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Be a better man

In the summer of 2012, just after Naadam, I had the opportunity to meet an extraordinary Thai person. It was Vikrom Kromadit, who was about to leave Mongolia after traveling the country for more than a month with his team shooting a documentary on Mongolia’s nature and society.
He owns an industrial park in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The industrial park, which is located in a free trade zone, is a place where hundreds of international companies operate and produce machinery and equipment, employing Thai people.
The industrial park is called Amata and is found 70 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. Amata currently has 300,000 people working there, and it is a smart city that recycles and reuses their water and waste.
Vikrom established two other industrial parks, one in his home country and another in Vietnam. The Amata industrial park, which has an area of 150 square kilometers, has more than 1,000 factories, including Toyota Motor, BMW, Nestle, BASF, Hitachi, Sony, PepsiCo, Robert Bosch, POSCO, Mitsubishi Electric, and Bridgestone. Their total sales have reached 40 billion USD, which equals 10 percent of Thailand’s economy.
To mark the 40th anniversary of his company, Kun (a term of respect in Thai) Vikrom accomplished one of his dreams and had a cultural Amata Castle built. I have just returned from attending the opening ceremony of the castle.
Sixty-year-old Vikrom is one of Thailand’s richest citizens. He is energetic and humble, and has earned the respect of the Thai people. Having been born as the eldest son of a sugar cane farmer, Vikrom has overcome many challenges in his life, including instability and poverty in his family.
His book “Be a Better Man” tells everything about his life and has been translated into many languages, including Mongolian. More than one million copies were sold in Thailand, and the book was recently published in Mongolia after S.Ider did the translation.
The book was even turned into a drama series in Thailand. Having read Vikrom’s book, seeing what he has created, meeting him several times, and interviewing him on the Defacto program, I have tried to show how an individual can achieve the peak of success and what can be done afterwards.

THE FARMER WHO BECAME A BILLIONAIRE

Vikrom, who is the eldest son in his family of 23 brothers and sisters (including stepbrothers and stepsisters), started his business career by selling roasted peanuts when he was five years old. At the age of eight, he owned a shop and had 500 USD in his bank account.
Later on, Vikrom graduated from National Taiwan University in mechanical engineering with a scholarship granted by the Taiwanese government. When he returned to his home country, he established the Amata Corporation in 1975 to conduct trade.
Vikrom tried out many different things, such as trading (gold, silver, jade, fruit, fish, and more) and production (paper, equipment, and fertilizers), and had many failures after acquiring loans and facing risks. However, he never gave up.
Since his early childhood, Vikrom always assumed all responsibility and led his brothers and sisters by example.
When speaking about the factors that led him to success, Kun Vikrom pointed out that the most important things were trusting in the truth, being genuine, treating everyone fairly, and doing business with vision and taking into account the global market.
Even though he had a debt of one billion USD in 1997 due to the economic crisis in Asia, he paid it back with bank loans.
The reason that the banks trusted him and granted huge loans is that he always spoke the truth, kept track of everything with the greatest accuracy, and worked hard every single day.
Vikrom believes in reality, not in luck. Everything, including business, has a cause. In order to achieve business success, there must be a large, capable market first. Afterwards, a good factory is required to produce high quality goods.
Your products should be high quality and affordable. Finally, post-sale service must be great in order to meet the demands of your customers fully. Vikrom likes to say that this is why Bill Gates and his Microsoft brand are so famous and successful.

FIX YOURSELF FIRST, THEN YOUR HOME, AND YOUR SOCIETY AFTERWARDS

Kun Vikrom currently works as Chairman of the Amata Foundation. Forbes magazine included him in their 48 Heroes of Philanthropy list in 2014.
The Amata Foundation awards 144,000 USD (5 million THB) to the winners of their art and sculpture competitions, and 33,000 USD (1 million THB) to a recognized senior writer. In order to encourage others, the foundation distributed 300,000 copies of Vikrom’s book to schools and prisons throughout the country.
Vikrom currently writes books and hosts a radio program called “CEO Vision” to tell the younger generation about having their own purpose and about the ordinary life of a monk (he has experience from being a monk).
Also, Vikrom makes a television show called “Asia Rising”, and presents his experience of traveling more than 40,000 kilometers in seven months through China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
During his Defacto interview with me, Vikrom said that more than half of the world’s population lives in Asia. Asia is the place where the majority of cash in the world flows. Even though Asia has become the center of the global economy, we have yet to form a huge, integrated market like Europe has.
He emphasized that Asians must strengthen their cultural diplomacy in order to enhance discussions and understand each other better.
Vikrom noted, “Starting from the first day of 2016, Asian countries set up the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and created a market of 2.6 trillion USD. This is an important start. The next step would be the upcoming negotiations with the Pacific countries.”
Vikrom promotes the importance of education and knowledge among the younger generation, and encourages his brothers and sisters to go to school, rewarding them more when they get good grades.
What he also teaches his siblings is that they should always take care of their family members and help the poor.
Vikrom also reminds us that the most important thing is to understand that it is a citizen’s duty to fix and improve the livelihood of themselves and the society they are living in. He is a leader who always exemplifies what he says. It is the reason why he has achieved his success.
Vikrom says, “Every day I have done my best to make money and become richer. Every dollar I make brings prosperity and economic freedom to me, to every employee at the Amata industrial park, and to my country.”
It looks as if not everyone can achieve business success and become a philanthropist afterwards. The life of Kun Vikrom, his deeds, and what he says shows us that those who can give to others fully understand what happiness in life is.
They say that a Hollywood film that is based on his life story, full of ups and downs, will be made soon. Everyone should try to be a better man.

Trans. by B.AMAR

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18502

Posted by on Feb 22 2016. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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