Born in Bangkok and grew up in Phuket before moving to Bangkok again to pursue higher level of education. Graduated with two master degrees from the US: MBA in Finance and Master in Computer Application (Software Design), came back to help family business as the financial crisis in 1997 hit Thailand hard.
That is a very brief biography of Thanaphum Hongsyok or ‘Tiny’, the only son of Phuket’s renowned business tycoon and politician Phummisak Hongsyok who runs many businesses involving real estate, residential development, vehicle sales, etc for decades.
Thanaphum Hongsyok or ‘Tiny’ today represents part of his family’s extensive business portfolio talking about his life with Mazda Phuket:
P: How did you become a part of Mazda Phuket?
T: After my graduation, I got back to Phuket and found that there was lots of work to do when the ‘Tom Yum Goong’ crisis troubled many businesses. I decided to approach our family business by initially becoming a Financial Controller for Honda, Anuphas Vividhkarn Co., Ltd. Bit by bit, I got deeper with the overall picture and learned all about finance. I moved to take the helm for Mazda after acquiring some level of experience from working for Honda.
P: What is the difference between working for Honda and Mazda?
T: At Honda, my job was only to improve already pleasing sales and services. But with Mazda, things are more complicated and challenging. I have to research more in marketing aspects, an area I’m not strong at theoretically nor in experience.
P: So how do you deal with it?
T: No other way but to do it right away and learn from reality and mistakes.
P: And the outcome?
T: 70 percent succeeded and 30 percent failed. For me, it was satisfying though. Two campaigns that created 70 percent of success are: ‘zoom-zoom’ sticker’s strategy which helped indirectly drive brand awareness among the Phuket community, along with almost a full range of test-drive cars we provided for those who interested in our new launched Mazda 2.
P: How about the feedback for Mazda 2?
T: It is very good despite the target market being slightly different from what has been aimed at first. Mazda 2 in Phuket, instead of attracting the younger market, has become like a third car for the family. Launched on November 17th last year, till the end of the year, we could sell 80 cars within only one and a half months. That is a great move we have made and it came at the right time to achieve the annual target. Mazda 2 compensated for the drop in truck sales.
P: Mazda versus other brands?
T: Prior to this, we were focusing on the truck section. If talking about sedans, we have only Mazda 3 to compete with others in the C segment; however there was no representative for B segment until the arrival of Mazda 2 that perfectly opens the new door to other segments. Mazda CX-9, Mazda’s flagship SUV will also hit the market soon.
P: What is your strong point?
T: Of course it is our chassis drivers can trust, combined with the favourable appearance. Look at Mazda 3 for example – the model has been launched for almost five years but it’s still popular, not to mention Mazda 2 which has been designed to be more fashionable. Together with JTEPA [The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement] privilege, we can offer imported cars in even more competitive prices than importers in the grey market can.
P: How about the customer trend these days?
T: As said, although the Phuket market is not exactly similar to the national market, Mazda 2 is a good start for us to look further than the existing segment we have been playing. We don’t expect large volumes of sales but are recognized and accepted among target groups. That is gratifying.
P: What challenges you the most?
T: It’s real life. Because planning in the paper and practical stage does not always get along. Outside factors make it difficult. From January 2nd to the end of the year, for me everyday is challenging.
P: How do you set the goal for this year?
T: To make sales for saloons higher than trucks. Consider such good Mazda 2’s feed back, it’s much possible to make more than the lost number of the truck.
Mazda for Phuket Sa-ard
In manufacturing process, we use some parts produced from recyclable materials such as plastic to help reduce waste volume. However, the quality remains high standard.