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Business

ASIA'S NEXT VANGUARD 2014: Thailand's 'Whiskey King' gives regional expansion a shot

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, chairman of Thai Charoen Corp. Group

BANGKOK -- Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, chairman of Thai Charoen Corp. Group, a major conglomerate with Thai Beverage at its core, is widely known at home as the "Whiskey King."

     He has his eyes on a wider share of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' market. The Asean Economic Community, which will deepen ties in the bloc, will be created by 2015. The TCC Group sees the community as a big chance to expand. Charoen is expected to take concrete steps to achieve growth in and after 2014.

     In 2013, Thai Beverage, the country's largest brewer, invested 12 billion Singapore dollars ($9.46 billion) to acquire Singapore's beverage and property company Fraser & Neave, in one of the biggest corporate buyouts in Southeast Asian history. The Thai brewer aims to expand sales through F&N's marketing channels.

     In Myanmar, Thai Beverage plans to produce its mainline Chang Beer, known for its twin-elephant logo (Chang is Thai for elephant), in cooperation with a local enterprise.

     Furthermore, Berli Jucker, a trading company of TCC Group, in late 2013 entered into the retail and wholesale business in neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Laos. Around the same time, the company started operating drugstores in Thailand. 

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