Siam Paragon invests THB3 billion to transform the global landmark to the next level

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Siam Paragon invests THB3 billion to transform the global landmark to the next level

Siam Paragon invests THB3 billion to transform the global landmark to the next level


Bangkok (February 14, 2023) – Siam Paragon, a world-class destination, has officially launched a transformation project to redefine the ‘global landmark in the heart of Bangkok’ and take it new heights of excellence to meet all the lifestyle needs of the future, reinforcing its positioning as one of the most-visited ‘global landmark destinations’.

Commenced towards the end of 2022, the 3-billion-baht investment project will take 18 months to complete, with a projected completion date in mid-2024. The transformation project is unveiled together with the achievement of the soaring revenue in 2022, which exceeded the target and surpassed the pre-covid sales in 2019, with the luxury segment pushing the jump in sales and achieving world’s top ranking. The roaring success amplifies Siam Paragon’s strong leadership in the high-net-worth shopper segment.     

Ms. Caroline Murphy, President – Sales and Business Relations of Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., stated, “Over the past 17 years, Siam Paragon has established itself as a global destination that has earned the top-of-mind position among Thai and international visitors alike. As a vital part of Bangkok’s DNA, Siam Paragon has been meshed into every heartbeat of the metropolis and has breathed vibrancy into the daily life of people in Bangkok. It is also the ultimate microcosm where visitors from across the globe can come and experience the latest lifestyle trends of Bangkokians.”

“Siam Paragon has been a platform for retailers, including luxury brands and local entrepreneurs, to showcase the best of the best. As reception for luxury products has been phenomenal and some of the world’s highest growth in sales has been achieved here, Siam Paragon has established itself as a bona fide destination for luxury items. In addition, many brands have opened pop-up stores in our venue to offer limited collections, thus generating buzz and experience beyond expectations for customers, reinforcing Siam Paragon’s leadership in the affluent customer segment in Thailand. Siam Paragon has also been ranked as the world’s 6th most checked-in destination and the only venue in Thailand and Asia to place on Facebook Review’s list of top-ten global destinations, making it truly a global legendary landmark.”

Siam Paragon invests THB3 billion to transform the global landmark to the next level

“Siam Paragon had an exceptional year in 2022, as the revenue not only exceeded the target but showed an astonishing growth of over 50 percent compared to a year earlier and surpassed the pre-Covid-19 figures in 2019 despite the limited presence of international tourists. The leap in sales was driven primarily by the luxury segment, which reported soaring profits and three consecutive years of world-class performance. This success has led luxury brands to prioritize Thailand as their key target in Southeast Asia and Asia for launching special concept stores or unveiling their latest collections, thus boosting demand for space for additional store locations. Siam Paragon’s new investment plan will enable it to meet this demand and accommodate more luxury brands and new brands out of the over 100 names currently on the waiting list. Newcomers will include brands that will be making their debut in Thailand and brands that will be available exclusively at Siam Paragon. These factors all reinforce Siam Paragon’s position as the true global ‘luxury destination.’

Ms. Murphy added, “We will build a new global prototype of a platform where the crème de la crème from every field can come together and co-create world-class projects and experiences that exceed all expectations. This new project is called “The Next Level Evolution,” in which we will create yet another phenomenon in the retail business as we transform Siam Paragon, a world-class landmark in the heart of Bangkok, to redefine excellence and cater to all lifestyle needs of the future. The game-changing transformation of the 500,000 sq.m. destination in the middle of Siam will also place Thailand firmly on the global stage once again and enable it to win over the world.”

Beginning in 2022, Siam Paragon’s ‘Paragon Department Store” has been undergoing a revamp, scheduled to be completed in 2023. Alongside this overhaul, Siam Paragon is investing THB 3 billion more in the transformation of the ‘global landmark in the heart of Bangkok’. Renovation has been ongoing in sections since the end of 2022 and is expected to reach completion in the mid of 2024, or 18 months from now.

Vision for the Transformation of Siam Paragon

Ms. Mayuree Chaipromprasith, President of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Siam Piwat Co., Ltd, described the vision for the transformation of Siam Paragon. “We believe in the ecosystem that we have created and in its the boundless potential. Through the collaboration of various industries, we will co-create new phenomena. We are putting away traditional real estate development playbooks. Siam Paragon will no longer be a shopping center but a global platform where experts from all fields, including architects, engineers, interior designers, art and tech gurus, as well as luxury brands across the world and Thai entrepreneurs can engage in co-creation. The platform will also seamlessly connect the physical world and the digital world through OneSiam SuperApp and the Metaverse to fulfill lifestyle needs for all visitors and deliver world-class experiences beyond expectations in all dimensions.”

“Siam Paragon is highlighting the idea of co-creation on this platform to bring about sustainable development and business growth. This is where everyone will collaborate to redefine excellence. Many entrepreneurs have already launched highly successful flagship stores, and for this next level, we will work with them to bring to life one-and-only ultimate iconic stores in Thailand.”

