HomeInterviewBUILK: It’s time to do what we have never done!

BUILK: It’s time to do what we have never done!

Prominent startup in Thailand’s property sector, BUILK ONE GROUP, has recognised that COVID-19 crisis demands a totally new approach to business.

“Everyone must do what one has never done before. We need to change, as the landscape has changed,” BUILKONE chief executive officer Patai Padungtin told The Story Thailand during a recent exclusive interview.

He pointed out that consumers were changing and so were competitors.

“That means we can’t afford to stay the same”.

According to him, COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest crisis his tech-driven firm has ever faced. BUILKONE practically has six tech startup ventures under its wing. Of them, two have faced the wrath of COVID-19 as one of them is engaged in real estate while the other works in construction field.

CHANGE for Survival

Patai said staff in the real-estate unit has already been reassigned to handle other tasks instead, while team members in construction unit have frequent meetings to ensure that they remain profitable.

“We have prepared priority list, predicted upcoming trends, and drawn up guidelines to deal with adverse impacts. Then, we communicate with our employees. They need to get ready for business wars,” Patai said.

He emphasised that given the market was reducing, businesses must respond fast or collapse.

New Business Models Prepared, Employees Reskilled

BUILKONE has hired more than 100 employees. Many of them have lately volunteered to take up new job responsibilities after COVID-19 has significantly curbed their units’ normal workload.

“While we don’t have a plan to invest in new venture, we are reskilling our staff so that they can handle tasks they have not done before,” Patai said. His staff, who start craving for work-from-office mode, now work at office eight days a month and spend the remaining workdays at home.

He said since the COVID-19 outbreak started, salespersons at his firm had crafted various new sales techniques. Instead of selling just big projects, they have now offered bundled services/products, initiated payment plans, and designed partnership schemes.

“We believe that more startups will form collaborations to strengthen themselves. We have lately got many new ideas about business transformation,” he disclosed.

While becoming more cautious in the face of crisis, Patai still emphasised that the rule of Learn Fast, Fail Fast still applied because it would enable a firm to find out which approach would work and which would not.

“Test a new idea with a lower amount of fund and in a shorter period of time. If it does not seem to work, stop fast,” Patai said, “If the idea proves practical, there is a chance of being at the right time at the right place”.

Business Diversification Give Crucial Help

In Patai’s view, his firm’s step in to as many as six businesses have given it flexibility and a crucial strength. Even when COVID-19 crisis hits hard, the firm has not lost all its revenue.

Patai hopes that the government will fast stimulate the Thai economy through public investments in mega projects such as the Eastern Economic Corridor and high-speed train initiatives.

“Without any stimulus, the construction industry will start feeling the pinch from the third quarter of the year,” he said, “This industry has big impact. If it is affected, downstream businesses such as interior design will be affected too”.



Lastest News