinema or watch it on television. Maybe some film festival directors and film producers feel their work is finished when they deliver the movies to distributor or sale agents or the broadcast network. However, there are more we can do to obtain successful sales of our products.

In order to design an effective marketing strategy, Film Festival should define the target audiences, marketing strategies, marketing platforms, the cooperation with celebrities, marketing content, the frequency appear on the social media and the press and so on.

In general, publicity and commercialization at the time of shooting a movie can be useful as a tool to build awareness and get public attention, especially if a star or well-known factors participate in it. The media will be interested in writing stories and stories about the movie and the actors/actresses. The key is to keep the media side by side and let them have some photoshoot, good information and keep the media up to date until the film release. Similarly, with film marketing, film festival could be marketed early and regularly by working together with the distributors, celebrities, sale agents, journalists and the marketing team to maximize the marketing results since the preparation stage.



A great marketing strategy for a film festival would include many activities with celebrities involvement and take advantage of stars/directors reputation for having a co-promotion for both parties. A variety news articles (online and paper), Tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos on their social media accounts will encourage many following posts and social media trends created by fans and journalists and media companies. With the right frequency and the right content on suitable platforms, you can create many waves of exposure and awareness to the audiences. The result is your festival name can stay up-trend on media and news for at least six months period.

Along with the media cover, there are many other paid and almost-free advertising channels that film festival can make use, depending on their marketing budget. We can create ads on:

  • Radio Commercials
  • Newspaper/magazine advertisements/articles
  • Taxis
  • Billboard
  • Bus stops
  • Drop-in ads on website
  • SMS and emails
  • Social media





It not only depends on the marketing budget of each film festival but also rely on the purpose, adequate and connect with mass audiences and other festivals using same marketing channels. Some Hollywood movie with a larger budget and massive investment from sponsors will have more marketing activities for their films. However, film festival directors can make use of their connection and the positive relationship with the local government and local marketing agents to maximize the results.

Like television, radio and magazine are leading communication platforms, and the number of audiences reaching at these platforms are guaranteed. Therefore, it will cost a bit more than other marketing strategies. film-poster-4-london-bus




Should we think of Film Festival as a ‘service’ or a ‘product’? I believe the marketing strategy we choose will depend on our answer. If we decide to market a product, we tend to promote the quality of the product, what it made of, what can it do and the price. However, if we tend to market it as a service, we can focus more on the emotional benefit and other benefits it may bring to consumers (a relaxing time, culture sense, humor sense, emerging in the amazing sounds and beautiful images, watch their favorite actors and actresses, etc.). These benefits cannot be replaced and the price will worth their experiences.

Observing the ads of many film festivals in Australia and oversea, I notice a variety of advertisements that encourage the boom of emotions and experiences and the spiritual benefit for all audiences. Most film festivals choose to market the unique experiences and feelings they deliver to the audiences in order to enhance the emotional connection between them. Therefore, their ads serve promise of a good time spending by watching movies.



And language seems not to be a high barrier to stop audiences and Film Festival exchanges experiences, sense of culture and sharing the moment together.



The marketing strategy for Persian Film Festival (PFF) mainly focuses on social media, website, YouTube with the aim to spread the reputation online at minimum cost. The social media and websites also help to enhance audiences senses of hearing, seeing, and feeling while watching film festival videos and trailers or read about our stories. As the results, many film festival videos, trailers of films and movies making are promoted, using more image and photographic than dense language based.

PFF is a small festival with a limited budget. Therefore it is a disadvantage that we could not manage to have a specialized marketing team as well as get PFF featured on national newspaper or radio or promoted by celebrities. Our marketing manager and her assistant have done much excellent work based on their knowledge and expertise in films and experiences in hosting many film festivals. Their strategy strongly relies on the connection and encouraging people to help to spread the words. Fortunately, after great effort of promoting the films Facebook page aligning with Twitter and Instagram posts, our festival is reaching more audiences and the tickets of all movies are selling fast.

Working as a volunteer social media assistant, I help my Marketing manager to keep an eye on PFF Instagram account, looking for connection and related businesses and individuals, also pushing the material of PFF to the online world. As the PFF comes closer, the more often we post.

