Raveerot Thamaratnothai, an heir to one of the country’s largest construction firms, Channakorn Engineering, is making his mark in the industry by branching out internationally. Working in his family business, particularly the cement-truck manufacturing operation, the 34-year-old in January decided to start Far East Business Intertrade with a partner. Construction giant Channakorn Engineering made its fortune in the construction trade by making cement trucks, which it supplies to other construction firms. But all of its business is in the domestic market.
“I believed the cement trucks had export potential because my cement trucks are not expensive compared with other cement trucks,” he said. “We focused on Southeast Asia because we will get tax breaks from the Asean Free Trade Area,” Raveerot said. The company earlier this year nailed down an order for 35 cement-trucks worth close to Bt40 million from Malaysia. It plans to deliver the trucks by the end of the year. Next year, the company hopes to expand its sales to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, which should help it reach its goal of Bt100 million in cement truck sales over 2005.
Three months ago the company also started importing plastic scaffolding for construction. Raveerot said the company actually stumbled onto plastic framework when it was in Vietnam trying to sell cement trucks. While there, he saw plastic scaffolding produced by Vietnam’s largest mould manufacturing firm, Fuvi Mechanical Technology Corp. Plastic scaffolding has great potential in the construction industry because the material is light and can be reused up to 100 times, compared with other materials such as bamboo which can only be used three to five times as scaffolding, he said. Plastic framework was also environmentally friendly, he claimed – because trees do not need to be cut down. (Original report The Nation, Thailand).