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Dhanin Chearavanont

Dhanin Chearavanont

As a young 20-something, Chearavanont introduced new technology and modern farming management to his family business, growing it into an agricultural giant by the end of the 1970s. At 76, Thailand’s richest and most astute businessman — he was the first outside investor in China when Deng Xiaoping reopened the country in 1978 — heads a diversified group of companies spanning agro-industry and food, automobiles, real estate and retail. The group operates thousands of 7-Eleven convenience stores in the region.