“Each day, Siam Paragon welcomes visitors from all over the world.  We are placing a strong emphasis on shaping Siam Paragon into an ideal community for citizens of the world.  We have been conducting our most in-depth and broadest study on the largest group of customers to obtain insights, which will be utilized to enable us to better resonate with their needs and wants, their passions, and a broad spectrum of interests in order to deliver distinctive and engaging experience. As part of this major transformation, we will create an immersive community where customers will be a part of this key milestone. We will soon introduce ‘The Wall of Wonders’ campaign, which features a shared community space where locals and international customers can share on interactive walls their ideas and what they would like to see and experience at Siam Paragon. We will integrate those ideas from people from around the globe into our space with cutting-edge technology to cater to each community and all lifestyles in a fascinating way.  More details on the ‘Wall of Wonders” campaign will soon be announced,” said Mayuree.

The Pillars of Siam Paragon – The Next Evolution

To rise to new heights of excellence and meet all lifestyle needs of the future, Siam Paragon – The Next Evolution will be built upon five pillars as follows: 

1. Universe of the World’s Excellence

To complete this ultimate transformation, Siam Paragon is relying on co-creation and collaboration with visionaries from every industry to bring about the greatest phenomenon of the 21st century, deliver groundbreaking innovations never before seen in the retail industry, and ultimately elevate Siam Paragon to a global legendary destination, thus setting a new benchmark of excellence.

2. Gateway to the Next Frontier Where the Digital World Meets the Physical World

Siam Paragon will become a new global prototype of a co-creative platform that seamlessly bridges all the five physical senses with the imaginative power of the digital and virtual world to present lifestyles of the future in a way that goes above and beyond all expectations and deliver physical experiences that mesh perfectly with the eye-popping wonder of the virtual world – a new key magnet that will draw visitors from across the globe to Siam Paragon.

3. Celebration of Inclusive Luxury

Over the past 17 years of operation, Siam Paragon has established itself as the leader in Thailand’s highest spending consumer segment and as a destination that boasts the most comprehensive range of luxury brands. The new historic transformation of Siam Paragon will redefine luxury for all, regardless of age, gender, or walks of life, across every sphere, from fashion, lifestyle, dining, travel all the way to technology, finance, and other personalized experiences. This will mark the first time ever in the world that everyone can access and experience luxury in every facet of life and reward themselves.

4. Pioneering Quality Life Experience

As an integral part of this transformation and prototype development for future lifestyles, Siam Paragon will be co-creating a large space with its partners to bring art, technology, and nature into the venue to contribute to a cleaner world, improve energy efficiency, cater to sustainability-minded lifestyles, and ultimately enhance the well-being and the way of life for communities and the world, all this in a way that goes beyond the bounds of imagination. Visitors will be able to spend their time in Siam Paragon as their second home where they can take in nature, in an environment with excellent temperature and hygiene management and one of the best greenhouse gas management systems in Asia.

5. The Paragon Community of Global Citizens

Siam Paragon strives to rise to new heights and deliver both in-store and digital experience beyond expectations, which will further strengthen Siam Paragon’s capability to expand its customer base to global citizens and achieve sustainable growth. Siam Paragon is creating new ‘cluster’ spaces to offer products, services and activities that serve the needs of different communities. By engaging customers and fostering a sense of ownership in their communities, customers can share ideas and interests, create opportunities, and discover new technologies and business opportunities from wherever they are.  

Siam Paragon is also in the process of considering more world-class concepts to feature for the first time in Thailand and the world and concluding all the exciting highlights of Siam Paragon – The Next Evolution.

“Research has shown time and again that Siam Paragon has always been the number one destination for Thai and international visitors and has become a familiar part of the lives of Bangkokians of all generations. Through the long-standing and close relationships with its customers, fostered through billions of visits, Siam Paragon has developed a truly unique character. Therefore, while we are going ahead with a major transformation to rise to the next level of excellence and meet all lifestyle needs of the future, which is full of promise of so many exciting offerings, we recognize the necessity of preserving our essence, which gives Siam Paragon its distinctive identity and has earned Siam Paragon a special place in the hearts of all visitors that cannot be replaced by any other development project,” concluded Ms. Murphy.

How’d it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

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How'd it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

How’d it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service


Vitaya Saeng-Aroon

Late last year, Saudi Arabia dispatched the largest delegation of attendees – 800 people – to Thailand for the Apec summit. The delegation included members of the royal family and staff from nine royal offices, and their transportation needs were estimated at 300 vehicles.

It was in Thailand that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman also spent the maximum amount of time (three days) outside of his home country last year. The necessity to provide “zero mistake” services for 24 hours was the duty of one Thai company.

“They told us to be prepared for around-the-clock work. I thought, it’s just a saying. But this was the toughest and most challenging work of my life,” said Jakrapan Rattanapetch, managing director of World Reward Solution Co Ltd (WRS Group), in an exclusive interview with The Nation.

