Although my travel to Singapore is quite often, memory about other SEA (South East Asia) countries is still stopped by 25 years ago working experience at Solectron Penang an MNC Electronic Company in Malaysia.
I stepped out of Bangkok airport and was immediately welcomed by the hot and humid wave of wind. It is May season and local temperature this week is around 32-37 degrees, sunshine, no rain. Hot, hot, hot…
At the Money Exchange center, 1 USD is equal to 37 Thai local currency. Luckily for Thailand, they are recovering from the 2008 recession and financial crisis. The price of imported goods is only around 10% lower than that in China, however, the living consume level, even in Bangkok is much competitive than in Shanghai, China. I kept trying to control my desire to go shopping every time I convert the price of Thai currency into either Chinese Yuan or USD$. I strongly recommend the local hand crafted products, soap, SPA herb ingredients as well as wooden curved items.
Walking in the streets of Bangkok, my eyes are filling with almost every yellow and white color, which keeps reminding me that Thailand is a religious country. Yellow color from the philosophy point of view represents power, while white is for purity. What a diverse and combined country! As for Thai people, they are so nice and warm-hearted and you will never feel distance when talking to any local residents in the street, when you are seeking for assistantance.
Henkel HQ (Bangkok) Meeting.
Henkel is an over 100 year old German family company. Until today, Henkel has already developed into an international global brand in three main areas; adhesive, beauty care and home detergent and it’s revenue reached 19.9 Bn Euro w 2.4% organic growth in 2018.
Per introduction from Mr. Erik Edelmann, President and Head of Henkel Thailand, 40% of Henkel revenue comes from emerging market. Erik is very proud of bringing the Henkel brand into Thailand starting from 2016 and right now it has No.1 market share (over 90%). Erik also mentioned his 2010-2013 China Marketing Head experience and felt the regret that Henkel’s home detergent business out of China market eventually due to internal gloss margin requirements as well as external local brands’ strong competition.
Impressed by Eric’s leadership to successfully dig out the China and SEA market, personally I can not buy in his conclusion in term of Henkel drawing off China detergent market due to low price challenge from local brands. It maybe true at the beginning of marketing entrance. But sustainability is really coming from keeping total cost ownership, price, quality, service. Innovation is an only ace in the hole to help a company survive for ever.
Wallenius Wihelmsen Logistic ( WWL) company delivers global logistics and shipping solutions for cars, trucks and rolling equipment.
WWL is a world wide RORO operator. Although its market share is NO.1 globally, however, its 3 main competitors are all from Asia, Japan, i.e. NYK, Kline and NOL. Recently, WWL Thailand’s main business is focusing on outbound operations since there are more international (mainly Japan and Korea) automobile companies that set up manufacturing units in Thailand and the outbound destination, is China (Tianjin port), Japan and Korea or EU.
Due to high competition of these years’ ocean price (almost underwater), WWL has to work for value adding business application to enhance it’s competition, such as drop shipment service, truck service, such kind of BTC service extending at BTB business environment. Besides, WWL is working for entire IT infrastructure upgrading.
Besides that, I am glad to see management localisation. Even the senior leader positions are still occupied by expatriates. During the conversation and presentation, from Thai Cranfield alumnus’s young faces, I do foresee the future of this country.
Yes, years could shrink your face and roses in your heart never fade away.