Vietjet, NutiFood CEOs make list of Asia’s Power Businesswomen

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of the Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet Air, and Tran Thi Le, CEO of NutiFood, were named on Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list this year, which highlights 25 women with significant roles in shaping Asia’s business landscape in the next few decades.

Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (left) and NutiFood CEO Tran Thi Le.
Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (left) and NutiFood CEO Tran Thi Le.

According to Forbes, Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is the only woman to start and run her own major commercial airline. She has made history in this traditionally male-dominated business.

Thao’s airline which was founded in 2007 is now bigger than the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in terms of passengers carried.

She is currently Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire with a net worth of US$2.5 billion and is the wealthiest self-made woman in Southeast Asia, Forbes said.

Tran Thi Le, CEO of NutiFood, also made the list of Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen this year. Le and her husband Tran Thanh Hai have turned NutiFood into Vietnam’s leading dairy nutrition products producer.

The company reported sales of VND9.5 trillion (US$408 million) and a pretax profit of VND828 billion (US$35.6 million) last year. NutiFood now has four factories in Vietnam that produce dairy products for baby formula and health supplements.

Le and her husband, who is chairman of NutiFood, aim to expand the company beyond Vietnam by investing overseas through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

The Forbes list also includes Singaporean Managing Partner of GGV Capital Jenny Lee; Chinese CEO of ZhenFund Anna Fang; Indonesian President Director of XL Axiata, Dian Siswarini; and others.