Applying the common marketing strategy of all film festivals that promoting unique experiences and explosion of emotions, PFF has been effectively using the social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote videos, trailers, short clips and photography to attract many audiences and potential films directors, writers and actors/actresses. Despite the fact of having a small marketing budget, our marketing of PFF still push PFF to the market and make the best use of free or minimum cost media platform. And in the next few days, when the PFF is here in Melbourne, we are expecting to see many film and culture interested Australians and Asians to come to our films. It’s always great to see our marketing works bring back great results.

Introduction To Persian Film Festival

Film – also called a movie, motion picture, or photoplay. Cinema is short for cinematography, covers the industry of films and filmmaking or to the art of filmmaking itself. Festival refers to a day or a period of celebration or anniversary. Therefore, a film festival should be a day or a period of celebration of films. However, is it this simple? Would this definition is enough to tell everything about ‘film festival’? What roles does ‘film festival’ play in national cinemas?



Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong stated that “Film Festivals attract widespread global attention as glittering showcases for films and people” (p.1). In Wong’s book, the Film Festivals, she discussed countless roles, missions, and goals of Film Festivals in the social and economical senses. And in fact, this book is the most comprehensive book about Film Festivals that I ever read (and you can tell by its title).

Film Festival

  • Allows us to understand multi faces of international relationships of film cultures, historical development, the hierarchy of films, filmmakers, film languages, film stars, concepts, themes, and, places.
  • Gathers discover and attract all the talents.
  • Is a platform to exchange ideas, show movies and do business.
  • Is to bring to the major audiences the artistic as well as wide appeal films.
  • Is to salute great filmmakers and stars.
  • Is to give people chances to meet and understand the great work behind the scenes
  • Is to speak to the world’s press and generate free publicity and attention for films and film industry.
  • Creates and participates in the public sphere and discussion on local and international media.
  • Is a place for creativity and conflict.
  • Is where to review the past, explore the present and create the future.

There are more and more to add to this list, but I guess the most important thing is the film festival supposes to be a strong connection between the place, the people, the culture and the artwork. Follow many successful film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Toronto, New York, Berlin, Hong Kong, Melbourne; film festival study attracts more scholars and researchers to conduct many depth pieces of research for further understanding. In corresponding to the film festival, many studies about related fields also increased such as social, political, cultural, economic, regional and international concepts. And Wong’s book is the result of excellent research work in Film Festival around the world, discussed from various aspects.

Like many other students, who motivated to take the APG 5782 subject, Film Festival Study Tour by the passion about film and film festival, it is my great pleasure to be part of the Persian Film Festival as part of my Film Festival subject at Monash University this semester. I am expected to gain some insights about Film Festival to develop an academic report about the Persian Film Festival as well as sharing my experience through this short-term university internship to all of my classmates.

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This year, we celebrate the fifth year of the Persian International Film Festival. Hence the Persian Film Festival will be held from 22nd September to 3rd October 2016 at four different locations in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra, I will have chances to be more involve in various stages and process during that period. At the moment, I only help the Marketing Manager of Persian Film Festival on their Instagram account. Therefore, it is difficult to experience all of the major roles of Film Festival that listed above till the actual event happens.

However, as I start to discover the Persian cinema and Persian Film Industry through the glance of this festival, I realize that I will have to face many difficulties to conduct a comprehensive study about Persian cinema and Persian Film Festival. The first issue is the rare sources of information about Persian Films and Persian Film Industry. Based on some researches I’ve done so far, I believe this issue arises from another problem that Persian Film often categorized in ‘Iranian Film’. In addition, there are not many differences between Iranian and Persian Film except the language and the director’s origin. Even the Persian Film Festival attempted to distinguish itself from the Iran Film Festival by the name of it, but in fact, many scholars still tend to make a small discussion about Persian Film under the Iran Film study.

