A Touch of Thai

Issue 50

Busaba has developed Thailand’s traditional cotton fabric into bags in various sizes and designs.

“Six years ago, I travelled to Japan and saw Japanese people using their traditional fabrics, such as kimonos, to make a lot of products. I then thought about using Thai traditional fabrics to do the same,” says Pornthep Sae-lee, the design director of Busaba craft and design company.

Initially, Sae-lee considered Thai silk, Thai batik and Pha-Kao-Mah (Thai Sarong) before opting for the latter believing that its plaid pattern would be readily accepted in global markets.

“The first merchandise I thought about was a bag because I am passionate about it and I know what users are looking for. They prefer light-weight and durable bags with a good design,” Sae-lee says.

Sae-lee has designed bags for every day use. Designs range from small ones, such as cosmetic purses, pencil wallets and purses, to larger ones, such as top handle bags and foldable bags. In addition to bags, Busaba makes textiles, stationery and gifts including key chains, mobiles and dolls.

Innovation, design, branding and production standards are the company’s strengths, says Sae-lee.

“We use innovation to make Busaba different from similar products in the market,” he adds. “There are a lot of Pha-Kao-Mah bags, but our products are coated with a plastic chemical substance that makes them water repellent. We focus on design in order to offer fashionable bags to people who like Thai fabrics.”

Busaba has received the Thailand Trust Mark from the DITP, which is the symbol of excellence and trusted quality. Currently, most of Busaba’s customers are Thais, with about 80% of sales to the domestic market and 20% overseas. Sae-lee sees Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN as key markets with a great potential for export growth.

“We have continually designed our products to better meet the requirements of Japanese and Taiwanese customers,” he says. “In the future, we will expand our overseas market, focusing on Japan. For ASEAN countries, we may penetrate Vietnam because the market has grown rapidly in recent years and people are ready to buy lifestyle products.”

For more information, visit www.busabaonline.com, follow FB: facebook.com/busaba.shop

Information courtesy of the DITP

Words by Somhatai Mosika

 

 

Issue 49

Earth Life’s biodegradable enzyme is not only good for the environment, but also for people’s health, and now it’s being used to make your car smell fresher.

“No matter how much your car costs, or which brand you own, when you sit inside it, the air you breathe should be the best quality for your health,” says Nucharee Nilsuwan, Managing Director of Earth Life.

The company manufactures Bio Great, a multi-purpose freshener made from non-toxic biodegradable enzymes and blended with natural essential oils from Thai flowers and herbs, to create a unique fragrance as well as remove unwelcome odours.

Bio Great is one of a wide variety of products found at TAPA 2016, Thailand’s leading automotive trade fair held at Bangkok’s BITEC from April 7 to 10 and jointly organized by the DITP, the Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, Thai Auto Parts Aftermarket Association, Worachak Automotive Synergy Association and Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association.

The business originally focused on eliminating unwanted smells from wastewater in ponds and shrimp farms. However, in 2004 Nilsuwan expanded her business to focus on car fresheners.

“I just saw the business opportunity from what I had been doing in the past, to make a bio car freshener is just the right choice for me to create a new line of business,” she says.

The company received a grant from the National Innovation Agency (NIA). It then took two years of research with Kasetsart University to develop the product. “We have a paper to confirm our natural products are a high quality and good for your health,” says Nilsuwan.

However, much work still needs to be done in order to convince the public of the benefits of Bio Great.

“First, we need to educate our customers to know what the enzyme is and its function,” Nilsuwan says. “We have joined many trade fairs, such as Motor Show, Motor Expo, BIGBIH and TAPA, so that people know our brand and understand our products.”

Nilsuwan adds that the company has received much positive feedback both domestically and from customers in Singapore, Dubai, the Czech Republic, Japan, Vietnam, China and India.

Part of the appeal of the bio freshener is the sweet smell of Thai flowers. “The aroma we have used is from Thai flowers such as jasmine, plumeria, mok and red ginger,” she says. “We made [it] naturally with no chemicals. Customers appreciate the quality of our natural fragrance, which is not too strong but it does get rid of bad smells.”

Nilsuwan believes that there is a strong market for healthy products, particularly in Asia.
“In Japan, when they see our products in the health products category, they become more interested. The market [for health products] is expanding steadily, particularly in the Middle East,” she says.

Nilsuwan also thinks that ‘Made in Thailand’ could become a significant selling point for goods from the kingdom, in the future.

“We bring Thainess to both Thai and overseas customers,” she says. “When they get to know the quality of Thai products, they will understand that Thai products can be as high quality as other countries’ products.”

Information courtesy of the DITP

Words by Natthinee Ratanaprasidhi

 

Issue 47

In recent years Thailand has established itself as a global leader in health and wellness, TRIA is at the forefront of this movement.
Kusalin Lunjakornkul believes that everyone should take their health seriously.

“You service your car every three months or a year but your body is worth more than a car,” says the general manager of wellness centre TRIA in Bangkok. “You need to check your body and know what is going to happen and protect it before it happens.”

Lunjakornkul joined TRIA three years ago. Initially she admits it was a challenge. The place was run down and neglected. So, she focused on renovating the building from the bottom up and adding lifestyle facilities such as the outdoor restaurant, as well as introducing colour therapy in the spa area.

“When I first came here it was more like a meditation centre, so we changed that image to make it more modern and suit the lifestyle of the younger generation,” she says. “They don’t want the atmosphere of a hospital. Now, you can feel it’s like a resort or a spa, so they feel more relaxed.”
Her approach has proved successful. Over the last couple of years TRIA has received several accolades including Amazing Day and Medical Spa at the Thailand Spa and Wellness Award in 2015, Day Spa of the Year at the ASIA Spa Awards 2015 and a PM Award in 2014. “We are doing the right thing,” Lunjakornkul says, “but we want to make it better.”

