Thao, 50, one of the richest in Vietnam by stock market assets, ranked second in the “Supply Chain” category after CEO and founder of ride hailing firm Grab, Tan Hooi Ling, in a listing released Saturday by the American news site.
Many Asian tycoons are featured in the category including Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Singapore’s Changi Airport, Tony Fernandes, CEO of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia and Ichiro Kawanabe, CEO of Japanese taxi company JapanTaxi.
The list of 100 figures that changed the Asian economy covers 10 categories: consumer tech, energy, enterprise tech, finance, healthcare, investing, manufacturing, media and advertising, retail and supply chain. Ten people were selected under each category, including executives from global companies, startup founders, product and technology strategists, and industry activists.
“As Vietnam’s first female self-made billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is used to doing things differently,” Business Insider wrote.
Thao has done business in Vietnam and abroad in many fields, including finance, banking, aviation, real estate, and retail.
She launched Vietjet in 2011. The airline now leads the domestic market with a 45 percent share. It operates 385 flights daily within Vietnam and to Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, mainland China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.
The carrier launched its IPO on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in February 2017, becoming the first airline in Vietnam to list publicly.
Vietjet targets a pre-tax profit of VND100 billion ($4.3 million) for 2020, a drop of 98 percent from last year, due to coronavirus impacts. The airline has also lowered its revenue target for the year by 29 percent to VND36 trillion ($1.54 billion), it said in a statement.
Vietjet’s revenue in the first six months fell 50 percent year-on-year to VND12.2 trillion as most flights were suspended over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, Thao ranked 52nd among the world’s 100 most powerful women in a listing by American magazine Forbes.
In 2018, she became the first Vietnamese to appear on a list of 50 business game changers compiled by Bloomberg.