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How a village’s desserts broke a cycle of bad debt

Chai Nat is a small province in the heart of Thailand. The Tha Chin River and fertile soil make it ideal for growing rice, but foodies also love its Taengkwa pomelo, whose thin, slightly grained peel holds treasures of tart sweetness. Despite this bounty, farmers are locked in a cycle of debt and increasingly affected by climate change. dtacblog spoke to Tipwan Netnak, the first female head of Ban Tha Samrong, a village in Chai Nat’s Sankhaburi district. To grow new income streams for her community--and with a little help from dtac Net for Living--she is harnessing the power of mobile connectivity to turn around Ban Tha Samrong's fortunes. “Our hometown used to be so abundant. Each year, we could grow three harvests of rice. But things began to change about eight or nine years ago when the first severe drought hit Chai Nat. As water became scarce, we could only grow rice just once a year. This means our income has also dropped,” said Ms. Tipwan. Fighting Poverty As Ms. Tipwan became village chief around that time, things were off to a rocky start. “Being the first female village head, I was blamed for bringing bad luck to the…

An unshakable optimist’s secrets to luck, love and work

Can a lucky number change your life? Suwirat “Kai” Chaopanich is deeply convinced of the power of numerology. And this Head of Regional Sales Management will have you convinced too. Blessed with a bubbly, outsize personality, she'll ask for your number the way a palm reader would ask you to extend a hand. Then comes the verdict--a review of your number's influence on love, work, and money. Her infectious optimism and winning attitude have made her a hit salesperson at dtac. And dtacblog set out to find out more about her secrets to happiness. “Selling must be in my blood. I started working for dtac in 1991, then rising through the ranks. Today, I am in charge of direct sales, which helps expand dtac’s base of postpaid customers. I'm like a scout. dtac usually assigns me to go to the frontline to test the market and try new selling techniques,” Ms. Suwirat said. Limitless Digital Opportunities Despite big targets to achieve, Ms. Suwirat never thinks a goal is beyond reach. In her opinion, winning is all about your mindset. “I’ve never thought selling is tough. There are selling opportunities no matter where I go. The products change every year, but there's always a next…

Five Female Leaders’ Views on Leadership at dtac

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, dtacblog spoke to five female leaders about women's paths and roles in leadership. Tipayarat Kaewsringam, Chief Sales OfficerAs a female management veteran who has worked in multiple roles across the region and various industries, Ms. Tipayarat was seen the share of women in leadership roles increase over the past decades in Asia. This reflects a significant shift in Asian culture, moving towards a more balanced workplace.In the past, women in Asia might have experienced a barrier to employment in some industries. But today, those obstacles have been drastically reduced in commercial organizations.  “Having more female leaders in senior management can be considered a breakthrough of gender equality in Thai society,” said Ms. Tipayarat. "From change comes opportunity, I #choosetochallenge women to keep growing their capabilities." A female leadership style that is inclusive, open, consensus-building collaborative, and collegial can make a huge contribution to businesses’ success.However, female employees can still face discrimination when balancing family and work. Thus, dtac’s groundbreaking six-month maternity leave can be considered as a policy platform that provides an equal opportunity for women employees. “In the past women had to choose between family and work. But having a six-month maternity leave eliminates…

Supaporn Herb goes digital with dtac for its global expansion

This third-generation cosmetics family business has opted for dtac business E-Care solutions to shorten transaction times and focus on its future innovation. Supaporn Herb originated from a small salon in Bangkok's Talad Phlu district 53 years ago. From curcumin facial scrubs sold in plastic bags, the family business has grown into a global exporter with a foothold in the Middle East, China, and the ASEAN. Its “small-town strategy” rests on product quality and affordable prices, making the products popular in rural markets.  Matoom Akares Suktarodsheep, the third-generation heir and chief executive of Supaporn Group, now operates three brands – “Supaporn” the big sister, “Pathumad” the second sister, and “Isika” the little sister.  "We deliver quality and honesty at an affordable price, between 25-60 baht. We can survive no matter how tough the crisis is, and we have never laid off employees or even cut their salaries during the Covid-19. Moreover, we have been growing in the OEM business," said Mr. Akares. Beating the 10-billion-baht market  The 10-billion-baht cosmetic herb market has highly intense competition but the company is confident to earn some 10% market share within three years through its network of over 9,000 dealers and more than 10,000 branches of…

dtac’s mission to support migrant workers amid the pandemic

Since December 2020, several COVID-19 outbreaks have flared up within migrant communities. The Central Shrimp Market of Samut Sakhon was the first epicenter, triggering a full lockdown of the region. dtac, as the leading mobile operator among foreign workers, sensed this would pose connectivity and everyday life challenges to affected customers in the region. dtac responded with Cambodian and Burmese-language health advisories, care packages and special top-ups to ensure foreign workers could stay connected affordably. To better understand the situation on the ground, dtacblog sat down with Lalida Lohachitanond, head of the migrant segment team and two of its members from Myanmar, Aung Aung Htut and Aye Nanda Soe. First Responders “When the outbreak emerged in Samut Sakhon in late December, we realized our customers were suffering deeply from its impact,” said Ms. Lalida. “Our first response was providing official health advisories translated into Burmese and Cambodian through our online communities on Facebook.” Currently, dtac Myanmar’s Facebook page has around 1.8 million followers, while dtac Cambodia has approximately 200,000 followers. Apart from acting as a bridge to necessary information, dtac Myanmar and dtac Cambodia also provided useful tips for daily life during the lockdown. “When the lockdown was imposed, migrant…