What did you learn from servicing VVIPs from Saudi Arabia during the Apec meeting?
“We were under high pressure because there were many parties involved, not only the Foreign Ministry or Tourism Authority of Thailand. We had to ensure zero mistakes in whatever we did.'”

How'd it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

Though used to serving royal families, WRS’s team of staff were not enough for the Saudi Arabia visit. The firm prepared another squad it named the “Avenger Team“, who were told they weren’t working for WRS but rather for Team Thailand.

The Avenger Team had to be able to handle high pressure and work for 24 hours. The other qualification was a can-do attitude, he said.

“Imagine a VVIP customer abruptly flying in by private jet at 2am. The team had to be ready to go. And at 2am, how can you handle protocols to get between one site and another, like parking and seeking permission from the airport? You need people with a can-do attitude.”

How'd it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

WRS’s concierge group was set up to liaise directly with each of Saudi Arabia’s nine offices under royal command, including the medical team, food, and security. They also prepared interpreters, protocols, and drivers for different kinds of vehicles.

“We had around 100 people working as concierge staff and interpreters during the Apec meeting, in addition to drivers carefully selected from Thailand’s International Tactical & Bodyguard team.”

Jakrapan Rattanapetch, managing director of World Reward Solution Co Ltd (WRS Group)Jakrapan Rattanapetch, managing director of World Reward Solution Co Ltd (WRS Group)

Jakrapan said WRS deployed 250-300 staff to take care of the 800 delegates from Saudi Arabia.

“We rented a whole building for our staff to stay together as they need to be on standby 24 hours a day. The staff lived there together for 14-15 days.

“You would never know your schedule beforehand. You’d just know it’s time to go, so get ready to take off.”

How'd it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

Impacts of the Saudi visit
In addition to diplomatic ties, Thailand is now a focus for Saudi Arabia in terms of medical services, tourism, energy and sustainability.

“I now see an Arab country like Saudi Arabia in a new light. Since visiting the country again after the Apec meeting, I see things differently. I believe people who visit Saudi Arabia will learn something new, different from what we see in news reports.”

He also sees new opportunities arising from tourism links between the two countries.

“Saudi Arabia has a long history and culture, their cities are sophisticated. They want tourists and Thailand’s hospitality will be in hot demand. It’s like they have prepared the hardware [buildings, infrastructure, new attractions], but they need software.”

WRS and its plans
“I regarded my business in the first three years as ‘hi-tech plus high-touch’,” he said.

Differing from others in the market, WRS launched its luxury-concierge business in 2018 as a start-up, offering technology-based services with a “digital butler”, e-vouchers, royalty programmes and more to speed up service for demanding customers.

In the years before the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, WRS flourished. The company earned around 90 billion baht in its first year and 80 million in the following year.

But the virus forced the company to stall its expansion plans. It had been eying five countries – ChinaHong KongSingaporeCambodia and Myanmar.

This year, WRS plans to resume its business in the target countries, excluding Myanmar due to the political unrest there. Some of its target markets are also emerging economies.

“Cambodia is interesting because the upper and middle-income groups have high growth. Vietnam caught my interest because we have found a local potential partner.

“People in Vietnam have trust in services from Thailand. Difficult to believe but during Covid-19, Vietnamese were among the top five nationalities buying condominiums in Thailand. They tend to spend in Thailand and Singapore.”

Jakrapan said Singapore remains the “hub of Asia” and so will serve as WRS’s springboard to other parts of the continent.

“Our brand is also attracting businessmen and investors from China,” he added.

Saudi not in WRS’s initial expansion plan
In 2020, Jakrapan was onboard when the Foreign Ministry led 100 Thai CEOs on a trip to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries after Thai-Saudi diplomatic relations were restored after 30 years.

Two years later, Thailand hosted the Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum, and thanks to his earlier trip to Saudi Arabia, WRS was selected to take care of the government’s guests from the Middle East kingdom as an exclusive luxury-concierge service provider.

Concierge service from experienced professionals like WRS is unlike general VIP service.

“Commercial banks may hire a tour company to prepare services for their VIP customers. It’s different from us. You could compare WRS to a tour operator or an event organizer, but in fact, we are not the same.”

Concierge or high-end service means utilizing the total combination of knowledge and connection to turn customers’ huge demand into [business] success, he said.

“For example, when it came to serving the delegates from Saudi Arabia, others may have simply prepared a motorcade to take care of the visitors. But for concierge service, we go beyond preparing vehicles. We had to get drivers who can speak English and/or Arabic and they had to be ready 24/7.

If a customer wants a limited edition like a watch, we must be able to find it. Customers may want specific decor that they cannot find from their country or Halal food specifically cooked by a Saudi Arabian chef; we must be able to find them,” he said.

In some cases, when VVIP customers’ schedule requires privacy and security, many things are unplanned or unmentioned beforehand, especially when the customers have to deal with authorities. The concierge service needs to have connections to facilitate their needs, for example, travel to the airport.

