In this era, women are taking their rightful place in the business world, and they are quick to claim their rightful spot. According to a recent survey by Grant Thornton International, women scored well in many aspects of corporate leadership and business, where more than 33% of top senior roles in corporate companies in Thailand are held by women, which is higher than the Asean rate of 21% and more than double the global average that is 15%.
So, we wanted to introduce you to some of these strong, independent personalities. From E-Commerce founder to independent not-for-profit web-based newspaper editor, successful women entrepreneurs from Thailand are making gender equality a reality, here are three (3) successful entrepreneurs you need to be keeping an eye on!
One of the most successful female entrepreneurs in Thailand, Pun Thriratanachat is a fashion designer and owner of the clothing brand Irada. At only 24, she opened her first shop and four years later, she has successfully opened scores of retail branches across the country, taking the nation’s retail industry by storm and mass spreading popular Thai fashion across Asia and the world. Known for her broad and comprehensive range of products, her brand has set the bar high encouraging women to mix, match and showcase their unique individuality. With a net worth of 40 million Thai Baht and known for her charismatic personality, there is no stopping this trailblazing fashionista. Aside from this Pun Thriratanachat has also made a name as one of the most popular social media star in Thailand who actively influences her followers on Instagram, bringing her own individuality, fashion, art and style to the forefront.
Shannon Kalayanamitr is the founder of Moxy, an e-commerce and media site platform where it is for and by women in Thailand. In 2014, Moxy joined forces with Bilna, Indonesia’s e-commerce platform for mothers, and together they created Orami with the aim of giving aspirations, hopes and choices to other women through this female-centric ecosystem, connecting women online and offline.
Through Orami, the platform has now expanded and partnered with non-profit organisations such as UN Women and Lean In, listing Kalayanamitr as one of Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 Strategic Thinkers in 2016, as well as earning the title of Entrepreneur of the Year for Thailand at the Asean Rice Bowl Startup Awards in 2017. Prior to MOXY and Orami, she worked at Lehman Brothers and Singha Corporation. Yet, the struggles of her single mother inspired her to create something that gives hope and choices to other women, hence the formation of Orami. Currently, she is in talks to be a Shark (investor) on Shark Tank Thailand so we hope to see that one a reality!
Wheelchair-bound, Nalutporn was once the editor of Prachatai, which is an independent not-for-profit web-based newspaper in Bangkok, focusing on promoting gender equality. Born with a condition called spinal muscular atrophy – a condition that has never stopped her – Nalutporn has always been passionate about improving the accessibility of public transport in Thailand, and so she founded ThisAble.me – an online platform that publishes disability-related news, human-centric stories and multimedia reports about disabled people and disability rights.
To add up under her belt, Nalutporn is also one of the founding members of the Future Forward Party, which gained countrywide traction in the recent Thai elections, advocating for people with disabilities.
Take a look at Lookchoup Boonratanapitak for instance, hardworking and dedicated, and isn’t afraid to use her talents, Boonratanapitak at just the age of 18 years old published her first novel, that went on to shape her life, ascending her to a status of a renowned writer in Thailand. Boonratanapitak didn’t just stop at being a writer, she also owns a clothing brand known as the Lazy Club. An entrepreneur at heart, a columnist, budding publisher with a huge fan following Boonratanapitak, 22, is estimated to be worth at least 10 million Thai Baht. So, dare to be different. It could lead to amazing success!
A young yet vibrant entrepreneur, Patricia Lim is the owner and founder of Thailand’s upcoming hotel chain Privi Hotel Group. This business woman is estimated at a net worth of 1 Billion Thai Baht at a very young age of 25. Hailing from an already famous family that runs one of the largest bird nest manufacturing business, in Southeast Asia – Namsing – Lim wanted to carve a name of her own in the world of entrepreneurship. She completed her post-graduation from the Swiss Hotel Management School, Switzerland, and started in the hospitality industry with her father’s chain of restaurants, which is where the idea of starting a set of hotel chain begin. Her first three hotel ventures – the Privi Suites, the Privi Hotel, the Privi Residence Service Apartments, all 3-star properties in Pattaya were a huge success. The group now operates multiple chains of hotels, suites, hostels, residences, service apartments and resorts throughout Thailand. But no matter how high she rises, Lim is known to keep a very low profile, preferring a quiet life, staying almost always behind the scenes and out of the media spotlight.
As Thailand continues to progress and break barriers of women in workspaces, these top women entrepreneurs can be taken as examples to emulate by every aspiring female entrepreneur. Do you know other Thai women who should be mentioned on the list? Let us know by writing to us at [email protected] !