TCP steadily building 'house of global brands'

Mr Saravoot Yoovidhya, CEO of Thai beverage and snack giant TCP Group, to his top managers.
Mr Saravoot Yoovidhya, CEO of Thai beverage and snack giant TCP Group, to his top managers.

BANGKOK • Mr Saravoot Yoovidhya, chief executive of Thai beverage and snack giant TCP Group, says making his enterprise a successful "house of global brands" in the Asean region and beyond is his top mission.

He has made a good start.

His family enterprise owns Thailand's globally most successful brand - Krating Daeng, or Red Bull in English - and can count the brand among the world's most valuable beverage brands, ranking close to Coca-Cola and Pepsi in estimated worth.

TCP Group was founded and built by his late father, Mr Chaleo Yoovidhya, who personally formulated the Red Bull energy drink and also conceived the brand.

It is a hard act to repeat, but Mr Saravoot, 47, is earnest about it. He said: "Successful brands are created by successful people. So what I am really looking for is the best talent to put on my team. I have got great people and the more great people I have, the more my house of brands will be filled with great brands."

TCP Group has eight successful brands in five categories, primarily in Thailand. They include Thailand's top sports drink Sponsor, with an eye-watering 83 per cent category share, as well as Mansome, the country's No. 1 functional drink, with an 48 per cent category share.

He is disarmingly soft-spoken, but when he says he is planning to invest US$300 million (S$409 million) to develop his company as well as open one new office or factory in a country outside of Thailand every year for the next five years, his resolve becomes evident.

ADAPTABILITY NEEDED

Make your annual, or your two-year or three-year, plans but it is perfectly okay to change them if you confront new realities in an uncertain world. It is better than waiting around to be 100 per cent certain. The only certainty a slow mover has is the certainty of losing to the first mover.

MR SARAVOOT YOOVIDHYA, CEO of Thai beverage and snack giant TCP Group, to his top managers.

He said: "Having an in-country, on-the-ground presence is key to developing the right products that can meet local needs.

"We are in a region where local insights are extremely important and can vary significantly from country to country."

He added: "In the next five years, we will take more of our brands into the region, create new brands and enter new categories. Even our most successful brand, Krating Daeng/Red Bull, has huge potential to grow, not just in the region and China, but also in Africa and even the United States."

He predicts quadrupling the group's exports to US$2.5 billion in five years.

Mr Saravoot is 47, and you may have thought that he has time on his side, but he urges his team to move fast and "in real time".

He told his top managers: "Make your annual, or your two-year or three-year, plans but it is perfectly okay to change them if you confront new realities in an uncertain world. It is better than waiting around to be 100 per cent certain. The only certainty a slow mover has is the certainty of losing to the first mover."

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'TCP steadily building 'house of global brands''. Print Edition | Subscribe