“You may never know when VVIP customers want to arrive or fly out [so] you need to be well prepared and race against time pressure and the demands of the customer. You need to have ‘access’ to reach relevant authorities at the airport, for instance, to get things done,” he said.

“You may never know when VVIP customers want to arrive or fly out [so] you need to be well prepared,” said Jakrapan, WRS CEO.

Pre-Covid, WRS was focused only on Asean and China.

“We were looking for staff who could speak Chinese,” Jakrapan said.

But when China prolonged its lockdown, businesses tried to find other markets to replace China.

“Of course, Asean markets could not replace China. But the Middle East, where Saudi Arabia is like an older brother, has such potential. When Saudi Arabia takes action, other Arab nations pay attention.”

Gulf customers may not spend as much as Chinese customers, he said.

“But in terms of demand from high-level customers, their spending may double.”

Saudi Arabian visitors stay an average of 10-14 days in Thailand, he added. They spend a minimum of 12,000 baht per night on accommodation and prefer private villas because Arab women often keep out of the public spotlight. They also tend to travel in large family groups.

How'd it go? Giving 800 Saudi VVIPs in Thailand a high-end concierge service

VVIP corporate customers
Banks and insurance companies also hire concierge services like WRS to facilitate their VVIP customers.

“In this type of scenario, it is not the hirer but their client that uses the service.

What the corporate customers want from us is for their clients to be impressed by the treat and love their brand even more,” he said.

Holding a Michelin-star dinner meeting has become commonplace these days but the organisation involved is far from simple.

“What WRS can do is hire a Michelin-star chef that has to be booked three years in advance or a chef that serves only royal families.

“We did fly in 13 chefs for an event called ‘Dinner Incredible’ for customers who invited elite clients. The 13-course set dinner was priced at around 25,000 baht,” he said.

Who can work in this business?
Concierge service providers need to have a background that goes beyond “lifestyle” or “tourism”. People from the hotel or travel industry may not be able to do the job.

Instead, Jakrapan looks for recruits with a background in luxury brands.

“They can understand luxury and will compare services from competitors. They travel around the world, not just to enjoy travel, flying business or first class, or staying at 5-star hotels, but they are required to understand luxury lifestyles and cultures and accumulate knowledge to make our services different from others.”

Other companies may hire staff on their ability to speak English, travel experience, and service skills. But that’s not enough for WRS.
“Don’t forget that the people we take care of have billions in their bank accounts and they travel the world over. [We have to ask] how can we cater to their needs?

“When such a customer contacts you to ask for a restaurant recommendation, and your staff simply speak English, that’s not enough because their needs are niche.

“We need staff who have accumulated knowledge about luxury brands, fashion, history, lifestyle, diplomatic ties, etc. They are the ones with the experience and background that money cannot buy. We have these people and people with such connections,” he said.

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Thai cybersecurity firm reaches for the cloud with US partner, as more firms go digital

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Thai cybersecurity firm reaches for the cloud with US partner, as more firms go digital

Thai cybersecurity firm reaches for the cloud with US partner, as more firms go digital


Nongluck Ajanapanya

Cyber Elite, Thailand’s leading cybersecurity service provider, has partnered a US firm to provide cloud security and protect Thai businesses and their IT environment from emerging cyber-threats.

The collaboration with Zscaler, a US-based cloud security service provider, comes amid a wave of Thai businesses transforming to digital via cloud.

Supakorn Kungpisdan, managing director of Cyber Elite, told a press conference on Monday that most Thai companies wrongly assumed adoption of cloud would make them safe.

He said that each company must have its own cybersecurity system to protect itself while operating on the cloud. However, the majority of businesses prefer to concentrate on their core competencies. So, more and more businesses are turning to cybersecurity experts for assistance.

“This trend is our opportunity,” Supakorn said.

Thailand’s cloud market is expected to grow by at least 40% this year, outpacing the global average of around 30%. This trend increases the demand for cloud-based security services.

By partnering with Zscaler, Cyber Elite will be able to provide world-class managed cloud security services while saving time and being cost-effective, he said.

Supakorn KungpisdanSupakorn Kungpisdan

“With Zscaler’s innovative technology, enterprises can strengthen their security level without making changes to their systems, while Cyber Elite provides 24-hour threat monitoring and surveillance,” he added.

Foad Farrokhnia, Zscaler’s head of alliance and channels for Asia Pacific and Japan, said that Zscaler’s cloud security technology was built on zero trust architecture, which emphasises the “never trust, always verify” philosophy.

Customers could rest assured that their business and IT environments would be secure due to strong identity verification, he said.

He expected demand for digital solutions, including cybersecurity in Thailand, to increase significantly in the coming years, as approximately 56% of Thai companies are on the path of digital transformation, up from 12% before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Zscaler will provide managed cloud security services to financial sector organisations, such as banks, capital market and insurance companies; the government sector [public agencies and state enterprises]; and large enterprises that are undergoing digital transformation, cloud transformation, and cybersecurity transformation,” he noted.