Part of this improvement lies in educating Thai people about the holistic approach to health and wellness that underpins Tria’s philosophy. “Thai people still don’t really understand the holistic concept,” Lunjakornkul says. In order to achieve this, she is organising a series of seminars and discussions between potential customers and doctors.

One of TRIA’s principles is that, ‘Wellness is what you do for yourself, everyday’. The first step is a consultation with one of the centre’s qualified staff, followed by a medical examination which checks for heavy metals and toxins. “At TRIA we assess the health of your cells and prescribe lifestyle change and modern holistic therapies to enhance the health of each of your cells,” states the company website.

The centre consists of a fitness centre and spa as well as beauty and medical centres. “We are a one-stop service unit for health and wellness,” says Lunjakornkul. “We have every service to do with health, wellness and beauty here.”

The approach is proving popular both within Thailand and overseas, particularly in Australia, China and the Middle East.
This year, Lunjakornkul is focusing more on specific products, such as plastic surgery and hair transplants, as TRIA aims to expand its market further into China and the Middle East. It is also looking to establish a overseas franchise, potentially in the Middle East.

Lunjakornkul believes Thailand has great potential for medical tourism and welcomes any support from the government and particularly the DITP in arranging business matching. She recently joined a trade mission organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Ultimately, Lunjakornkul believes the key to wellness is adjustment. People have to be prepared to make lifestyle changes although these should not be implemented in any overly strict manner. After all as she says, “being happy is wellness.”

For more information, visit: http://www.triawellness.com

Words by Mark Bibby Jackson, Photo courtesy of TRIA 

Issue 48

From a natural soap manufacturer for other brands, Harnn has become a well-known Thai brand for spa products around the world.

Knowing your customer is a key to any business success. Certainly, Paul Harnn, Director of Harnn Global believes so.

Harnn established a small factory in 1999 to produce natural soaps for other brands and export them to many countries. However, he realised that the business would not be sustainable in the long run and so he decided to create his eponymous brand Harnn.

“My factory was the first one in the country producing natural soaps,” he says. “I learned a lot from my customers. So, when I formed my own brand, I knew which would be the best selling ones.”

Since 2002, Harnn has produced natural soaps under his own brand, later adding spa products, body care products and skincare products to his line.

“If we want to see our business grow sustainably, we have to develop our own brand, packaging and retail concept,” he says.
In addition to the Harnn brand, the entrepreneur produces Vuudh, a contemporary lifestyle fragrance brand; Tichaa, a herbal tea brand; and JARITT, a resort ware and lifestyle accessories brand.

Harnn believes the strength of his brands comes from using the best ingredients, such as pure essential oils sourced from the best resources around the globe, as well as the expertise of the 200 factories that produce Harnn products.

“We’re proud to be an Asian brand. We are unique in the sense that we are open to all oriental wisdom such as traditional medicine, herbal treatment and art. We can learn from different cultures and create our own signature.

“Without owning any factory, we can assign the best factory in each field to produce particular products for us. Hence, we are confident that the formulations of all products are the best in the market,” he says.

Now, the Harnn brand has 60 shops in 14 countries with plans to open more shops overseas including in the Middle East, China, Japan and ASEAN countries.

Another project is the launch of a spa academy and spa at Central World, Bangkok in May. “There, you can learn everything you need to know about the spa, from spa menus, spa design to spa management,” he says. “We will train all spa people and teach the owners how to set up an international standard spa.”

For more information, visit www.harnnglobal.com
Words by Somhatai Mosika 

Tags: Harnn | Spa | Fragrance

Issue 46

Znya Organics, a Thai organic brand, has now become one of the outstanding organic brands in the international market with its high quality products and international accreditation.

Understanding customer needs is widely recognised as being crucial to success. As someone who had suffered from skin allergies for years, Witraporn Pimpla started to pay more attention to natural organic products.

“My skin allergies gradually lessened after avoiding using any kind of chemical body care products,” she says. “I realised that many chemicals used in soaps cause allergies. I then started to study this seriously.”

After making organic soap and other products for herself and the people around her, she decided to start her own company, Znya Organics, in 2012. Her intention was to use the best local and international organic ingredients to deliver only the finest quality products to the market.

Four years on, Znya Organics supplies a range of products from organic skin cleansers such as soap, shampoo, lotions, body oil and baby products to spa products.

The products use 70 to 100% local organic ingredients. “Our products represent Thai identity,” she says. “We have organic soaps made with curcuma, lemongrass and many very healthy Thai herbs. In addition, we also have organic spa products such as balm and compress balls, which are made with 100% Thai organic herbs.”

All products have been certified by USDA Organics and JAS from Japan, guaranteeing the organic nature of the ingredients used.

Currently Znya Organics products are sold in Hong Kong, with Japan, Singapore and Germany next on the list. However, customers from around the world can order the products via online channels.

“In the future, apart from further penetrating the domestic market, Znya Organics will focus on entering international markets, especially the EU and US,” she says.

The organic entrepreneur is confident of the long-term success of her company. “I do believe that customers will fall in love with our natural and organic Thai herbs and that they will think of this brand whenever they look for safe and high quality organic products,” she says.

For more information, please visit: www.znyaorganics.com

Words by: Patcharee Taedangpetch, Photo courtesy of Znya Organics

 
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