Orchids have long been a representation of wealth and opulence in many cultures. In fact, owning unique orchid species has also been viewed as a high-status symbol in society back in the olden days. But one man in Vietnam sees orchids more than a metaphor in his pursuit of prosperity.
The Business Of Growing Orchids
Meet Trinh Van Sy, one Vietnam’s most popular orchid collectors. He grows orchids to become a billionaire.
With a flourishing orchid garden, thriving with thousands of orchid species and boasting of having almost 200 endemic wild orchid species, including extremely rare orchid hybrids that cannot be found in the wild, Sy claims that he earns between VND800 million ($35,000) to over VND1 billion ($40,000) per year.
But mind you, this orchid success story didn’t happen overnight.
How It All Started
The history of Sy’s orchid empire started 15 years ago.
Originally from the Bao Loc district of the Lam Dong province, he trekked the forests in the area to forage for one of a kind orchid species.
During that particular trip, he met villagers from a local ethnic minority who sold him assorted orchids per kilo, which sometimes included very exotic orchid types.
Sy knew of the significant demand for unique orchids and the substantial profits it would bring.
Starting with a 100-square-meter-sized garden, he devoted his time, effort, and energy into developing brand-new orchid species by cross-breeding and growing the original orchid varieties he got from the natives.
According to him, his venture to start his own industrial-scale orchid garden required at least VND500, or more than $21,000 out of pocket to finance the facilities and VND200, or less than $9,000 on orchid seedlings.
Sy has been expanding his orchid paradise ever since.
The Rarest Orchid Garden In Vietnam
Today, the Van Sy Orchid Garden, which spans over 1,800 square meters, is dubbed as the rarest orchid garden in all of Vietnam.
Beyond business, Sy has directed his passion towards the conservation of Vietnam’s most endemic orchid species. He not only refuses to sell rare orchids that he has not yet successfully bred or multiplied but is also quite particular to whom he sells his precious orchids.
“Sometimes I only accept to sell orchids to connoisseurs, because only they can take care of the orchids I love,” he explained.