In 2001 Jonah Levey, CEO and founder of Navigos, gave up a lucrative job at a leading New York employment company and arrived in HCM City. He opened with a few employees out of a small office in Binh Thanh District in 2002.

Two years later his shareholders left because they had to work 12 hours a day without any payment. The company’s financial resources were steadily dwindling. At that time employment agencies in Vietnam collected fees from job-seekers. Levey started an online job center that collected fees from employers.

But online recruitment was still an alien concept, with only 400,000 of Vietnam's 80 million people using the Internet. It was not looking good for Levey. But he was encouraged by his friends who advised him patience.

The country then welcomed a huge wave of foreign investment and fierce competition broke out between the investors who competed for the best talent. A fifth of the population began to come to the site to look for jobs. Hundreds of foreign employers began to pay US$66 to post jobs on

Navigos not only allows job-seekers to access free of charge but has also launched many consultancy services, including human resources, training, and payroll for enterprises. From 12 people in the beginning, Navigos’ staff has now expanded to over 300 working in offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

“When I started this business, I was not sure it will be so successful. The great significance in my work is creating jobs for many young people” Levey said.

By Khanh Binh - Sài Gòn Giai Phong - January 28, 2009