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The ThaiBev way

Article - July 25, 2012
ThaiBev's approach to partner communities emphasises importance of long-term relationships
Equally as important for ThaiBev as an international brand and profit generating enterprise, is the company’s growth and development as a global corporate citizen. Aside from ThaiBev’s well-publicised track record of excellence from a corporate governance perspective, institutional partnerships with local communities and assistance in times of crisis have evolved into inherent corporate values. Both institutional investors and local communities alike, routinely praise ThaiBev’s transparency, availability, enthusiasm and passion for the priority placed upon communities and stakeholders.

Multiple-award winning CEO Thapana Sirivad-hanabhakdi elaborates further on how ThaiBev draws synergises the long held traditions of giving back and local community engagement held in the UK and Thailand respectively: “ThaiBev has a strong commitment to development within the communities in which we work. Not just only in Thailand, but in other countries as well, like Singapore for example. Also in the UK, our Old Pulteney Distillery has been recognised by the IBLF (International Business Leaders Forum), which is one of Prince Charles’ initiatives. In Thailand, our IBLF support project is building 50 houses with Everton for the tsunami victims in Khao Lak.

“We focus on being environmentally responsible in our facilities on the long term. We are investing ahead to make sure that we can give something back to the community and to the environment. In Thailand and abroad we have been involved in a lot of community and environmental projects.”

Despite listing on the Singapore stock exchange, ThaiBev’s strong track record and prominence of the Sirivadhanabhakdi family in the company’s ownership structure enables a genuine focus on the long-term, enabling ThaiBev to prioritise the company’s brand development, community engagement and long-term environmental sustainability over short-term profiteering. This combination of long-term business strategy with accountability to local communities is increasingly regarded as the hallmark of world-class companies. Such a clear focus on the balancing ethics, profit and the long-term has heightened international interest in ThaiBev from institutional investors, with the share price soaring to record highs in recent months.

This long-term focus on sustainability and communities most prominently manifests itself in ThaiBev’s diverse array of community development initiatives, and ever-expanding portfolio of ideas and programs to help people and the environment both in Thailand and internationally.

Football is without a doubt the sport of choice for Thailand, the UK and ThaiBev. This is very much reflected in ThaiBev’s focus encouraging a healthy lifestyle and making sporting opportunities available for local communities.

Aside from sponsoring an array of Thai and international football teams, and supporting major football events, ThaiBev’s greatest contribution to the game is in grassroots development of young and enthusiastic promising young footballers with an appetite for playing the game. Working in partnership with leading teams such as Everton FC from the English Premier League, training schools and programmes to train new coaches such as “Train the Trainer” have been successfully introduced and thrived within the ThaiBev Football Academy to help develop the skills, technique, discipline and standard of living for children living throughout the Greater Bangkok region.
The connection between football and community development does not end with sponsorship or investment in developing the sport alone. Following the 2004 tsunami that devastated much of Thailand’s west coast, ThaiBev partnered with supporters of Everton Football Club in the UK to arrange donations for the redevelopment of the worst affected communities. After matching donations from Everton supporters, ThaiBev has been able to help build 50 houses for the tsunami victims in Khao Lak.

More recently ThaiBev has been one of the leading private sector contributors to flood relief in Thailand following the torrential rains and subsequent deluge in 2011. A range of initiatives have been invested in to show solidarity with and support for local communities and businesses ranging from the establishment of the “ThaiBev Kitchen” to provide mobile food outlets for victims and rescue personnel to the delivery of food to elephants stranded by the flooding.

The “Power of Thai” initiative formed by ThaiBev and approximately 40 other businesses was one of the leading private sector cooperative projects helping Thailand to recover from 2011’s flooding. Since this project was initiated, children’s education in 84 affected schools has been supported with donations ranging from teaching and learning materials, to the rebuilding of damaged classrooms and infrastructure.

As ThaiBev’s international footprint and brand recognition continues to grow, so too does the company’s focus on assisting communities affected by disasters internationally; as witnessed by the company’s donations of drinking water, blankets and financial assistance to victims of the 2011 Japanese earthquake.

Aside from ThaiBev’s increasing ability to work in the global context, priority focus remains at home with vulnerable and underprivileged Thai communities. For over a decade now, ThaiBev has been working tirelessly in the “ThaiBev Unites to Fight the Cold” campaign, whereby over 200,000 blankets are delivered each year to remote villages in the north of Thailand exposed to the harsh cold season. By 2011, over 2.4 million people have been provided with blankets to stave off the cold season blues.

ThaiBev’s vast array of community development programmes both in Thailand and internationally are complemented by the company’s continued support of the array of royal initiatives in Thailand covering a range of community needs, from public health with Princess Mother’s Medical Volunteers Foundation, through to projects covering Thai cultural heritage and environmental conservation with the ‘Photos of the King Competition’ and ‘Community Water Resources Management under the Royal Initiative’ programmes respectively.

The foundation of economic success throughout Thailand has for generations been rooted in the success of the country’s world-class private companies. As ThaiBev’s second generation of executive leadership start to genuinely take the company global, exciting times are ahead for the communities that will both support and be supported by the company’s development. ThaiBev’s values of devotion, creation and trust are certainly ones to look out for.