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Big Business Players in Thailand

July 21, 2014 | SERVCORP

The recent political turmoil in Thailand seems to have made an impact on its economy. Is a recession looming on the horizon? Reports say that Thailand's 2.9% economic growth in 2013 went down to 2.1% in the first quarter of 2014. The value of baht has contracted 5% since June of last year. The tourism industry in Thailand reportedly declined by 5% in the first quarter of 2014.

If the business sector in Thailand freezes up every time there is political unrest, then Thailand would be in the bottom rung of the ASEAN economic ladder. Well, it is not. The big business players, and all other companies and businesses in Thailand thrive on.

Top 5 Wealthiest Men in Thailand

In 2013, Forbes named Dhanin Chearavanont, an agribusiness tycoon, as the richest man in Thailand. A failed move on his side led him to incur a debt in billions. Though not exactly a “poor” man now, as of June 2014, he was ousted as the richest man in Thailand. 

The following are the 5 richest men in Thailand. What makes these persons admirable is the fact that they are all self-made billionaires.

Chirathivat Family - The family's assets in real estate and retail is valued at $12.7 billion. The family-owned Central Group's revenue was upped by 27% for a total of $7 billion.  Thailand's largest retailer is the Central Retail which is run by the Tos Chirathivat, the grandson of the founder.

Dhanin Chearavanont - Down to second position with a net worth of $11.5 billion is not bad at all. The family business deals in the food industry. He borrowed $16 billion in a deal that did not exactly gone sour, but slashed $1.1 billion from his net value.  The Chearavanont's Charoen Pokphand Group has joined with SAIC Motors to launch the British MG car.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi - With a net value of $11.3 billion, the beer empire of Sirivadhanabhakdi puts him as the third richest man in Thailand. The Thai Beverage is the largest brewery in the country with the brand Chang Beer as one of its top products. His holding in Fraser & Neave, which is a beverage and property conglomerate he acquired in 2012, is now reaping success.

Chalerm Yoovidhya - He is the oldest son of Chaleo, the co- founder of the energy drink Red Bull. With a net worth of $9.9 billion, the Yoovidhya family owns 49% of Red Bull and has various interests in real estate, healthcare and sports team. Chalerm owns a 2% personal stake in the iconic energy drink.

Krit Ratanarak - His wealth comes from his dealings in media and real estate. He owns Bangkok Broadcasting & TV and just recently, a stake for a new digital channel. The family also has investments in the Bank of Ayudhaya and is the owner of Group's Siam City Cement, the 2nd largest cement company in Thailand.

Thailand's Five Largest Publicly Listed Companies

Based on Forbes Global 2000, there are 16 top Thailand companies that made it to their list, with the corresponding values last updated in May 2013.  The 16 companies have a collective market value of $216 billion and about $476 billion in assets, $14.7 billion in profits, and a total of $192.8 billion in revenues.

PTT Public Company Limited - The top largest company in Thailand is state-owned oil and gas company which is involved in petrochemical products, electricity generation, retail of gasoline and the exploration and production of gas and oil. Its revenue in billions is $89.9 and a net profit of $3.4 billion.

 Siam Commercial Bank - Established in 1904, this is the very first bank of Thailand. Today it is a universal banking group with total sales of $6 billion, and a $1.3 billion profit.

Kasikornbank - Previously known as the Thai Farmers Bank, this is Thailand's leading universal banking group. It was established by Choti Lamsam in 1945. Its total revenue for 2013 is $6 billion and a profit of $1.2 billion.

PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (PTTGC) - The company is a subsidiary of PTT Public Company Limited with total sales of $16.5 billion and a profit of $1.1 billion.

Siam Cement - This is the largest cement company in Thailand with total sales of $13.3 billion and a profit of $0.8 billion. It was founded during the reign of King Rama VI, 1913. The company has expanded into five businesses -cement, chemicals, building materials, paper and distribution.

Big business players in the private sector are more or less owned by the top 50 richest men in Thailand. These businesses are in the retail, real estate, food and beverage, banking, media, construction and materials, cosmetics, automobile, logistics, health and hospitality industries. What makes these companies outstanding is the fact that their founders were not rich in terms of money when they started out their businesses. But, they were full of vision, tenacity and patience in stirring their companies into what they are now.

Every entrepreneur starts “small”. Today is the time to put abstracts into concrete realities. Call Servcorp now to kick-off your business.