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Vinamilk: from local cooperatives to international corporation

John Walsh (School of Management, Shinawatra University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Publication date: 25 May 2012


Subject area


Study level/applicability

This case study would suit any class that deals with the interaction between the nature of business and society and is rooted in a specific basis in developing Asia. The particular nature of the class could be used to shape the subsequent discussion if necessary: a marketing class would focus on the need for development of the local market and consumer behaviour, while a management class might be more interested in the issues relating to an appropriate ownership structure in an emerging market in a company based on an amalgamation of smaller units likely to have been run by technicians (farmers) or party functionaries.

Case overview

Vinamilk is a Vietnamese company that has grown from humble beginnings as a collection of small-scale dairy co-operatives until the current time when it is one of the largest and most successful companies in that country and recognized as a significant developing Asian success. It has managed this while operating in a product category that has had very little tradition in Vietnam and for which demand has had to be created in order to enable the company to expand. The success of Vinamilk has now made it possible to imagine an international or a transnational future in which it would no longer be tied to its Vietnamese home or to be required to support government-supported developmental goals such as supporting employment and using local inputs. A debate is taking place, therefore, about the nature of the continuing relationship between firms and the public sector in a rapidly developing nation.

Expected learning outcomes

The objectives include: evaluation of the nature of the business-state relationship; evaluation of the nature of the home environment with respect to its attitude to business; and understanding better the nature of emerging markets and their interaction with international markets.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for faculty. Please consult your librarian for access.



This case study has been written entirely from the use of publicly available secondary sources. No interviews have been conducted with Vinamilk employees and no inside knowledge has been made available to the author.

The development of this teaching case study has been facilitated by Bimtech Center for Management Case Development at Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida (India).


Walsh, J. (2012), "Vinamilk: from local cooperatives to international corporation", , Vol. 2 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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