The life of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is like a capitalist fairy
tale. His rags-to-riches story highlights both the entrepreneurial
prowess of Thailand (
) and potentially the ability of Asian breweries to compete against
larger Western ones.
[caption id="attachment_70314" align="alignright" width="300"
caption="TCC looks to improve its prowess by acquiring a stake in
the maker of Tiger Beer"]
A Bangkok-born son of a street vendor, through savvy maneuvers
and a considerable business acumen, Sirivadhanabhakdi has risen to
become one of Thailand's most powerful businessmen.
Sirivadhanabhakdi found success in the brewing industry; His
conglomerate, TCC Group, is the owner of Thai Beverage Pcl (
). The company manages such
iconic brands as Chang Beer
, well known throughout Asia and the world. The Chang brand has
risen to prominence throughout the world thanks to effective
marketing, such as sponsoring the kits for English football club
In addition to breweries, Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group is
heavily involved in real estate. The privately held TCC Land owns
and runs commercial centers and hotels both in Thailand and
However, the company's beverage component remains the firm's
bread and butter operation. So it's of little surprise that TCC
Group is butting heads with other multinational brewers over an
alcohol producer in Singapore.
TCC Group has placed a bid to
acquire a $1.6 billion stake in Singapore-based
drinks and property group Fraser and Neave
. Through its Asia-Pacific Breweries joint venture with Heineken (
), the group manages the famed Tiger Beer brand, in addition to
some lesser known names like Anchor, DB Bitter, and Tui.
Evidently, the company is attempting to consolidate its share in
the booming Southeast Asian market; however, TCC's overtures have
irked Fraser and Neave's largest shareholder, Heineken. Perceiving
the move as an infringement upon Heineken's investment, the world's
third-largest brewer is not impressed.
Whether or not TCC's bid is ultimately successful remains to be
seen. However, the group's business wherewithal can be interpreted
as a positive harbinger for the future of the Thai economy as a
whole. If the country continues to produce entrepreneurs of the
caliber of Sirivadhanabhakdi,
Thailand will be well-placed to thrive in the 21st century