Exec bares secrets of success
Sanan Angubolkul, chairman and president of Srithai Superware, has revealed the secrets that have made him one of the most successful businesspeople in Thailand.
He puts his success down to four factors: Strength, Stretch, Speed and System.
Sanan is recognised both in Thailand and overseas, especially for his strong views on business management for sustainable growth and the use of innovation to create added value to products and services.
He is a man with a long vision of adjusting himself to the trend of globalisation both at the world and regional levels, and his vision has certainly created big changes at all operational levels of Srithai Superware.
He shared his secrets last weekend with Nation University's EX-MBA class, which was honoured by no fewer than 30 leading chief executives, who
spoke about the real-life experiences that led to their business success.
Sanan's vision and drive have turned Srithai Superware into a company with expected sales of Bt10 billion this year.
Overseas revenue represented 27 per cent of last year's total, with products sold in 110 countries and shipped both from Thailand and its plants overseas.
Its major markets are in the Middle East, followed by other Asian countries, Europe and the United States.
Sanan's key management principle is based on attaching significance to the company's working |system, which needs to be well managed.
He learned this from his time at a company importing plastic-injection machines from Germany, immediately after receiving his bachelor's degree.
He regards himself as lucky to have worked at a company with such a good management system, and one that did not rely on emotion, but on rational drive.
"I worked at all functions, from administration to meeting with the manager. It allowed me to learn all the significant work, from the start to the end of doing business. I started to become aware that if I wanted to create a business by myself, I should not rely on trading activity but on my own technology," he told the EX-MBA class.
Once he turned to managing his own family business, Sanan tried to apply a professional management technique by having the company listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, while at the same time maintaining a strong sense of entrepreneurship.
The key principle, he said, is to make any decision based on what is really happening and can be explained, without relying simply on a bible to do so.
Using such an approach, Sanan successfully transformed the company from a local manufacturer of plastic ware to one selling melamine products across the world.
"One of my secrets is the ability to define the strength of our business," he said.
"Srithai Superware has set its direction to be environmentally friendly and focused on energy conservation … Even at the time of the economic crisis in 2007, the company did not delay its investment, worth Bt3 billion, in purchasing new technology and production machinery. We recognised that the crisis was temporary. The company will not focus on product imitation or cutting prices just to win market share," he told his audience.
Sanan said another secret was continuously to step forward and stretch the business.
The key factor is that it needs to generate growth and competitiveness at the regional level, especially in light of the upcoming Asean Economic Community.
This regional move could be both a threat and an opportunity, he added.
Besides this, any investment should be in line with the direction of the Kingdom's development. Thailand is, for example, an agricultural country and needs to promote food security as the "kitchen of the world", he said.
Srithai Superware has invested in food and beverage ware to serve such a growth trend.
The company is one of the few manufacturers in the world |that produce lightweight closures for plastic bottles, at the highest speed.
Srithai Superware also has a good management system, he said, which is lean and maximises efficiency with less use of raw materials and human resources.
His final secret is speed: that is, doing things immediately, which other people generally do not do.
"I have created inspiration both for myself and employees.
"We need to see a holistic picture in solving any business problems," he said.