IDG’s Nguyen to lead McDonalds' Vietnam debut

The US-based fast food chain has appointed Henry Nguyen, managing partner at IDG Vietnam, to lead the development of its first restaurant in the country.

Fast food giant McDonalds has chosen Henry Nguyen, managing general partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam, to develop its first fast food restaurant in Vietnam, according to a company statement.

“Henry Nguyen is that ideal business partner who has an impressive business background and proven track record in driving new business ventures in Vietnam,” said Dave Hoffmann, president of McDonald's Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, in the statement. 

Nguyen, who leads IDG's deal team in Vietnam, previously worked at Goldman Sachs. He is also the son-in-law of Vietnam’s current prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung. 

He was selected to be “developmental licensee” for McDonalds in Vietnam and will create a separate company to manage the project. IDG Ventures will not be involved, according to a spokesman for McDonalds.

It is unclear how the project will impact on his role at IDG. Nguyen could not be reached and IDG in Ho Chi Minh City declined to comment.

As a student in the US, Nguyen made hamburgers and fries at McDonalds.

Henry Nguyen,
IDG Ventures
managing partner,
used to serve
customers at
McDonalds in the US

“I have been a big fan of McDonald's my whole life and have had so many wonderful experiences there, including one of my first jobs when I was a teenager,” Nguyen said in the statement. “I have dreamed of one day opening a McDonald's restaurant in my native country ever since my return to Vietnam more than a decade ago.”

The restaurant is expected to open in Ho Chi Minh City in Q1 2014. 

Although other Western consumer brands such as Starbucks are already operating in Vietnam, the entry of McDonalds reflects the potential of the country’s growing consumer base and young demographic. By some estimates, about 65 percent of Vietnam’s population is under 35 years old, in contradiction to other Asian countries such as Japan, which are dealing with aging populations. 

IDG Ventures Vietnam is a technology venture capital fund in Vietnam with $100 million under management, according to the firm. It has investments in 40 companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, and consumer sectors and offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Singapore.