This article is a condensed version of the original piece that appeared in the July issue.
It’s clear Paul-Dominique is someone who understands the power of visuals. Amongst many of his businesses and projects is a photo-retouching company as well as several film production and production service companies. There is Tribus P Film, with its next movie planned to be shot in August, Marengo Films, for which he is spending time in Los Angeles and UMOON, which most recently did the service production for a comedic French film, Pattaya, and completed a Bangkok-based music video for electronic supergroup Major Lazer.
But he’s more than a creative industry wheeler-and-dealer. Rattling off the diverse ventures Paul-Dominique has headed or is currently heading is like a game of connect-the-dots.
A job in telecommunications was abandoned for a restaurant venture, for instance, which he later left for multiple renewable energy-related firms, the previously mentioned companies, a health insurance company and two sports teams, including the Saraburi TRU Football Club.
It started off with telecom – the field in which he studied. “I was assisting management in Alcatel [a French telecommunication company] to build the telephone lines outside of Bangkok, throughout the whole country… The client at that time was TTNT, a Thai company,” he says. “It was a huge telecom company, and I was not happy with the type of management…”
The entrepreneurial spirit was in full swing. Later, started exporting frozen food to France for large companies, and learned firsthand tough business practices employed by the giants in the industry.
It was a struggle, he says. “This kind of thing makes you stronger and learn how to protect yourself.” He moved to law, doing a short stint in the intellectual property field.
But Paul-Dominique soon began eyeing other opportunities. “When it becomes too routine, I think, ‘Now I have the capacity to put the right person in to manage it…”
As a result, nearly seven years ago, he founded two renewable energy industry companies: Renewable Power Asia and Power Intelligence Asia – and his various energy companies have built and now co-own more than 50 plants that range from 7.2 megawatts up to 41 megawatts.
His life has certainly not been static outside the business field either. In 2007, he married Sonia “Pim” Couling, who is an accomplished actress, model, and well-known TV host famous throughout Southeast Asia; last year, the Vacharasinthus welcomed a new addition to their family, their son Pasha-Dominic.
He’s a well-travelled, cosmopolitan businessman with solid successes under his belt now; but going back to his roots, ask him where he’s from, and you’ll elicit the response, “It’s a complex question.” It’s an answer that speaks to some of his most fundamental core values.
“I’m just a human of the world. I don’t care about colours. I don’t care about religions. I don’t care about your social background.” He’s loved meeting and getting to know people even as a young child, no matter how foreign other people may first seem – a true extrovert.
“I have strong roots in Corsica because I learned a lot of good values there, from my family and my granddad. I learned about culture, friendship, family and about supporting each other. It’s very important to me.
“At the same time, I have very strong roots here. Because I’m Thai as well: I love the culture and tradition. I see Thailand as having amazing potential in different fields – even in some fields we don’t even realise – like in the arts,” he says.
There is another value Paul-Dominique feels is crucial: respecting one’s roots.
“To respect older people – we don’t have that in Europe any more. We still have that here [in Thailand],” he says. “I hope it for the world. How can we keep our roots? How can we still belong without closing our doors and our walls? It’s very political… You know what kind of situation we have in the country now – how can we be Thai, how can we be Corsican, and how can we be both without putting up a wall and without rejecting the other?
“We have to learn to live together. But then ‘learning to be together’ would be very sad if in a hundred years it means we all dress the same, we all speak the same language.