“Founded in 2011, it is a one of a kind festival that showcases films by Persian-speaking filmmakers of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, and through screenings, master classes and cultural events it celebrates this rich cinematic culture in and with Australian communities. The festival also aims to be a leader in shifting views and misconceptions in Australia by creating spaces for new and alternative voices of Persian-Australians and by being a forum for dialogue between and amongst diverse communities.” – Persian Film Festival Website

Secondly, since this year is only the 5th year of the Persian International Film Festival, Persian films are still new to Australian and international audiences. And the Iranian Film Festival also celebrates the sixth year in Australia. Comparing to other Film Festivals held in Australia, such as Melbourne International Film Festival, Festival of German Films, Sydney Underground Film Festival, Jewish International Film Festival, etc. Persian Film Festival is under a high-pressure in competition to reach to the audiences. In some cases, I believe that it also compete to its national films at Iranian Film Festival.

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Thirdly, from the brief description above, does the Persian Film Festival mean to be a purely Cultural Film Festival or this festival is moving from Cultural Festival to  Commerical Promotion Festival or Government Organized? Not many studies mention about Persian Film, not many articles, not many books or newspaper reviews. Has Persian Film Festival been successful to bring Persian culture and Persian cinema to Australian audience? Finally, as a young Film Festival often be seen under the shadow of Iranian Film Festival, how would Persian Film Festival join the festival circuit and what can they do to attract talented directors and best films and fit in their requirements at the same time? I believe all of the answers that I am seeking to solve these problems will open new understanding from different aspects, even all of these issues and questions are challenging and require great research.

I suggest that in the coming few weeks when the Persian Film Festival starts in Melbourne, I will have more chances to collect information, photos, articles, reviews and researches for my further study about this event. This could be an amazing opportunity to practice my research skills, but also be challenging in gathering credible sources for my report

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It might be great to list all the roles and aims of film festivals, and a showcase of all of the greatly rewarded films, nevertheless, I trust that we not only celebrate the works but also salute the people, the makers, and the audiences. The moment that everyone enjoys when the film festival happens. Everything looks good on theoretical paper, but I also hope that my blog posts and my report can reflect some experiences of the audiences and myself during the festival time. The Film Festival book is inspiring and provide many insights about Films and Film Festival. Nevertheless, I am still looking for more academic articles to study the Persian Film Festival and gain the best valuable experience through this event.

Have you ever experienced Persian Film Festival before? I am sure this will be a unique film event that worth to check out. Get your ticket today and share your thoughts below after attending this event.



Do, P 2015,Artsweek Picks for Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Daily Nexus, viewed 1 September 2016,

Iranian Film Festival

Persian Film Festival

Wong, C 2011, Film Festivals, Rutgers Univeristy Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey and London.

Crazy sales tips!!!

Some shoppers wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shop. But is it necessary to wait?

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Cnet magazine says that the online shopping event this year in US reached 3 billion in sales, 12 percent increased from last year. This is the largest online sales record in the US ever! The increasing online shopping become too convenient to say “no” for Australians to shop without visit US stores, especially in this time of the year. Many brands and online shopping sites are boosting their sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with extended few days sales.


Here are some tips for you to save and buy smart:

  1. Do your research. List out some items you want or need to buy. Maybe contribute to your wish list to watch out for the best deals.
  2. Notice the duration of the sale. Different sites, brands and retailers have different sales offers and policy. Make sure you are aware of this information for the next step.
  3. Compare different websites. This step helps you to buy your favorite items without regretting that you did not check out other sites for better deals. Compare the sales offers, quality of the products, duration of sales and shipping fee or any other price-related that matters.
  4. Watch out for early treats. Sign up for VIP list of the brands and online sites for early treats to get your items before it is sold out.
  5. Know your size. Buying online can be tricky because of different measurement applied to different sizes. UK, US, EU, AU, etc.. Knowing your size is important and it is “the must” if you are buying gifts for others.
  6. Be aware of the return policy. In case you are guessing about sizes, make sure you check out the return policy and return fee (if applicable) and the delivery/return deadlines.


Let’s face the truth that shopping online is not easy. We can be overwhelmed by beautiful, convenient or cheap products. However, let’s set our limit before we shop online to prevent overspending and difficulty paying our credit cards. But after all, this time of the year is all about enjoying yourself and spoiling your loved ones. Many discounts involved can be a big saving spend for you and bring massive joy for all.

If you are a fan of online shopping, please share any tips or experiences you have to maximize the benefits of sales.