HO CHI MINH CITY — Vero has hired a regional culture lead to help the firm improve the experiences of the people that it works with, including employees and clients.

Vu-Quan Nguyen-Masse takes on the ASEAN culture lead role, after working in a variety of communications roles since moving to Vietnam from France seven years ago. These have included head of strategy at Rice, creative director at Leo Burnett and brand lead at District Eight.

Nguyen-Masse takes charge of a new six-person culture team that aims to make Vero's culture more compelling to stakeholders. The ASEAN firm today counts over 130 consultants across Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, and Yangon, after doubling its headcount in 2020.

The culture team will focus on four cultural pillars: life, excellence, editorial and brand. In addition to defining and developing the 'Vero experience', including internal workflows, client interaction, and the work environment, it will also guide how the firm communicates its expertise and strategic positioning. 

“On both the leadership and staff fronts, there is genuine cohesion and ambition, not just when it comes to perks and policies, but also evident in the distinct positivity emanating from everyone I have met so far at Vero," said Nguyen-Masse. "This is particularly exemplified by the urgency with which the agency is working to support the Myanmar team during this time of extreme stress as professionals, citizens, and humans."

The focus on culture comes amid rapid growth at Vero, despite the challenges posed by remote working and limited in-person interaction. “Culture lead is not a common role in Southeast Asia, so we didn’t seek candidates with that specific experience,” said Vero COO Raphael Lachkar. “However, company culture shares with brand strategy its focus on individual and collective identity, which is why we decided to turn to an experienced brand creative strategist to lead our culture team."

“Organizations interacting with each other benefit from sharing similar values and personality traits,” added Nguyen-Masse. “Businesses often prioritize securing lucrative deals regardless of whether they are a culture match, but this can be a mistake in the long-term for those seeking to define their brands and attract certain clientele. If we want to be spokespersons for our clients, some level of cultural alignment is highly beneficial."