Karen Chong, Zscaler’s regional vice president for Southeast Asia, added that being a part of Thailand’s cybersecurity journey at this early stage was exciting.

Thailand has the potential to be the region’s cloud hub due to its ready infrastructure, 5G network, cloud data centre, and talented workforce, she pointed out.

She stated that Zscaler, in partnership with Cyber Elite, was expected to be a part of this trend as the leading cybersecurity service provider in the country and the region.

She said Zscaler had been globally recognised for its cloud security solutions for decades. The company is regarded among the world’s largest cybersecurity firms, placing it in the leader group of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Thai cybersecurity firm reaches for the cloud with US partner, as more firms go digital

Supakorn said that Cyber Elite aimed to become Thailand’s leading cloud security service provider in 2023, with a revenue target of 1 billion baht by 2025.

The company also intends to expand its operations to other Asean countries, with emphasis on Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Cyber Elite is a subsidiary of Benchachinda Group, Thailand’s leading digital infrastructure and solutions provider, aimed at increasing the competency and competitiveness of Thai organisations. The group’s businesses are currently divided into: digital infrastructure and solutions; distribution and fulfilment; content and investment.

New THAI CEO confident of early takeoff from rehabilitation plan

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New THAI CEO confident of early takeoff from rehabilitation plan

New THAI CEO confident of early takeoff from rehabilitation plan


The new chief executive of Thailand’s financially ailing national airline on Thursday expressed confidence that it would be able to exit the rehabilitation plan ahead of schedule.

Chai Eamsiri, chief executive officer of Thai Airways International PLC (THAI), said he was confident that the recovery in the travel and tourism sectors would help the national flag carrier complete its rehabilitation conditions and exit the plan earlier than late 2024.

He said that an early exit would allow THAI shares to resume trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2025.

“The crisis is now over for Thai Airways. We are now in the phase of making money continuously for sustainable development of the organisation,” said Chai, who took charge only on February 1.

THAI has resumed flights on 65% of its pre-Covid routes and its cabin factor was a healthy 85% last year, the CEO said, adding that the airline has made profits since May last year, with a “very good” cash flow of 30 billion baht at present.

The airline earned about 90 billion baht in revenue last year and the figure was estimated to rise by 40% this year, according to the CEO.

He said Thai Airways’ earnings would grow strongly for another year, thanks to the return of Chinese tourists and increased demand for air travel.

According to the CEO, THAI has met most conditions in the business rehabilitation plan quicker than expected.

The airline also has begun its long-term growth programme that includes procurement of new planes and fleet modernisation. With 49 planes at present, THAI aims to expand its fleet to meet rising demand for air transport, taking delivery of six rented Airbus A350 jets in April and planning to lease three more wide-body planes within this year or early next year, according to the CEO.

In September 2020, the Central Bankruptcy Court approved THAI’s recovery plan after the Covid-19 pandemic paralysed global air travel. The airline’s debts stood at 338.9 billion baht against total assets of 298.9 billion baht as of September 30 that year.

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

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Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says


The largest industrial manufacturer in Europe, Siemens, expects substantial growth in Thailand, especially in green energy and sustainability, the company’s Asean CEO, Thai Lai Pham, said in a recent interview with Krungthep Turakij.

“Siemens eyes substantial growth in Thailand with investments in existing businesses, personnel development, and finding partners to expand into new businesses related to green energy and sustainability,” Pham said.

He said that Siemens’ current business plan in Thailand focuses on digital industries and smart infrastructure. The company aims to sell more of its technology products in the Thai market, he said, adding that Siemens invested 5.6 billion euros (201.5 billion baht) in research and development during its last fiscal year.

The key to Thailand’s success will be upgrading its digital infrastructure, Pham said.

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

Thailand’s location is attractive, he added, explaining that the country is in the heart of the Asean where investments in technology and manufacturing are growing rapidly.

“Global investors are interested in every country in the Asean region thanks to high investment in infrastructure and supply chains,” he said. “The Thai government must focus on upgrading the country’s infrastructure, especially its digital [infrastructure] to attract investors, boost competitiveness, and improve people’s quality of life.”

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

Pham added that investments in education and staff training are as important as investing in high-value industries.

“All investment projects must contribute to the development toward sustainability by finding the path that is most suitable for Thailand to achieve the goals,” he said.

“I’m not saying Thailand is currently doing it wrong. But the country needs to improve upon what it has achieved in several aspects, to be even more efficient and ensure the fullest use of FDI,” he said, referring to foreign direct investment.

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

Sustainability will be the biggest challenge for all businesses, he said, noting that Thailand has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 and zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2065.

The effective adaptation of technology to suit business objectives and real-world applications will always be the answer for businesses aiming to increase their productivity and prevent losses amid the shift towards greater sustainability, he said.

