Barramundi in Vietnam: how to become billionaire?

Starting the business with the initial investment of only VND4 million, just 3 years later, Mr. Truong Van Tri, a student in Thai Binh province, can earn VND5-10 billion annually. Facing failure dozens of times, he still strived to overcome the difficulties with the strong belief “I can do it.”


Selling his wedding ring to buy barramundi

Mr. Truong Van Tri was born into a family of 4 children in Nam Cuong commune near the beach of Tien Hai district, Thai Binh province. His family was so poor that he could just afford to study in the Faculty of Aquaculture Techniques of Bac Ninh Fisheries College. He had a burning dream of entering the University.

Graduating with excellence fin 2003 at the age of 23, Tri rejected the offer to stay and work at the College and returned to his hometown. After working in his hometown for several years without any remarkable success, he decided to move to Cat Ba island (Hai Phong) to work in the Aquaculture Research Institute No 1 with the salary of VND950,000 a month .

Yet, he was not content with this job, which matched his major. His sweet memories with his grandfather and father farming inspired him to try to set up his own fresh water farm to grow barramundi.

One day, he remembered talking to the Chairman of Nam Cuong People’s Committee, who agreed to lease him the land. The next day, he went to the Chairman and signed a contract to rent 7,530 square metre of land for VND4 million within 5 years.

This amount of money was all he had to start the business. To pay for the pond preparation, brood-stocks, feed and many other things, he had to borrow from his relatives, friends and even sell his wedding rings.

Given the fact that growing fresh water fishes requires large ponds and much greater investment but the return is low, Tri decided to raise barramundi instead.

Belief in a possibility

Knowing well that barramundi live in marine water, he still determined to grow them in fresh water because he once read that barramundi could live in fresh water and he himself believed that.

His belief comes from a childhood memory. When he was 10 years old, his father brought him some barramundi from the sea and he released them into his fresh water pond. When the pond was harvested, several of them was still alive. “This means that they can be grown in fresh water”, thought Tri. He then tried his best to domesticate this fish in his hometown.

In February 2006, with the help of his friends, he imported ten thousand barramundi juveniles from Thailand at the price of VND2000/one. This first lot of barramundi was not completely domesticated and only 1000 were alive. He got only VND3 million from selling them, losing VND17million.

Despite that great loss, Tri continued to import another ten thousand barramundi juveniles. Fortunately, they cost him only VND12million and 40% of them were alive. One month later, he sold 3,000 juveniles and grew the rest until each weighed 700 grams on average. This time he broke even.

By the end of 2006, Tri succeeded in domesticating barramundis in fresh water, with 80% juveniles alive. In March 2007, he went on to import 20 thousand juveniles, nearly 90% of which survived fresh water.

Visitors at Tri’s barramundi tanks

Jumping out of the sea

Tri has now become a well-known supplier of barramundi juveniles. Every year, his one million juveniles are distributed to farmers from the North to the South.

In 2010, his old farm was expanded and replaced by 5 ha of newly-built ponds. The investment increased to VND10 billion. However, the barramundi supplied was only enough for domestic markets.

Tri has been dreaming of shipping barramundi abroad like black tiger shrimps and Pangasius. Last year, he himself went to Laos to do market research to make this dream come true.

While doing roaring trade in barramundi farming, he passed the entrance exams into Hanoi University of Agriculture in 2009. “Entering the University has been my burning dream since early childhood. I think good qualification is a must if we want to go further in our career,” said Tri.

Going back to school while managing the 5ha farm stocked with one million barramundi juveniles, 24 hours a day seems to be not enough for him. However, he still managed to take an English course and teach himself computer skills in a hope that he himself will be able to introduce his barramundi to foreign partners.

The key to success of this 30 year old man, who earns tens of billion dongs each year is: working enthusiastically – learning more – believing in possible things.

read also: India looks to barramundi



One Response to Barramundi in Vietnam: how to become billionaire?

  1. Pingback: India looks to barramundi « The Vietnamese Seafood News

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