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Krating: People will make magic happen

Though his name is associated with tech, Ruangroj ‘Krating’ Poonpol considers “people” the key to true success.

“We used to say that technologies would solve all problems in the world. But we have now reached a point where we can see that a tech-driven business model is not sustainable,” said Ruangroj, the president of KASIKORN Business Technology Group (KBTG),

“In the future, technologies will be created just as tools for people to use in changing the world”.

Ruangroj told The Story Thailand that businesses should really shift its focus from profits to people and social causes.

“Don’t just do CSR activities. Make your care a part of your DNA,” he said. He also praised investors who have chosen to support businesses with impressive ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance.

His Vision of Post-COVID 19 World

Ruangroj said it would take years for the world to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, which has already infected more than 5.16 million people and caused over 336,000 deaths.

According to him, the World Health Organization has forecast that it will take between four and five years to fully put COVID-19 under control. At present, the pandemic has already destroyed the supply chain the world had long got used to and shaken the way people had worked.

“From now on, more people will work from home,” he said, emphasising that the automobile industry would need a reform.

He said the pandemic also changed consumers’ behaviors when it came to education, concerts, dining and hotels. “These sectors, as a result, will have to be revolutionised,” he predicted.

In Ruangroj’s opinion, manufacturing bases will likely move closer to the sources of consumption in the next 10 years because the ongoing pandemic makes developed nations realise that in times of a crisis many problems can arise when they have to rely on overseas manufacturing bases.

Ruangroj added that the COVID-19 crisis would also remind businesses and people that they would need to have bigger reserve funds just in case an emergency struck.

“When the pandemic erupted, startups and SMEs had just enough money to stay afloat for 21 more days. So, it’s sad that many businesses will be closing down during the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. He now believed startups’ funding runway should be 36 months, to be safe.

As for employees, he suggested that they should have enough savings to ensure they will be able to live well for 18 more months – not just six months – even without any income.
“The world has changed. No one can live the same old way,” this guru said.

Promising Prospects for Some Sectors

Ruangroj predicted that entertainment and healthcare industries would enjoy a boom, as people became more cautious of their health and yearned more for enjoyment.
Looking ahead, he believed virtual reality (VR) would catch on in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. He said VR, for example, could be integrated to exercise regime and entertainment at home.

Future of KBTG

Ruangroj said KBTG would speed up its works and implement 2022 plans this year for the purposes of reforming its office and the way it operated.

“We will work faster and harder. We will be more focused and we will do our best in pursuit of our vision,” he said.

According to him, KBTG still sticks with its plan to open its branches in China, Myanmar and Indonesia for the goal of reaffirming Kasikornbank’s status as a leading regional bank.
“KBTG will differentiate Kasikornbank from other banks. We set our sight on making Kasikornbank the best digital bank of the region,” he concluded.

Asked about the secret behind his success, Ruangroj said clear vision, solid efforts and effective communications ranked among success factors.

“But it is also important that we empower our people and support them in their work. In the end, people will make the magic happen,” he said.




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