Siemens expects high growth in Thailand, Asean CEO says

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Travel tech company profiles emerging travel ‘tribes’

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Travel tech company profiles emerging travel ‘tribes’

Travel tech company profiles emerging travel ‘tribes’


Nongluck Ajanapanya

Global travellers will prioritise unique experiences, sustainability, and more technological innovation over the next 10 years, according to a study released by travel technology company Amadeus.

The study examined forces transforming travel, as well as emerging traveller traits, behaviours, and preferences, to pinpoint what travellers will want a decade from now, Karun Budhraja, Amadeus senior vice president for marketing in the Asia Pacific region, told a media briefing at the company’s Singapore office.

The study identifies four “Traveller Tribes” that will develop over the next decade and likely be dominant in 2033.

They are “pioneering pathfinders” (43%), “excited experientialists” (25%), “memory makers” (17%), and “travel tech-fluencers” (15%).

“Pathfinders” live fast-paced lives and are always looking for their next adventure, Budhraja said. Most (82%) are between the ages of 23 and 41.

This group is more willing than others to let sustainability influence their travel decisions and is very comfortable using alternative payment methods, Budhraja said.

“Experientialists” are more likely than other travellers to act on instinct and prefer less predictable and more exciting lodging experiences, he said. Almost half of them are single and they have high-paying jobs with a flexible schedule, he added.

“Tech-fluencers” are the most familiar with using technologies to make their lives easier, but they are the group most concerned about data security, Budhraja said.

“Memory makers” take a more straightforward approach to travel, focusing on making memories and visiting places, Budhraja said. They are older – 44% are over the age of 42 – but travel regularly.

Karun BudhrajaKarun Budhraja

“For them, the future can be a frightening prospect,” Budhraja said.

“They prioritise people over technology and sustainability [and are] reassured by existing methods [of travel],” he added.

Thai tourists fall into the same four categories: half are pathfinders, 23% are experientialists, 15% are tech-fluencers, and 12% are memory makers.

The study indicates that many travellers will be open to new and emerging technologies, and will want to travel in more sustainable ways.

Travel tech company profiles emerging travel ‘tribes’

However, with some travellers concerned about the proliferation of technology and the growing need for cyber-security and data privacy, the industry must ensure that all travellers benefit from technological advances.

“The travel landscape in Asia Pacific markets is incredibly diverse. As the travel industry evolves, the Traveller Tribes report identifies what matters most to Asian Pacific travellers, such as sustainable travel or emerging technologies. Their behaviours and the values they seek in travel will shape the industry in 2033 and beyond,” Budhraja said.

Fred Barou, Amadeus’ senior vice president for customer success management in the Asia Pacific region said travellers are excited by the ability to reach destinations more quickly. They also want sustainable travel, fewer problems with technology, and more diverse payment methods, Barou said.

The survey helps travel agencies and related businesses become aware of what technologies they should look for, he said.

Fred BarouFred Barou

Biofuel could be the next game changer in the travel industry, he said, adding that cashless payment, cryptocurrency, data security, and biometrics are playing a bigger role in travel.

While technology may make travel easier in many ways, travel agencies and other tourism businesses still have a role to play, he said. They need to be more focused and personalised in their service, he explained.

The study is based, in part, on a survey of 10,000 travellers in 15 countries.

Northstar Research Partners was partnered to conduct the study.

Thai trans tycoon welcomes revenue surge from universal beauty

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Thai trans tycoon welcomes revenue surge from universal beauty

Thai trans tycoon welcomes revenue surge from universal beauty


Stephanie Adair

The purchase of the Miss Universe Organisation by JKN Global Group has already seen 800 million baht flow into the Thai company so far, and the amount will rise to 1.2 billion baht this year, its CEO and managing director Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip told a press conference.

El Salvador is paying 400 million baht to host the pageant this year and JKN is in the process of signing contracts for hosting the pageant for the following two years, she said. 

JKN bought the Miss Universe Organisation from Endeavor Group in October last year.

JKN plans to use the Miss Universe brand to promote its own consumer products, starting with beverages that will be launched in the first quarter of this year, Jakkaphong said.

JKN is planning to expand into the beverage, wellness and cosmetic segments with direct sales to consumers through JKN18 channel, JKN Hi shopping and Omni Channel and Social Commerce, she said.

Revenues will total 4 billion baht this year, Jakkaphong said.

JKN aims to become a global content creator and to take the lead in Asean by purchasing the rights to sell global brands.

“We are currently using JKN Global to sell the Miss Universe organisation [for] broadcast fees, franchise fees, production fees, everything. So, as we go into the content market, we go as JKN Universe or Miss Universe organisation. That’s part of the blending,” Anne explained.

“The second part will be consumer products. A lot of them will be branded as Miss Universe skin care, Miss Universe cosmetics, and beverages, too … [Miss Universe] beverages will include collagen, multivitamin beauty drinks, and also mineral water. Everything will be under the same ecosystem, led by the logo or brand of Miss Universe,” she added.

