Category Business / Tech

Frenchman Setting the Bar for Myanmar Chocolate

(Irrawaddy, July 2017) KAREN STATE — In dense jungle about 20 kilometers northeast of Taungoo, Jean-Yves Branchard hacks at thickets of vine with a stubby machete, pausing to contemplate a cacao pod blackened with disease. “The price you pay for being organic,” sighs the Frenchman, as sweat washes flecks of soil from his heavy jowls. […]

Good vibrations: the Vietnamese inventor helping the blind to ‘see’

(Southeast Asia Globe, October 2016) Nguyen Ba Hai has developed haptic technology that helps the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them, all while managing to stave off corporate interests and attract international praise Photography by Vinh Dao When Nguyen Ba Hai graduated from a Korean university with a PhD in biorobotics, he […]

Saigon: the next Silicon Valley?

(AsiaLIFE cover, May 2016) Saigon is attracting the attention of the world’s largest high-tech corporations and is becoming home to thousands of startup companies, prompting people to ask, could this chaotic city of a developing nation become the next Silicon Valley? By Lorcan Lovett. Main photo by Vinh Dao. About 20 yellow-shirted motorbike riders are […]

Hops and Dreams

(AsiaLIFE cover, February 2016) Craft beer has been ruffling the feathers of the big corporations for some years, and now the seeds for a showdown have been planted in Vietnam. Lorcan Lovett talks to the pioneering brewers leading the campaign for better tasting tipples. Photos by Vinh Dao. Until two years ago, beer drinkers in Vietnam searching […]

New Money and Richard Branson

(AsiaLIFE, October 2015) Sir Richard Branson’s motivational talk in Saigon brought together an army of young, Vietnamese businesspeople. Lorcan Lovett attends the conference to meet the city’s future tycoons. About 7000 budding entrepreneurs gave a fanatical welcome to Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson at the finale of Saigon’s biggest motivational conference in last month (September 2015). MOVE Vietnam […]