In the fiercely competitive world of mall development, Thailand’s Siam Piwat is the gold standard. CEO Chadatip Chutrakul makes sure it stays that way with a team of visionaries.
Company: Siam Piwat
Bangkok isn’t a city short of malls but Chadatip Chutrakul – or “Khun Pam” as she prefers – has shaken up an increasingly “one-way” sector. “Those malls with a corridor and a room for every tenant have no soul,” says the CEO of Siam Piwat, the retail giant and real-estate company that her father founded. In 1959 the firm built Thailand’s first five-star hotel; today it owns four shopping centres across Bangkok and employs 2,000 people. The latest is the revamped Siam Discovery, a hybrid of mall, department store and curio emporium for Thai design, where brands mingle with pop-up shoeshines and digital art flickers above the escalators.
Siam Piwat gave its name to the Siam district of downtown Bangkok but the firm is now looking beyond its old stomping ground. On the riverbank of the Chao Phraya the firm is creating Iconsiam – a €1.5bn mall larger than any in the country – with Foster + Partners onboard as consultants. Siam Piwat is even building a rail link to the site, which will be donated to the city.
When Pam reluctantly joined the business in 1986 her father stationed her on the reception desk in the hope of instilling an understanding of what customers want. Today she gleans that intelligence from her inner circle of advisers, plucked from various backgrounds and generations. Many in her closest circle are old friends, such as Sombatsara Teerasaroch who co-ordinates events. “He’s been my consultant for years and has his own events company,” says Pam. “He’s out of this world.” Then there’s Mayuree Chaipromprasith, senior executive VP of business promotion. “She’s been with us 19 years – she carries the mountain."
The daughter of one of Thailand’s pioneering property developers has earned her moniker as Bangkok’s queen of retail, helming Siam Piwat since 1997. “We are the place that customers come to for an experience, not just to shop.” Under her guidance the company has weathered Bangkok’s property price boom and the street clashes outside her shopping centre during the military coup in 2014.
Megan Wycoff Managing director, Siam Gourmet Holding Co.
“We’ve started doing our own food and beverage,” says Pam. “We have My Kitchen on the first floor, which we can take anywhere.”
Singh Intrachooto Head of building innovation and technology programme, Kasetsart University.
“He is our go-to person for anything to do with sustainability.”
Chollachat Meksupha First executive VP, business development and investment.
“He’s the one out finding new leads.”
Kullawit Laosuksri Editor in chief, Vogue Thailand.
“He’s been a consultant for three years and helps select merchandise.”
Chanisa Kaewruen Senior deputy managing director, marketing events and business relations.
“Looks after our loyalty programme; she wows the world.”
Sarahneeya Chakkaphak Assistant VP, business development and investment. “Her team heads to Japan and Europe to find brands.”
Tassanai Yan-ubol Consultant for Siam Piwat events.
Parisa Chatnilbandhu Senior director, retail business group.
Siriphen Intuputi Senior deputy managing director, advertising and communications.
Armaj Sombunjaroen Senior associate, business innovation.
Kittirat Pitipanich Director of the Thailand Creative Design Centre’s design advis0ry department.
Narisa Vivattanakijcharoen Executive VP and group head, sales.
Gunyarak Piyakhun First executive VP, marketing strategy and business intelligence.
“Analyses global trends.”
Sunun Lertseethong First executive VP, financial-planning and control division.
“All the crazy stuff I’d like to do goes through her.”
Naratipe Ruttapradid Senior executive VP, operations.
“She’s my iron lady.”
Suttirat Bhanavavatana Executive VP, corporate communications.
Kriangkrai Rukachantarakul Deputy managing director, retail business group.
Chaiyong Ratana-Angkura Chief visionary director, business innovation.
“An expert at framing our communications.”
Mayuree Chaipromprasith Senior executive VP, business promotion.
“She makes sure every property has a distinctive character.”
Charnchai Cherdchuwongthanakorn Senior executive VP, retail business development.
“On the hunt for young Thai designers.”
Jatuporn Laosongchitra Executive VP and group head, business enhancement
Chutima Kitprayoon Group VP, visual merchandising display creative arts.
“She works with artists around the world.”
Sanchai Thiewprasertkul President, retail.
“The guru of retail in Thailand.”
Korawin Poopugdee Assistant department manager, business development and investment.
Sombatsara Teerasaroch Founder, Tue.
“A fashion visionary.”