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PNJ: Retailer – Outstanding enterprise – Asean countries employer of the year by JNA Awards

Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Co, more popularly known as PNJ, was established in 1988 in Ho Chi Minh City. This pioneering jewellery manufacturer and retailer has grown into an industry-leading business, setting standards and practices that have a wide-ranging positive impact on the Asian region’s jewellery sector.

‘Spring of Peace’ necklace by PNJ. This necklace is one of the winners of the Creative ASEAN Jewellery Design Competition 2015.

With a technologically advanced manufacturing facility, an impressive retail network of 187 stores stretching over 50 provinces and 63 cities as of June 2015, a growing online sales presence through a dedicated Internet shopping site and a high-tech gemmological laboratory that assays gold and certifies diamonds and gemstones, PNJ is on course for international market expansion.

Led by a dynamic woman entrepreneur – Cao Thi Ngoc Dung – PNJ was the first jewellery manufacturer in Vietnam to make substantial investments in production technology.It procured machinery from Italy and built a factory for high quality mass jewellery production. The facility has a production output exceeding 2 million pieces annually, most of which are sold locally. The manufacturer also  provides OEM services to European and US customers.

Mrs Cao Thi Ngoc Dung – PNJ General Director.

Employing 3,000 people including hundreds of goldsmiths that have been trained in-house and a thousand-plus-strong sales team, the jeweller is one of Vietnam’s largest employers. Its advanced manufacturing infrastructure and fine mass-production capability, especially for diamond jewellery, mean that PNJ is producing jewellery on par with the quality of imported products but at much lower prices. Within the next two years, the manufacturer plans to replace 85 percent of its imported jewellery lines with locally made pieces. In this quest, PNJ has strengthened its professionally trained design  teams to boost the company’s capacity to meet local tastes, trends or needs, and fulfill the requirements of overseas customers.

The company says its “investments in modern machinery and technology have helped PNJ industrialise jewellery production, increase production output and reduce production costs.”

In 2014, the company restructured the jewellery factory and raised productivity by 35 percent over 2013.

Major accomplishments

The successes that PNJ has achieved over the years have helped affirm Asia’s positioning as an attractive jewellery market and manufacturing centre.

PNJ unveils its fine jewellery collections at a gala event in Vietnam.

In September 2013, the Vietnamese government introduced regulations to protect consumers from misleading claims of gold content in jewellery.PNJ’s laboratory is one of a handful of companies in Vietnam that has been authorised by the Science and Technology Department to assay gold purity.This vote of confidence in the jeweller’s integrity and its ability to carry out diamond testing to international standards has further enhanced PNJ’s brand image and status among consumers, its business partners and the trade at large.

Vietnam currently does not have a mainstream vocational school that trains goldsmiths. PNJ has taken on this role by organising goldsmith training programmes for its employees. Today, the company has 800 goldsmiths, 25 percent of whom have at least five years of work experience.

PNJ’s trained workforce accounts for 30 percent of the Vietnamese jewellery sector’s talent pool of skilled workers.

Retail network

PNJ is employing innovative solutions to grow its retail operations. In 2014, it exceeded its retail system expansion plan, opening 18 new stores nationwide, which accounted for about 10 percent of the sales growth recorded by the jeweller in 2014.

One of PNJ’s sales teams at Branch.

The company has four retail jewellery brands, each with a clear market positioning and advantage. CAO Fine Jewellery targets the high-end market segment with limited or one-of-a–kind collections; PNJ Gold caters to the medium- to high-end markets with mass-produced but high-quality items; PNJ Silver is tailored for younger customers; and Jemma trains its sights on Vietnam’s fashion-forward consumers.

To keep these retail brands fresh and contemporary,PNJ incorporates the latest trends into its designs and launches 20 jewellery collections every year. Some of the more recent examples include the Mystery Collection, which is inspired by Greek mythology and features olive and laurel motifs, and the Rose Collection,which draws on a new global trend for roses.

Bridal jewellery is an essential element of its retail business and PNJ employs stories and marketing campaigns to generate interest in these products. One of its campaigns, Golden Happiness, is centred on a Dragon & Phoenix Wedding Ring Collection that is anchored on the “Dragon & Phoenix Reunited” story. The promotion, which is scheduled to run until the end of 2015, has drawn significant consumer interest. PNJ Gold is likewise highlighting its “Seeing the Quality In You” collections while PNJ Silver’s Valentine’s Day campaign puts the spotlight on the Clover of Love, Rose of Love and Heart of Love jewellery lines.

PNJ’s marketing campaigns make effective use of online and offline channels to generate buzz for its collections, raise brand awareness, build customer loyalty, and ultimately, drive up sales.

The jewellery manufacturer and retailer also has a successful membership programme, which was launched in 2010. As of March 2015, the programme has 587,130 members, and in 2014, sales to membercustomers accounted for 84.5 percent of PNJ’s gross turnover, an increase of 20 percent over 2013.Recently, the jeweller introduced a 24-hour customer service hotline operated by trained support personnel to better serve its clients.

E-commerce development

To PNJ, e-commerce expansion presents opportunities and challenges. By leveraging the strong foundation and impressive reputation it has built as a leading jewellery brand in the domestic market in the last 27 years, PNJ has ventured into e-commerce with its online store platform, The shopping portal runs its own marketing campaigns to stimulate online sales, offers flexible payment methods and employs a team of product specialists that provides enthusiastic, expert advice to customers. PNJ also collaborates with e-commerce platforms Lazada, Zalora and Tiki to further lift online sales.

Employer initiatives

The jeweller has invested heavily in human resources training to meet its future business requirements.The development programmes are more focused on the objectives and business strategies in each sector rather than on individual training. In addition to its ongoing in-house training for goldsmiths and production staff, the company provides consultant training programmes consisting of four courses and 90 classes annually. These training programmes involve more than 2,000 employees. Additional internal development courses comprising 66 classes are provided to more than 1,000 employees.

PNJ organises social and community events for employees.

In addition to enhancing its professional training courses, the company invests in personal development courses that enhance the health and well-being of employees including team-building workshops, thematic events, music festivals and sports competitions.

These efforts have garnered the company several accolades including being voted one of the 100 Best Workplaces in Vietnam in 2014 with a commendation for the quality of its work environment. In addition, PNJ was acclaimed as one of the top 41 Favourite Employers in Vietnam according to survey results, and recently, PNJ’s human resource director received the HR Director of The Year Award from Tower Watson Consulting Company for injecting creativity into the company’s human resource development activities.

Social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is integrated in PNJ’s core values. These practices are embedded in its operations to ensure that the company’s processes are responsible and ethical.

Mrs. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung – PNJ General Director gave out gifts to the people of Mang Yang wards, Gia Lai province.

In 2005, the company founded the PNJ Charity Fund, which has contributed more than 25 billion VND (about US$1 million) to charity partners to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth and financially indigent patients. In late 2014, the fund launched the “PNJ House” programme to provide housing for low-income families across the country. The first phase of the project involves the construction of 50 houses worth 40 million VND each (about US$1,800).

In the 2015 JNA Awards, PNJ is an Honouree in three categories namely Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below); Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – ASEAN Countries; and Employer of the Year. The jewellery manufacturer and retailer says it is extremely proud to be the first company in Vietnam to be named an Honouree not just in one but three categories in the prestigious JNA Awards. These accolades have boosted the company’s confidence in its vision and
mission to “become the leading jewellery manufacturer and retailer in Asia,” while continuing to maintain its top position in Vietnam’s middle- to high-end market segments.