"THE CHANGE MASTER" Reveals Viewpoints of Four Leading Thai CEOs With Project to Decipher "Business Management under Uncertainty" by Krungsri
As knowledge can change the world and only those who best adapt to changes can survive, Krungsri, aiming at becoming a trusted banking partner, initiated an idea to fight against disruption and uncertainty with "THE CHANGE MASTER", one of the projects under Krungsri Business Empowerment service to provide knowledge, perspectives, and inspirations to entrepreneurs, airing on Business Watch, TNN 16 channel during March-April. Krungsri collaborated with four CEOs from four leading Thai organizations to share their experiences in leading under crisis in order to empower customers and entrepreneurs to make a change, welcome disruption and uncertainty. Each of the four leaders gave important lessons on how to "manage business under uncertainty".
Mr. Prasit Boondoungprasert, Chief Executive Officer of Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL, suggested that "In crisis, we must shift to high-speed mode; otherwise problems will not be fixed in time. What is a high-speed way of operation? The 'end game' must be set, we have to ask, if we want to achieve this kind of success, which direction should we take and how to solve problems. Moreover, frontline workers must be given more authority to make decisions, and the steps in approval process must be reduced to enable prompt response to customers."
We are also trying to look for opportunities, for example, during the COVID-19 situation, what we added to exports was visiting our partner countries to see how they were affected. What happened was we had the opportunity to export thousands tons of chicken meat to Singapore which led to a bigger project that would help the supply chain in Singapore by providing food safety. CP's plant in Wuhan was granted by the government to be the sole food supplier for the province, leading to learning and acquisition of logistics knowledge. The situation also caused employees of all generations to adapt to IT, resulting in faster operations, decrease in expenditures, use of AI in connection with production process, e.g., voice technology in pork quality check and camera-based chicken weighing system. The idea was that everyone should select technologies and approaches suitable for each of their business.
"I never stop learning, never stop improving, never stop seeking new opportunities." These are the keywords which turn into a valuable advice from Mr. Surachai 'Hia Hor' Chetchotisak, Chief Executive Officer of RS PLC, who said that leaders never stop learning and always seek new opportunities while passing on the passion to the members of their organization.
"Tomorrow is our today. We always live with changes. Our business needs to follow trends, and we have to adapt at all times. The world has become more complicated than in the past and hard to predict. Hence we must prepare ourselves. What we can't see clearly, do it, fix it, learn it, be quick, dare to think, dare to do, think fast, do it fast, fix it fast. If you can't fix it, end it quickly. The leader's duty is to be the CEO who oversees and tries to steer the organization into the established direction. Don't slow down. You have to intensely find new challenges, adjust your life to the technology, be prepared, don't be careless, and know your customers as much as possible."
What reflects RS' paradigm the most is how they fully turn themselves into "Entertainmerce", an entertainment business plus commerce. From the B2C business concept, changing viewers to customers, RS Mall was born. It is not a home shopping platform, but a result of analysis of strengths and weaknesses which ultimately creates uniqueness. RS focus on customer connection, they collect 1.5 million customers into the database, and use the '4-legged chair' strategy which can distribute more income than the '2-legged'. They reduce risks, change the role and turn listeners into customers through COOLanything, while creating influencers from artists, and seeking new businesses to enhance RS' ecosystem.
"Even if we can't swim today, we'll together keep our heads above water." These words not only reflect the organizational philosophy but also implies the fighting spirit of the Thai AirAsia's leader, Mr. Tassapon Bijleveld, Executive Chairman of Asia Aviation PLC. He revealed the feeling towards tourism as the most fragile business. Considering all the risks and crises that it has been through, all of them combined cannot compare to the COVID-19 crisis alone.
However, that is not the obstacle that AirAsia has to surrender to. The way to survive is to adapt, manage costs, reduce expenses based on consideration of each portion, and prudently assess the possibilities. Even with the heavy burden of expense, the key to management is the staff. Everyone will keep their heads above water together until the COVID-19 crisis has passed. He also mentioned "Our Market" platform with an idea to make retail space available for over 8,000 employees. The results exceeded expectations, and the employees can make a living from that. This drives the organization to provide side jobs for employees and always communicate and encourage one another.
"What a leader should do is communicating with employees during crisis because it's important. Whether it's good or bad, they have to be the first to know. The communication has to be crystal clear. We must not be discouraged or give up and must fight till the end. We will be the last man standing and we should benefit from our perseverance. The potential income in the future has to be able to compensate the losses incurred now."
Mr. Somphote Ahunai, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Absolute PCL, agreed with the disruption and business transformation that "Changes will continue to come at higher speed. We must not resist change and adapt more quickly."
Even though the clean energy business has not been affected by the COVID-19 situation as much as other businesses, the true crisis is change. People gained and people lost; this may be the turning point which makes Thailand stronger as a result of positive thinking and takes impact as lessons and experience for the future. COVID-19 has driven and elevated the business prevention measures, forcing leaders to visualize unexpected scenarios and come up with plans to continue to stably go forward. They have to think comprehensively, and circumspectly.
"The arrival of COVID-19 speeds up the rise of the world of renewable and clean energy beyond our expectation and triggers us to think of priorities. For example, in the case of EVs, we think about a larger car that has not been introduced to the market because we want to create a new S-Curve that leverages on what we do. We become aware of giving back to the society and environment, applying our expertise to develop products that are valuable to the market, and improving energy production for the better. Most importantly, we have to prevent businesses from disturbing one another or affecting other people. For example, the biodiesel business which is one of our businesses, we need to develop technology to turn it into green diesel, and adding value to palm oil and selling it in other forms of products. This is to enable farmers to maintain their business and sustain."
This was such an excellent and rare opportunity to have four top-ranking executives in large organizations with extensive experiences fighting through crisis accepting the invite from "THE CHANGE MASTER" project. Together they joined forces to pass on their perspectives on business adaptation through their smart mindsets and experiences, which could stimulate ideas and create a change mechanism for the viewers.
There are even more interesting stories from the four CEOs that will change Thai entrepreneurs' points of view and help guiding them to overcome besetting problems in all situations. Reruns are available for interested viewers on Facebook page: Krungsri Business Empowerment.
Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya PCL and its group companies) is the fifth largest financial group in Thailand in terms of assets, loans, and deposits, and one of Thailand's five Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) with 76 years of history in the country. Krungsri is a strategic member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Japan's largest financial group and one of the world's largest financial organizations. Krungsri provides a comprehensive range of banking, consumer finance, investment, asset management, and other financial products and services to individual consumers, SMEs, and large corporations through 670 branches (631 Banking Branches and 39 Auto Business Branches) and over 33,431 service outlets nationwide. The Krungsri Group is the largest card issuer in Thailand with 9.5 million credit cards, sales finance, and personal loan accounts in its portfolio; a major automobile financing service provider (Krungsri Auto); one of the fastest growing asset management companies (Krungsri Asset Management); and a pioneer in microfinance (Ngern Tid Lor PCL).
Krungsri is strongly committed to the highest level of integrity in conducting its business. All Krungsri Group companies have been awarded accreditation from the Private Sector Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) in collaboration with industry peers and stakeholders on a zero tolerance approach to corruption.
About MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.)
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world's leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo with over 360 years of history, MUFG is a global network with over 2,700 locations in more than 50 countries. The Group has over 180,000 employees, and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group aims to "be the world's most trusted financial group" through close collaboration among our operating companies and flexibly respond to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG's shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York stock exchanges. For more information, visit https://www.mufg.jp/english