The success of the Miss Universe Organisation has improved JKN’s cash flow. As a result, its board of directors agreed at a January 30 meeting to cancel a decision made on January 5 to sell an additional 1,019,917,296 shares to increase its capital.

Instead, it will sell 510,043,387 shares to existing shareholders, and reduce the number existing shareholders can buy to two new shares for every share they hold, instead of three. The shares

JKN will also issue new ordinary shares – 66,666,666 million at 4.50 baht apiece – in a private placement to Unistretch Co Ltd, which is part of the GP Group under the management of Nishita Shah.

The group is JKN’s strategic partner in expanding the Miss Universe Organisation. 

JKN decided to postpone the rights offering and reduce its size because it forecasts higher than expected revenue this year from the Miss Universe Organisation. 

The reduced rights offering will have no effect on JKN’s expansion plans, Jakkaphong said.

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

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Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia


Bangkok, Thailand, February 8, 2023 – MONIX Co., Ltd., a Bangkok-based leading AI-powered digital lending platform, announced today that the company has secured US$20 million in the first close of its pre-IPO fundraising.

The investment was led by the mothership SCBX and a new investor Lombard Asia, a Southeast Asia’s growth-focused private equity manager, demonstrating the company’s strong growth in micro-finance lending on the path to IPO in the near future and becoming the market leader in Thailand’s digital lending arena.

Mr. Qinbin Fan, Chief Executive Officer, and Ms. Thiranun Arunwattanakul, Chief Operating Officer of MONIX, said “We are extremely delighted to welcome our new partner to jointly create better opportunities for underserved people. The new equity we have secured shows the confidence that SCBX and Lombard Asia have in our vision and market-leading position. We are dedicated to continuously delivering inclusive financial products and services across our platform by advancing the power of unrivaled and cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.”

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

Since its establishment in 2020 as a joint venture fintech startup between SCBX Group and China’s fintech unicorn Abakus Group, MONIX has been at the forefront of digital unsecured lending solutions for underbanked people in Thailand who are oftentimes overlooked by conventional banks or financial institutions. With the unwavering vision of creating opportunities for people to prosper and enjoy life, the company offers the humanized, AI-driven FINNIX application to over 36 million Thai people in order to improve the country’s informal debt problems. This application provides instant money in 5 minutes using only alternative data and does not require any paper documents or guarantors.

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

As of 2022, MONIX recorded US$458 million in loan disbursements to over 650,000 users, reflecting positive net profits despite the challenging economic situation. With the new funds raised, which bring the company’s aggregated funding to US$40 million, and continued support from both partners, MONIX is well-positioned to accelerate its growth and expansion of digital lending and financial product offerings, bolster customer growth and engagement, and innovate its services to enhance financial inclusion for Thai citizens, as well as prepare for an IPO.

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

Dr. Arak Sutivong, Deputy CEO of SCBX, said “This follow-on investment in MONIX marks our continued commitment and strong belief in the long-term prospects of the company. As the mothership of the group, SCBX continues to support our portfolio companies in their own way including MONIX’s external fundraising this round to fuel its growth and prepare for IPO in coming years, uplifting value of the company and maximizing returns to shareholders. Together with experienced talents from Lombard Asia and Abakus Group, we ensure MONIX will achieve its established plan. This also strengthens one of our powerful goals of SCBX to pursue new possibilities in financial services and maximize value of portfolio companies. Going forward, we continue to advance our strategy in unleashing hidden value from our investments across fintech space and look forward to many more achievement to come.”

Digital lending platform MONIX closes US$20M pre-IPO round led by SCBX and Lombard Asia

Mr. Ekaluck Wangchucherdkul, Managing Director of Lombard Asia, said “MONIX is a market leader in an exciting and fast-growing business. The partnership is in line with our investment strategy of generating investment returns and creating a positive impact, in this case, by providing access to high quality financial services to the underserved. As an active investor, Lombard Asia will partner with MONIX’s management team to accelerate the execution of growth strategy and work toward a successful IPO.”

Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19

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Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19

Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19


Radisson Hotel Group (RHG), one of the world’s leading hotel company, expressed its vested commitment to sustainability, as the world turns more to green practices.

RHG’s Chief Development Officer for Asia Pacific, Ramzy Fenianos, recently told The Nation in an exclusive interview that the Covid-19 pandemic had made the world realize the importance of the environment and how tremendously it could affect everyone’s life. 

“Covid-19 has shown people the value of human life and the fragility of our world, and this has accelerated the drive for sustainability as a key pillar in the industry,” he said.

Fenianos stated that RHG’s mission is to adapt to the needs of its customers while maintaining the group’s firm commitment to responsible business and sustainability practices.

Therefore, RHG is incorporating more innovative methods and tools to elevate the overall process aimed at achieving sustainability.

Radisson Hotel Group launched its first environmental policy in 1989. That landmark move has helped to significantly reduce its carbon footprint over the past years. By 2025, the Group aims to achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30% and eventually be carbon neutral by 2050.

