Thailand, a privileged gateway to Asia
The great historical, cultural, political and religious diversity, combined with the rapid economic development experienced in recent years, has made the Asia-Pacific region one of the most attractive destinations for many western companies. Compared with fully developed countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Brunei or Singapore; and others that, like China and India, are advancing at an unstoppable rate; a third group, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka or Thailand, is now in its development stage. Markets that are very different from those which, despite the globalisation of needs, tastes and buying habits experienced in recent years, have proven that it is essential to know and understand their differences and particularities.
The Thai economy, booming
After experiencing, in 2017, its highest growth in the last five years, Thailand currently holds position number 26 of the 190 countries that make up the Doing Business ranking. Its position, two spots ahead of Spain, has made this Asian country a good destination for business and investment. Its policy, based on an economy open to exports, and its extensive experience in the appliance automotive manufacturing industries, now joins a great demand in the service sector, ranging from architecture and construction, to the entertainment industry and other areas. In addition, its privileged situation has turned it into one of the most important gateways to Asian markets. Its capital, Bangkok, is already one of the main regional centres of Southeast Asia, together with Singapore.
“Although it has different synergies distinct to each country, the Asian market is divided mainly into three market segments - emerging, mature and traditional - which imply different approaches and strategies when projecting a new workspace,” says the Actiu Regional Director in Asia-Pacific, Michael Blanco.
The head of Actiu in the area highlights how, with 70% of the current workforce worldwide, millennials and the emerging Z generation are already determining a global trend based on a new workspace strategy that, although at a different pace, Asia is also adopting.
Betting on a direct business model
With consolidated offices in Europe, Latin America and Australia, Actiu is already moving towards the Asian market. In Thailand and through a direct business model with distributors partners, Actiu has been working with Wurkon for over two years, with which it shares the company's vision of the new workspace as an inspiring and emotional place that adds value to the client. Founded by Mr. Somsak Supaongprapa and one of his brothers, Wurkon, like Actiu, has its origin as a family business, a fact that it has established one of its main hallmarks. Having been in charge of the company for years and with a deep knowledge of the sector, the children of Mr. Somsak—Ms. Sirimada, as General Director of Wurkon; Ms. Noo, as Director of Operations; and Mr. Piyasak, as Director and Coordinator of Assembly—close the project and execution circle perfectly: Sirimada seeks, Noo manages and Piyasak implements.
In an event held in Bangkok with Wurkon, Actiu has reinforced its presence in Thailand, through a day in which companies, architects, designers and potential customers were able to experience first-hand the changing nature of the new work spaces and their evolution towards environments that provide a sense of belonging, well-being and happiness. With Ms. Sirimada and the other members of the Supaongprapa family who are part of the company's Board of Directors, as hosts; Actiu attended the meeting with the presence of Soledad Berbegal (Director of Communication), Laura Berbegal (Director of International Relations), Michael Blanco (Regional Director of Asia-Pacific) and Jorge M. Juan Yepes (Director of Projects in Asia-Pacific). "The connection with the Wurkon team has been evident," states Soledat Berbegal, which highlights the role that youth plays in the leadership of both companies. "While at Actiu we are living a moment of generational change, at Wurkon it is already our generation that has taken the helm," adds the Director of Communication.
Thanks to a careful selection of furniture, which included Longo, Wing, Tabula, Prism, Mit, Arkitek, Mobility Step, Power, Cron, Efit, Vital 300, Caddy, Informs, Talent, Longo Pod, Block, Bend, Link, Viva, Badminton and Twist, participants could share first-hand the new philosophy of workspaces, through concrete solutions, both in situ and through virtual reality simulations.
Choosing a good distributor that shares the company's values and principles and that also pulls for an exclusivity in regions that avoids direct competition is fundamental for Actiu. "Exclusivity with key partners such as Wurkon is based on a strategic co-branding approach. This implies total transparency between the two brands, in favour of a common goal that provides added value to the customer," explains Blanco.
Mature in focus, emergent in opportunity and traditional in business, the Asia-Pacific region is now part of the great Actiu family. "Our goal in Asia is to establish ourselves as an international leading brand, with an innovative approach based on knowledge and through a solid network of collaborators that allows us to be closer to the customer," adds the Actiu Regional Director in Asia-Pacific. A process that Actiu bases on four fundamental pillars including the great appeal of its product, accessible prices (as a premium brand), its guarantee as a European manufacturer and its brand principles, in terms of market focus and knowledge.
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