ItalAsia, the giant Thai wine-and-food distributor, was founded in 1962 by Chakrit’s Italian grandfather, and is still going strong under his management. His executive position had a rocky start: he returned to Thailand having just graduated with a Master’s abroad due to the 1997 economic crisis. But Chakrit (or “Max”) utilised the skills he honed at the International Marketing programme to turn his family-owned business around, allowing it to survive and thrive.
In 2015, Chakrit celebrated the company’s 10th anniversary in Chiang Mai with the launch of another showroom. “I’m far from successful – I don’t even know what ‘success’ is,” he says humbly. “But perhaps it’s the way we treat our customers and employees. We treat them with respect. We treat employees as phuyai [senior figures], rather than nitpicking their work. With clients, we see them as partners and give them advice. With our long-term relationships, I hope what we have together will lead to success.”