Businesswoman Sarochin “Lyn” Butnampetch is conquering the second-hand automobile market in Thailand with her digital marketing savvy. The second-generation CEO of Best Service shares how a life always on the lookout for a challenge and excitement prepared her to head her family’s leading used-car dealership.
Always adapting to changes
Instantaneous decisions to buy large products without even experiencing the real thing – say, a second-hand car – are no longer an unusual occurrence. In fact, it’s increasingly commonplace at Best Service, one of the city’s leading used automobile dealerships and financial service centres. In today’s digital age, where the pesky nuisance of a pandemic has caused virtually every interaction to go online, the dealer’s sales team readily double as live stream hosts. “This buying habit had begun before the pandemic, but Covid-19 really accelerated normalising the act of buying used cars online,” says Sarochin “Lyn” Butnampetch, the second-generation CEO of SWS Best Service and Bangkok Auto Master.
“Around 60 to 80 percent of our sales during the Covid crisis were actually cash. People didn’t even have to leave their homes as they asked us for thorough video clips of the car. If they decide to buy, they wire us the money and once the documents are sorted, we send the car over, anywhere across the 76 provinces of Thailand. Everything happens very quickly now, and test drives are not necessary because we have a 100 percent money-back guarantee if customers are not satisfied with the product.”
Trust and transparency are Lyn’s key motto
Trust is the key factor that has enabled all these effortless transactions over the internet. The business of used cars is sometimes perceived as a murky, grey area, but after two decades in the business, Best Service – located on Srinakarin Road – has cemented its credibility and that, coupled with top-notch service, keeps customers returning. “We are always busy with preparing information for customers, because nowadays, they can’t wait, and want it immediately,” explains the petite CEO. “The truth must always be ready. They want videos and detailed pictures to see the product clearly. These videos obviously have no effects added, nor are they edited. We have to always be ready to get on it, and to facilitate things to make it easy for customers.”
A life on the go
Never one to lead a dull moment since childhood, Lyn remembers how her early years were filled with fun activities: jazz dance, ice-skating, reading, fashion shows at St. Joseph Convent School, and the like. When her friends started to disappear as the move to high school began, she decisively settled on the fact that she might as well go study abroad rather than just change schools. Winning a scholarship to study in the UK, Lyn then moved to Manchester for her secondary education and returned to study Advertising at ABAC for her Bachelor’s degree.
“As an only child, I’d always be playing or helping out at these financial offices, since elementary school,” Lyn recalls fondly of her familiarity with all things relating to cars. “I started driving quite young too. We used to contact the Department of Land Transport a lot, so I’d be practicing driving on their testing field every evening during the summers.”
A lifelong learner
Yet, as someone who loved languages, with dreams of working at the UN Secretariat, the first job Lyn pursued was as an Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after chancing upon the suggestion on a blog written by a diplomat. Aside from developing her diplomatic skills, she also discovered the desire to expand her knowledge concerning what makes art, people, and the world tick. Lyn enrolled at the Faculty of Archaeology at Silpakorn University for her Master’s degree in Art History.
“I never thought learning history would relate to anything,” Lyn admits, “but working with embassies and going on trips with other diplomats taught me it is practically the most important thing. No matter who you contact, being aware of how things relate will let you to understand people, cultures, and each person’s way of living. Instead of diving right into work, it will also give you certain talking points, which is another art of approaching that ambassadors have told me is very important.”
A businesswoman with style
Besides adhering to diligent and straightforward financial accountability, Lyn also adheres to business chic – simplicity and refined elegance – when it comes to her personal style. For her, good taste equates being easy on the eye. “It should match and be practical,” says this admitted fan of Chanel, Armani, and Ralph Lauren. “It should suit you whether you are sitting or standing, and it must go with your pace of life. You could be wearing something very simple, but if it blends with you, it looks right. It’s not about logos or brand names, because I’ve seen people wear logos head-to-toe and it’s not easy at all on the eye.”
Photographer: Virunan Chiddaycha
Photographer’s Assistants: Surapun Thussanasriworakarn & Wattnachok Chumkua
Stylist: Panchanitch Rattanawilai
Makeup Artist: Nontalee Wongpeng
Hair Stylist: Kitphisuth Kanchanakawinphong
Editorial Coordinator: Kanyaphat Somwong
Read the full interview in the July issue of Prestige Thailand.
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