To achieve its ambitious goal, RHG, in collaboration with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has developed a new set of sustainability indicators known as ”Hotel Sustainability Basics”.

Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19

According to Fenianos, Hotel Sustainability Basics serve as a key performance index. For example, the Group is deploying the use of tools to reduce water consumption, and choosing local suppliers to reduce carbon footprint.

Moreover, energy conservation, waste reduction, and lowering of carbon emissions are also listed in the set as additional requirements.

“One of the most important task before us is to motivate our hotel owners to make their property and asset sustainable, such as setting up water bottling plants within the hotel or partnering with other companies to install electric charging stations,” he said.

Radisson Hotel Group has set intermediate targets in order to meet this ambitious mid-term decarbonization goal. One of these critical short-term steps is the implementation of the Hotel Sustainability Basics in all RHG hotels worldwide by the end of 2023.

In addition, as part of its efforts to encourage greater participation in protecting the environment, RHG welcomes its clients to take part in and benefit from these sustainability measures. Radisson Rewards members can make their hotel stays carbon neutral by redeeming just 325 points per day to offset the carbon footprint of their stay in a reliable and seamless way. Radisson Rewards is one of the few loyalty programs to offer this option in points and as an integral part of the stay, making green stays easy campaign.

Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19

Fenianos mentioned that according to Expedia Research in April 2022, 90% of travellers want to see sustainable options, and 95% of Asia-Pacific travellers choose sustainable options. The trend points to an increasing number of travelers showing a willingness to pay for sustainable options.

“We realize that today’s travelers are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly, convenient, cleaner, and safer stay. I could say that sustainability is requested by most of our guests,” he stated. 

Aside from focusing on sustainability, RHG also plans to continue its expansion strategy as the global tourism industry recovers. 

Despite challenges such as inflation, RHG continues to grow in key markets in the region, including Thailand.

Sustainability a pillar of Radisson Hotel Group’s long-term success after Covid-19

Fenianos said that RHG intends to add value to Thailand’s tourism, and added that the rich diversity of Thai natural resources, food, and culture would be key factors in making Thailand’s tourism stronger and more sustainable.

“We have a very positive outlook on Thailand’s market and have full faith in its potential,” Fenianos said.

The Group continues to be vested in the growth of Thailand and the region, and prioritises relationships with hotel owners, travelers, and employees while also advocating sustainability, he concluded.

Huawei aims to groom 20,000 Thai IT developers in three years

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Huawei aims to groom 20,000 Thai IT developers in three years

Huawei aims to groom 20,000 Thai IT developers in three years


Nongluck Ajanapanya

Huawei Technologies (Thailand) will focus on grooming at least 20,000 talents and developers in Thailand within three years as part of its sustainable growth strategy.

The announcement came as David Li, the company’s newly appointed CEO, unveiled Huawei’s six core business directions for Thailand in 2023 at a media briefing on Tuesday.

Huawei’s goal is to contribute social values and cultivate local digital talents in addition to achieving business success, he said, adding Huawei Thailand will place strong emphasis on developing information and communications technology (ICT) personnel in Thailand, with the goal of grooming 20,000 developers in three years.

Working-age groups and Thai entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be included in these figures, he added.

“We aim to develop relevant technology skills for local developers to improve Thailand’s digital technologies through activities, skill-building workshops, and certification through Huawei’s various training programmes, including youth competitions and scholarships,” Li explained.

He also touted the successes in three years of Huawei’s business operations in Thailand.

The work primarily included enabling 5G in various industries, establishing three local data centres for cloud service, collaborating with more than 300 partners to enter 10 industries with intelligent solutions, enabling digital power to support Thailand’s carbon neutral goal, sharing cybersecurity knowledge, and assisting in the development of over 60,000 digital talents in the country.

Huawei aims to groom 20,000 Thai IT developers in three years

Li said Huawei’s six core businesses this year would be: improving 5G network connections by expanding to rural areas; strengthening digital cloud and unleashing its potential to Thai clients; assisting Thai businesses in completely transferring digitalisation via its ICT solutions; supporting the development of new energy for green solutions; upgrading Thailand’s cybersecurity on a global level; grooming local Thai workforce for digital skills and educating digital literacy for Thai users.

“We will jointly drive Thailand towards becoming the digital hub of Asean and will push forward intelligent industries, starting with the development of telecommunication infrastructure to enable more connectivity, which we believe is a basic human right. Connectivity will help drive social progress,” he said.

Despite the current global slowdown having an impact on global consumption, Li saw steady growth in 5G infrastructure, new energy, ICT and cloud.

He promised many projects and plans to keep growing in Thailand as well as support businesses and startups in Thailand to adopt secure and reliable cloud solutions that comply with the country’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) with the aim of enhancing the country on the Global Cybersecurity Index.

Huawei is China’s leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices. The company employs 195,000 people and operates in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over 3 billion people worldwide.