JNA Awards Named Cao Thi Ngoc Dung As Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, Founder and Chairperson of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) in Vietnam, is one of the three Recipients of this prestigious accolade.

HONG KONG, 21 August 2019 – The JNA Awards marks another first in its eight-year history by conferring its highest honour, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to three recipients. These achievers have made invaluable contributions, not just to their respective enterprises, but to the entire jewellery and gemstone industry with their hard work, innovative ideas and the advocacies they support. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, Founder and Chairperson of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) in Vietnam, is one of the three Recipients of this prestigious accolade.

A celebrated businesswoman and philanthropist, Dung is best known for founding the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Store – the predecessor of PNJ – in 1988, while she was still a state employee. Over the course of three decades, she grew the once state-owned company into a publicly listed business entity. Dung began her journey with the intention of reviving the traditional Vietnamese jewellery industry. Believing that “anything that can be made overseas could be made domestically,” she persevered and engaged in self-research by joining jewellery expos, visiting and studying large jewellery factories across Asia, and investing on state-of-the-art technology that would be essential in growing PNJ. The fruits of Dung’s efforts can be seen in the tremendous growth of PNJ. From an initial team of 20, the company currently employs nearly 7,000 individuals – 1,000 of whom are skilled artisans and goldsmiths. A designer, manufacturer and retailer rolled into one, PNJ has also been dubbed as the Tiffany of Vietnam, whose products are carried in nearly 400 jewellery outlets in 55 provinces. PNJ has also spawned a number of prominent jewellery and fashion brands in Vietnam, namely PNJGold, PNJSilver, CAO Fine Jewelry, Jemma Accessories, PNJArt and PNJWatch, among others. Furthermore, Dung has successfully trained the limelight to her homeland at a global scale, by exporting jewellery to 13 countries.

Dung has also led the company to various milestones. In 2012, PNJ was ranked 16th in the Top 500 list of the World’s largest jewellery, manufacturing and trading companies by Plimsoll UK. She was also recognized as one of Forbes Vietnam’s Top 50 Most Influential Women in 2019 and 2018; and one of its Top 50 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in Asia in 2016. Furthermore, Dung leads PNJ to promote higher standard and advancement in the industry by setting up the PNJ laboratory, the laboratory is an important step for PNJ to enhance consumer education and to further protect the consumers by providing testing service to the public. Dung herself has been the Vice-President of Vietnam Gold Trader Association (VGTA) from 2012-2018 and is a member of the executive committee of Ho Chi Minh City Gemstones Jewellery and Art Craft Association.

Aside from her success in business, Dung also lends her voice and stature to a number of worthwhile causes, particularly for women empowerment and inspiring young entrepreneurs. She is Vice-President of the Vietnam Association for Women Entrepreneurs and President of the Ho Chi Minh City Association for Women Executives & Entrepreneurs. She has also led efforts to build 100 PNJ Houses annually for underprivileged women and initiated an awareness campaign for the benefit of Vietnamese children with autism.

Letitia Chow, Chairperson of the JNA Awards and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at Informa Markets said, “Madam Dung is a woman of strong belief and conviction. Determined and passionate, she has put Vietnamese jewellery on the global map. Instilled with an exceptional work ethic, and a big heart, she continually gives back to the community, supporting the development of entrepreneurial women in Vietnam. We are truly honoured to bestow her with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”

On receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Dung said, “I would like to sincerely thank the JNA Awards organizers for this honor. This award has brought me pride and has motivated me even more in contributing to the growth of PNJ and the Vietnamese jewellery industry in general.” Regarded as one of the most prestigious awards programmers that push for the advancement of the gemstone and jewellery industry, the JNA Awards is organized by Informa Markets as a platform for promoting best business practices, innovation and leadership excellence. The JNA Awards 2019 is held in cooperation with Headline Partners Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange and DANAT; and with the support of Honoured Partners KGK Group, China Gems and Jade Exchange and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited. Dung will officially receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at a highly anticipated Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on Tuesday, 17 September, during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

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