Biz Buzz

Economy August 13, 2014 01:00

By The Nation

No heir in professionally run empire

At 57, Chanin Donavanik, chief executive officer of Dusit International, is still busy with a tight work schedule.
Each month, he often finds himself on a plane, off to visit properties in various countries. 
Although the chiefs of three business offices in Bangkok, Dubai and Shanghai are striving to strike hotel-management deals, which should increase the number of properties from 33 to more than 100 in five years, Chanin still has to meet some of the hotel owners.
“We’re still a small chain and some of the hotel owners still want to discuss matters in person with me. It’s all right,” he said recently.
Flying and meetings are not problems, nor is the search for an heir.
Unlike several businessmen whose empires see an increase in activity locally and overseas, Chanin seems at ease when it comes to his business heir.
“The business grows to the point [when management should not be controlled by the founding family]. Professional management is crucial,” he said.
Established by the Donavanik clan, Dusit International may not have the third generation as its CEO, or so it seems.
Getting in the spirit of things
Unloading non-performing assets is likely to be a challenging job for Pikun Srimahunt, the first executive vice president at Siam Commercial Bank overseeing home loans and NPAs.
The challenges are not the economic slowdown or unattractive prices but ghosts, she told reporters.
Two NPA estates of SCB’s worth Bt5 billion cannot be sold as those residents said they were haunted.
Even if the location and prices are attractive, it is not easy for the bank to persuade people to buy haunted assets because most NPA buyers are real occupants, not speculators.
The bank, however, recently finished transferring one ‘ghost’ NPA at the price of Bt6.8 million, a cut below the asking price of Bt8 million.
In the interests of everyone, the bank has decided to hold a ceremony to exorcise the evil spirits at those houses, plus offer a discount of more than Bt1 million as ways to help dispose of ‘ghost assets’ quickly.
Sodexo manager goes the distance
Distance running has replaced golf as a workout for some senior executives. One of them is certainly Arnaud Bialecki, manager of Sodexo Thailand, who joined two races – one half-marathon and the other a 10-kilometre run – during the four-day Mother’s Day weekend. 
The French CEO, who speaks Thai fluently, also plans to compete in the Mizuno River Kwai International Half Marathon in Kanchanaburi next month.
Contributed by Achara Deboonme, Sucheera Pinijparakarn and Pichaya Changsorn