5G IoT Boosts Smart Water Management

The World Resources Institute predicts that climate change and floods could cost 17 trillion USD (approximately 511 trillion Baht) to world economies by the year 2030. The impact of climate change causes more severe droughts which impact industries worldwide, especially water-intensive industries. Without robust water management or a lack of wastewater recycling, a shortage of water could be inevitable. Water is an essential resource in manufacturing industries and is used in many forms, the first of which is raw water - the basis for producing processed water. Highly refined demineralized water is used in many industries including power generation, petrochemicals, electronics, and food. Water used in manufacturing processes is called wastewater and needs to go through wastewater treatment as per the Industry Ministry standard. Wastewater standards include conditions such as pH levels in the range of 5.5 – 9.0, a temperature of no more than 40 Celsius, and chemical contamination within standard parameters. Droughts can cause factories to reduce their water use and impact the water pH level. Keeping wastewater within standards requires high-precision recycling treatments. A study revealed that the wastewater treatment industry has been growing by more than 10% per year.* Wastewater Reclamation for Sustainable Water Resources in…

To build more robots, dtac is counting on all its people

Internal competition challenges employees with no IT skills to build automation software dtac has set a goal of 100 percent automation for repetitive, rule-based processes by 2023. All employees can build helper robots no matter their IT skill level.Participating employees have positive attitudes towards automation. dtac recently held a botathon, a “robot hacking marathon” where employees race to build software automating the most tedious parts of their work. The competition kicked off dtac’s bold plans to automate 100 percent of repetitive, rule-based tasks by 2023. More importantly, it helped to dispel myths about automation in the workplace. Robot Builders Wanted Robot Process Automation (RPA) consists of building software that can automatically complete human tasks. Although a hot business trend, it also stokes fears of headcount reductions in employees—particularly among those who don’t feel particularly IT savvy. The dtac botathon stressed that no IT knowledge was required to participate and start building robots. And that humans are the key to successful automation.dtacblog sat down with organizers and participants of the botathon to better understand what it’s like to hand over your work to a robot. And why doing so may not be the self-sabotage we fear it to be.Rungtip Suptaweewattana works in dtac’s…

Thai SME Tanakul Workgroup pivots to flexible, connected work to stay ahead of the unprecedented challenges

Thailand’s small and medium enterprises have had to leapfrog into advanced connectivity solutions due to the unprecedented challenges of 2020. Without the IT teams or budgets of large enterprises, they must keep their employees and customers safely connected, collaborate in the cloud and maintain uninterrupted digital lines of communication. One such company is Tanakul Workgroup, specializing in custom signage and exhibition space design. Their work requires holding to tight deadlines and working across multiple locations. “Due to short deadlines, a large part of our work is carried out at night. For some projects we even have to build a temporary office at the site. There is a constant need for round-the-clock mobile connectivity between our team members, in order to share large files or conduct video conferences,” said Sermsak Sripongtanakul, Managing Director of Tanakul Workgroup. Innovation Leadership Founded in a small shophouse in 1944, Tanakul Workgroup currently includes four companies and 360 employees split between fieldwork and a 12,800 sqm. factory located on Rama II Rd. The group, which is managed by the Sripongtanakul brothers, provides a one-stop service in product display, event and exhibition design, interior design, and custom-built signage. You can spot their work in the signs at…

dtac’s Photos of the Year

The year 2020 has been repeatedly described as unprecedented—and Time Magazine even dubbed it “the worst year ever”. But it’s also been an opportunity to reflect on our priorities in life.More than ever before, dtac’s twin purposes of “Connecting you to what matters most” and “Empowering societies,” have felt critical to Thailand.As 2020 ends, dtacblog has compiled images retracing some of the year’s defining moments. Think of it as one last look in the rearview mirror as 2021 brings a fresh start. “We were on the frontlines,” Wasan Chanplab, Head of Field Network Operations BMA at dtac.Picture 1 : At the height of the April 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in Thailand, the Field Network Operations BMA’s team rushed to Siriraj Hospital to perform service maintenance. Not only dtac’s network teams worked tirelessly to ensure doctors, nurses and other hospital staff remained connected, but dtac would go on to partner with Siriraj Hospital to onboard chronic patients to the Siriraj Connect application.“We couldn’t let COVID-19 disrupt dtac services—particularly in a hospital. Our team worked even harder to ensure the network was fine. There is no day off in such a crisis. We are on standby round the clock. And we are proud…

dtac CEO: zero corruption is fundamental to dtac’s right to operate

Many businesses require a specific license to operate, be it an architecture firm, a hospital or a large restaurant. As CEO of dtac, I work in an industry where the licensing process is particularly stringent and touches on almost every aspect of our business, from the installation of base stations to the rights governing our use of Thailand’s airwaves. But the license I value the most is dtac’s social license. And it is my firm belief that fighting corruption is fundamental to dtac’s right to operate. FREE AND INVALUABLE What is a social license? Unlike government issued licenses, a social license to operate is not a piece of paper. It refers to acceptance of our company’s right to operate by all our stakeholders: the general public, our customers, the media, the government, our shareholders, our employees, etc. And in observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 on December 9, 2020, I wanted to share how dtac strives to maintain its social license to operate through strict policies against all forms of graft and influence. For spectrum alone, dtac has committed to over 100 billion baht in payments to the Thai government in the last three years. But unlike spectrum licenses,…