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Benefits of demotion

In every organisation, people yearn for promotion, which usually brings greater responsibility and, well, better money.

Under that perception, 2013 could have been a bad year for Prasert Taedullayasatit, as Pruksa Real Estate restructured the management. With that revamp, Prasert, who had been chief business officer for strategy and marketing, was relieved of that great scope of responsibility.

After the company welcomed Lersak Chuladesa as chief operating officer, Prasert became one of six managing directors. He now is responsible just for the condominium segment, while previously he had to take care not only of condos but some detached-housing projects and overseas investment.

But, as we and Prasert learned later, demotion can be a good thing.

Under his guidance, Pruksa's condominium projects had achieved their full-year sales target by the third quarter. Therefore, there was no reason not to take a long break, his first in the seven years since he joined the company. Under his past responsibilities, he was confined to his office, working until year-end to achieve sales targets.

"Last year was a good time for me to relax," he said.

In November, he left for a vacation in Britain and Italy. Now back in Bangkok, he is fully recharged and ready for his job.

Let's see what his next destination will be.

Wise beyond his years

In his early 30s, Sittichai Leeswadtrakul, president and chief executive officer of Millcon Steel, could have been among young executives celebrating the New Year at fancy restaurants with a bunch of friends.

Instead, as many young people joined New Year prayers at temples in response to the intensive campaign by the Thai Health Organisation (Sor Sor Sor), he surprisingly became one of them.

He was not among those gathering for prayers at Sanam Luang, though. His destination was Srongthong Phra Aaram Luang Temple in Bangkok, where he was able to have a dharma chat with the abbot, Phra Maha Sompong Tanputato.

The fact that he has started the search for peace of mind at such a young age could be explained by a difficult experience in his past. Born into a steel-making family, life was rosy at first, but right after he acquired his master's degree in the United States, he was rushed home to help revive the family's indebted steel business. The pain has passed and now he apparently is learning how to maintain peace of mind. It seems a wise choice as a turbulent year begins, when the sluggish economic outlook will put pressure on steel demand.

Luang Prabang cuisine didn't impress Banthoon

Kasikornbank chairman Banthoon Lamsam is known to enjoy good food.

It surprised many, therefore, when some years ago he stopped eating meat to keep healthy. There is an exception, however: While on overseas trips, he doesn't mind partaking of meat.

"I had to please my hosts. And I was out of the country, so this shouldn't mean I have broken any rules, right?" he said with a laugh.

But if he is looking for good food, he will surely avoid Luang Prabang, the old capital of Laos. Recently, he had a painful experience during a one-day trip there.

At first glance, it seemed the town had all the food he wanted, including the chicken-rice dish khao mun kai. But the moment that he took it into his mouth, he was disappointed. And the rest of his meals there were no better.

While acknowledging that culinary skills are not part of the Laotian culture, he said the country was attractive for one reason - power generation.

And that's bad news for Laos. Banthoon can be a big spender when it comes to food.

Comments are welcome at busdsk@nationgroup.com.


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