S06E07: Soline Linh Le, Strategic Board Member, Vietnam Dental Tourism, Vietnam

I lived overseas for quite a long time and sometimes we learn about the trends and styles of new tourism products through our international friends. My friends from Singapore and France were the ones who told me that dental treatment in Vietnam is very cheap and they have a number of friends going to Vietnam for dental cosmetic work.

Soline linh le

Today’s episode is with Vietnamese entrepreneur, Soline Linh Le who is a Strategic Board Member of Vietnam Dental Tourism based in Ho Chi Minh City. 

She was introduced to me through our collaboration partner in Vietnam, ForGood Vietnam. This organisation’s mission is to help disadvantaged individuals and groups understand who they are, hold a vision for their future, acquire knowledge and skills needed for success, have a network of support to reach their goals and contribute to better outcomes for communities.

Through Vietnam Dental Tourism, Soline brought together dentistry players in Vietnam including overseas dental partners to create a medical tourism business to attract foreign tourists and American Vietnamese who often returned to Vietnam for holidays.

soline linh le of vietnam dental tourism
Soline says, “’Be magical, be yourself and everything happens for a reason!”

Accordingly, the average price of dental services in Vietnam is only about half of that in Thailand and about two-thirds of that in Malaysia.

While the pandemic affected the collaboration, she is still optimistic that the tourism business will return and for now, she focuses on domestic dental tourists. 

Soline is someone who clearly has a bigger goal as she didn’t just stop there. 

The dental industry creates waste and she wanted to tackle the waste issue by encouraging the adoption of dental technology. 

So it was not just about entrepreneurship but building a sustainable ecosystem with the right players while adding sustainability and gender equality to the mix.

But it’s one thing from, you want to do something about it to the business model design, all right? That’s where I come in because I’m more of like a project manager person and work with the business side. The network and people that we know are scattered in different places and industries. We started partnership signing in 2017 when we officially introduced the product and sign strategic partnerships with both the government and dental industry.

When she is not busy with her business in dental tourism, she is a tourism and hospitality lecturer at RMIT SGS Vietnam, Broward Vietnam and UEF (University of Economics & Finance). 

She is the co-founder and external relations VP for the Swiss Alumni Association in Vietnam. She is also the training program and alumni lead of the Women’s Empowerment Club in Ho Chi Minh City. This unstoppable woman is planning to study for her Ph.D. related to women-owned businesses in Vietnam. 

With gender equality a big passion of hers, she is involved as the project lead for Gender Equality Across Vietnam Industries (GEAI). The GEAI is funded by the U.S. Consulate General to raise public awareness of gender equality issues across industries and businesses in Vietnam. Topics such as unconscious bias, gender gap awareness and gender stereotypes are brought up for awareness training and discussion with earmarked industries such as press and media, non-profit, retail, beauty, and education.

Now we have clinics spread throughout Vietnam’s six provinces so that we can provide the choice of combining destinations [and dental treatments]. So for example, you can fly to Ho Chi Minh City to start your treatment and continue traveling while waiting. And then you can finish the treatment in a different partner clinic in Hanoi [before you fly home]. 

In this episode, she spoke about paying it forward through her community involvement for Vietnamese women via the Women’s Empowerment Club and her 3E concept of empowering women to empower others. 

She spoke about how her perspectives broadened during her studies in Switzerland and why she, despite being called crazy by her family and friends, took up a job in Uganda, working in the ecotourism sector.

Soline is most inspired by “My mother, my MBA classmates, and the women at a local remote village in Northern Uganda.” 

Her favourite author is Sidney Sheldon and she enjoys music by Sam Smith. 

She is most proud that she started Vietnam Dental Tourism and Gender Equality across Vietnam Industries (GEAI). The former still survives after Covid, and the latter received its second round of funding from the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Connect with her: 

If you have enjoyed today’s episode, please review and subscribe to the podcast on your favourite podcast app. Or share this episode with a friend.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Redbox Studio and in collaboration with ForGood Vietnam.

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