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VietJet's CEO soars toward billionaire status

VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is poised to become Southeast Asia's first self-made female billionaire. (Photo by Nozomu Ogawa)

HANOI In March, Bloomberg ran an article saying VietJet Air's upcoming initial public offering will make its CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Southeast Asia's first self-made female billionaire. Vietnam's first private budget carrier controlled 43% of the domestic market in June, beating out flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. It is rare for a private company to be at the top of the industry totem pole in a communist country where state enterprises still dominate the economy.

VietJet was founded in 2007 and began offering flights at the end of 2011. Thao's keen ability to spot trends before they happen is a big factor behind the airline's dramatic growth.

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