Tasmania hike brightens young at heart
Tri Petch Isuzu Sales president Hiroshi Nakagawa does not smile a lot, let alone tease anybody. But it seems outdoor activities can brighten him up.
During an Isuzu VIP press trip to Tasmania, he was among the first people to volunteer to join a mountain-climbing trip. The view of Wineglass Bay on the island state's rugged east coast was too tempting to resist.
But the hiking trail was not paved with roses. The 10-kilometre route was rough, with the combination of a slightly inclined path and a series of steep steps. Along the route, walkers unused to physical exercise had to stop to catch their breath. The August weather was cool, about 10 degrees Celsius, but some had to take off their jackets.
Despite his age, Nakagawa managed the trek well. We know that he exercises regularly, but it was on that day we knew that he is truly physically fit.
He was the first in line behind the tour guide. At times he would stop, but only to see where the stragglers were. Around the halfway mark where some were about to quit, he started cheering them up. With a broad smile, he appeared pleased to see that all reached the top of the mountain and enjoyed the view together.
"Consider quitting smoking when you get down there, huh?" he teased the smokers in the team. And he ended this advice with a big laugh, apparently full of energy to face new challenges.
Banks join October reshuffle tradition
Under Thailand's bureaucratic system, promotions and reshuffles in the public sector take place every October 1. Some private companies have adopted the same procedure, and some changes will be known this week.
In the banking industry, CIMB Thai Bank tomorrow will welcome a new head of SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) banking, who moved from Thanachart Bank.
That is considered a successful mission, as the bank spent a whole year looking for a replacement for Surachai Chitratsenee. He actually retired last year, but his tenure was extended so that the bank could find a successor.
Siam Commercial Bank also spent a year looking for the new chief of its SME banking group, to replace Sirichai Sombutsiri, who will retire today. But on October 1, the man designated to succeed Sirichai turns out to be an insider - Yol Phokasub, a senior executive vice president, who now leads the retail banking group.
Yol's new duties will obviously require different strategies from what he is used to. While the retail business deals with individual clients, the SME business deals with companies.
However, SCB's management may consider that some SMEs are run by individuals, and Yol may grow this business on his previous experience. That's a far-sighted policy and shows the quality of the bank's executives - who can take over new responsibilities swiftly.
Let's hope that Yol was not appointed to this position only because of the bank's inability to attract an outsider. That would be a surprise. Who would not want to join the country's third-largest commercial bank?
A jab at Dems, a PR coup for Tesco
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Last week, the Commerce Ministry and Big C Supercenter, Siam Makro and Tesco Lotus signed an agreement to launch a joint price-maintenance programme.
What did Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach have to say about that?
After the press conference to mark the modern-trade retailers' cooperation to freeze prices, he urged Democrat Party members to shop at Tesco Lotus outlets with full confidence that goods there would be cheap.
"If any Democrat likes to buy cheap products, go to Lotus," he said.
There was no reason for him to mention Democrats, but he did. Driving him to do so was probably an inner feeling, developed when he was the Commerce Ministry permanent secretary and had a big argument with the Democrat-led government of the time.
Whatever, Tesco Lotus should put him on the list of public relations volunteers. It should know that it's the envy of Big C and Siam Makro.