Le Yen Thanh, the 28-year-old CEO of Vietnam’s smart mobility startup Phenikaa Maas, is among the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honorees in the Industry, Manufacturing & Energy category.
The said category honors individuals who are using technology to improve various industries, including the logistics and supply chain sector, which has been booming during the Covid-19 online-ordering surge.
As a Co-founder & CEO of Phenikaa MaaS (formerly BusMap), Le Yen Thanh is one of the prominent and inspirational names in the Vietnamese startup community. Thanh has won over 100 national and international awards for his programming skills.
Having had the opportunity to work at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, Thanh decided to turn it down and return to Vietnam to start a business, devoting himself to the development and betterment of Vietnamese society.
Since then, despite his very young age, he has made outstanding contributions to society over the years, especially during the challenging Covid-19 period.
In 2013, Thanh founded the BusMap Project, a free public transportation app for urban bus passengers. BusMap is developed based on core digital map technology combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and recommendation algorithms to allow users to access urban bus maps, thereby finding the best travel route with the lowest fare and time.
Since its inception, BusMap has contributed to bringing smart transportation solutions to the community, encouraging the use of public transport, and reducing traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
In 2021, BusMap received a capital injection of $US1.5 million from Phenikaa Group – a diversified business group in Vietnam – and evolved into a smart mobility solutions startup Phenikaa MaaS.
Becoming a member unit of Phenikaa Group and utilizing BusMap’s core mapping technology, Phenikaa MaaS under the leadership of Le Yen Thanh has since expanded through investments and R&D initiatives to provide “Make in Vietnam” solutions of maps, applications, IoT, AI, and BigData to help enterprises and organizations operate their transportation effectively.
Phenikaa MaaS is currently working with thousands of Vietnamese enterprises and local authorities to provide 4 main solutions including Smart School, Smart Mobility, Smart Port, and Smart Company – further promoting digital transformation in the country.
Among these, Smart Port is a port model helping cargo and inland transportation companies cut expenses and increase their competitiveness. With Automatic Container Code Recognition (ACCR), Vehicle License Plate Recognition (ALPR), and driver’s face and behavioral recognition (bHub), Smart Port is expected to help automate manual procedures, enhance efficiency, and speed the transportation industry’s digital transformation.
Talking about BusMap, an application dedicated to serving the community since its inception, Le Yen Thanh affirmed that BusMap will always operate for free to contribute value to society.
By 2022, BusMap has reached 3 million app downloads with over 400,000 daily active users and expanded its footprint to 5 major cities beyond Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai.
Besides the main features, BusMap has now developed many new features including cashback shopping, searching and collecting food vouchers, and updating city information, further meeting the increasingly diverse needs of the user.
In the long run, Phenikaa MaaS aims to become a leading provider of solutions, products, and services in the field of smart city and smart mobility.
The Vietnamese startup also plans to expand across the region, starting in Thailand, where it has piloted its solutions in Bangkok and Chiangmai.
A desire to contribute to the betterment of Vietnamese society
CEO Le Yen Thanh is widely known as a young Vietnamese entrepreneur who aspires to create great values for society.
During the 2 years of the pandemic raging in Vietnam, Thanh and the Phenikaa MaaS team actively applied their map technology to deploy the epidemiological CovidMaps, helping people and authorities to update real-time pandemic-related information, monitor the flow of goods and merchandise, and quickly identify areas of high risk of infection.
This is considered a smart and practical technology solution, actively contributing to the national fight against Covid-19. Currently, this solution has been deployed for free in more than 10 provinces and cities nationwide.
Sharing in a statement, Phenikaa MaaS CEO Le Yen Thanh said: “Being recognized by Forbes Asia is truly a great recognition for me and the entire Phenikaa MaaS team. I have always believed in the impact of using technology to contribute to the betterment of society, and this recognition from Forbes has made me, more than ever, believe in my vision and mission to contribute to the nation’s digital transformation and move the country forward through the use of smart mobility.”
Le Yen Thanh is among the 5 other representatives of Vietnam on the list of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2022. This year recorded a breakthrough number – more than 4,000 candidates were nominated – of which reporters and the judging panel voted only 300 names, and only 90 people were honored in the final list.
“The criteria for honorees making the list include their demonstration of leadership, how they embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is synonymous with Forbes, and their potential for success in their industry. Other factors like innovation, disruption – and size and growth of their ventures in some categories – play a role in making the final decision,” Forbes said in a press release.