From Row-building To Public Company : From Crisis To Opportunity


Invaluable insights from Supply Chain Mania 2018: a special interview with Mr. Witoon Suriyawanakul, the CEO of Global House


            On November 8th, the Supply Chain Mania event, organized at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel by SCG Logistics (SCG-L), was honored by Mr. Witoon Suriyawanakul, CEO of Global House, that attended for a special interview ‘From Row-building To Public Company: From Crisis To Opportunity With Thinking Outside The Box’. SCG-L encapsulates the essences of the talk for SCG-L Blog readers, here in a nutshell.

            Once a decision is made to start a business, Mr. Witoon proceeds with the mantra “firsthand field expertise steers operational practicality”. For that matter, Mr. Witoon himself started out as a new businessman that took apart and assembled building parts regularly with great efficiency, very early on. Back then, he was cautious never to bite off more than he could chew. Self awareness was important and he only took on specialized products that, first, he knew in and out, and second, didn’t require overbearing investment. He would get involved with a product to learn as much as possible about it and accumulate invaluable hands-on expertise to further develop and expand the business. He was training wherever free training was offered to apply new knowledge to the business. As such, he dared to commence Modern Trade in 1997 despite the economics crisis because he had the expertise and was well familiarized with key retail mechanisms, including the POS (Point of Sales) and barcode systems, all of which were the result of prior supermarket experience. Preparation prior to making a decision, on the other hand, is crucial.

             Decisions need to be based on data. Data-driven decision making thus requires planning according to actual data patterns, and thus learning of both the business and competition as well as from related strategic partners.

             Founding business principles are values an organization subscribes to guide standard operatiing procedures in meeting customer expectations. When a new value is discovered along the way, e.g., etiquette became an important consideration in Thailand, it can be incorporated into the corporate culture as etiquette has become a key brand differentiator from competitors today. A​ simple Hello can leave customers with an impression. The important thing to remember is that customer needs will always require more. Not only is that normal considering how things evolve with change, it is your duty to continually meet the higher bars and exceed new expectations.

            In so doing, the application of technology is crucial. The simple principle is, to apply mechanisms that are simple to apply and make work simple. That said, to the contrary, Mr. Witoon clarified that simply because something is expensive doesn’t mean it will work the magic for you. Sharing experience in the aftermath, he once applied a world-class application and discovered that, to no avail, it was incompatible with his business and became a wasted resource. Thus, Global House under his guidance set out to develop it’s own application to answer it’s own unique predicaments and learned firsthand that noone understands your business as well as you do.

            When asked about the future of Global House 10 years down the road, the answer surprised many. Looking down the road 10 years from present time no longer works. You can’t do that any more because customer needs and behavior are changing so fast and will have changed so much it makes no sense to compare to today’s settings. The best option is to reevaluate yourself on a daily basis, commit to what you are doing and overcome your fear. The closing message is 2-fold:

  • In the front office: test, learn and adjust to customer needs
  • In the back office: build a strong infrastructure

3 key points from Mr. Witoon:

  1. Operators: creditability and credit must comes first to facilitate capital flow and bank loan.
  2. Technology: IT facilitates work significantly and reduces work related stress.
  3. Words are stronger than oak: What is promised must be delivered.

Interview: Mr. Witoon Suriyawanakul, Global House CEO, @Supply Chain Mania 2018

Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics

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