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How Thai business are relying on connectivity to bounce back

This is a guest post from Rajiv Bawa, Chief Business Officer at dtac. After months of lockdown, casual face-to-face interactions are back. Meeting with clients in a more relaxed setting has allowed me to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them and how they’re fighting back. We dubbed these interactions “Delight Moments,” as they allowed us to show our empathy for the difficulties businesses are enduring right now. They’ve all had to pivot and reinvent themselves in different ways. But one common theme is that their view of mobile connectivity is forever changed. The lockdown triggered the realization that organizations can keep on functioning despite their people working from home. The amount of mobility may vary for each industry, but everyone now believes that being flexible and mobile is a critical need that isn’t going away. And they see a need for new tools to do this well. For some industries, such as logistics, machine to machine communications can bring much needed efficiencies to cope with the surge in e-Commerce. And we are also seeing a heightened need for secured networks outside of the office. That being said, basic mobile connectivity remains the top requirement for all our partners.…

The Growing Role of Connectivity for Hospitals in the COVID Era

At the end of January, there was a rumor on the social media that a COVID-19-infected Chinese tourist was receiving treatment at Rajathanee Hospital, the largest private hospital in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province. The fake news was spreading fear and panic among many locals and the hospital’s patients. “Once the rumor spread, we received calls and texts from our doctors, medical staff, and patients non-stop. We had to use every communication channel to inform the public the right information, from the patient LINE group, text messages, to our Facebook page. If we didn’t immediately communicate, it would have caused great damage to the hospital. Efficient communication tools helped us through the crisis,” said Surin Prasithirun, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Rajathanee Hospital.  Rajathanee Hospital was founded in 1992 by a team of doctors from the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University as they saw a lack of basic health services in the area, where many factories and industrial estates are located. It is the first private hospital in the province and is today well-known for specialized medical centers, from orthopedic center, minimal invasive surgery center, oncology clinic, cardiology center, to accident and emergency center. The hospital also plans to…

Connectivity’s role in fighting COVID-19

As the global tally for declared COVID-19 cases nears six million, Thailand has emerged relatively unscathed. Credit is being given to a public health strategy that effectively coordinated medical workers and the cutting-edge technology. dtac bloghad spoke to two key players at the Department of Disease Control (DDC), the main government agency in flattening the curve: Thanarak Plipat, its deputy chief, and Phathai Singkham, Head of Disease Prevention and Health Innovation Center. The mission to flatten the curve Thanarak Plipat said the public health strategy to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 rests on four pillars: prevention, surveillance, treatment and control. Prevention involves mitigating the virus’s spread by encouraging adequate hygiene  such as frequently washing hands with water and soap, wearing a face mask, avoiding groups of people, eating hot food and using serving spoons for shared dishes. The information campaigns were targeted even more intensively in workers housing, migrant communities and elderly hospices. Surveillance is the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of health data for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs. This also includes active surveillance, which involves monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease in order to establish the patterns of disease…

Our ultimate #SaveStreetFood pick: the authentic Chinese flavors of Hokkee Pochana

It has been more than two months after the spread of the novel coronavirus entered to Thailand, resulting in the government’s lockdown and social distancing measures. Restaurants and street food stalls are among those who got affected economically. We have seen a lot of business adaptation to survive. But one thing that still remains in their hearts is delivering happiness through food. dtac, as a member of the Samyan neighborhood’s community, is fulfilling our mission to connect people to what matters most by featuring the area’s most delicious foodie spots in the series #SaveStreetFood throughout May. And the last episode goes to the legendary Chinese shophouse restaurant, Hokkee Pochana. What makes this 40-year old-fashion eatery become famous is the aromatic five spice goose or Haan Phalo. Malida Mongkholchaiwiwat, the owner of Hokkee Pochana, told dtac blog: “The restaurant is founded by my dad, Hong-Ieng Sae-Low. His job is a chef in Chinese restaurant in Shan Tou City, a coastal city along South China sea. When he sought migration to Thailand in 18th century, he brought his Chinese culinary skills to survive in Thailand as a fish maw soup hawker. A few years later, he found a good location to operate…

Jeh Na kitchen: Sea to table freshness at affordable prices

Samyan is a century-old community of Thai Chinese in central Bangkok. One of the neighborhood’s iconic landmarks is Samyan fresh market, which has been here for four decades at one of the busiest roads in Bangkok. Given the area’s gentrification, Samyan market has been relocated next to Chulalongkorn stadium. The two-story market features a great selection of tropical fruits and fresh seafood produces at affordable prices. It is normally vibrant with crowds of students and office workers in the afternoon and evening, emerging a wide range of renowned dishes, such as a huge portions thick bacon in Thai style and Pad Muen Li (stir-fried glass noodles with a mix of seafood and Thai kales seasoned by chili oil). This reinforces its position as a food heaven. One of the most renowned restaurants here is “Jeh Na kitchen” which means Big sister. It has been with Samyan market for more than 40 years since the establishment of the market. Hiran Ahikiat or Mhee, a founder of Jeh Na kitchen told dtac blog that: “I’ve been deeply associated with since I was born closed to the estuaries of the Chao Phraya River. I helped my dad prepare live edible crabs for sale.…

Keeping business connected to customers and employees despite COVID-19

The COVID-19 epidemic has had a devastating impact on businesses. Tourism must contend with a near-total travel ban. Global logistics have been disrupted by lockdown measures. Shopping malls and restaurants have faced weeks-long closures. And consumer confidence is at a record low. With thousands of small, medium and large enterprise clients, dtac has seen firsthand the many struggles businesses must face during this difficult time. In dtac’s Business Group, Chinthanadit Pornsirikiat, an assistant manager, has a client portfolio of around 100 clients in a wide range of sectors, and all were affected. BETTER DIGITAL SERVICES “My first impulse was to reach out and ask them how they were coping with the situation. While we’re practicing social distancing and remote working, staying connected is so important. We should keep them connected. It goes beyond provider-client relationships. We go through good times and bad times together and we’ll survive together,” he said. Indeed, many businesses rely on direct contact and dtac’s shops for service—many of which were shutdown throughout March and April. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 80 percent of customers relied on shops to make payments. With the support of people like Mr. Chinthanadit, business owners quickly discovered other channels could be equally,…

dtac CEO: “Supporting Thailand in the New Normal”

Dear customers, The threat of COVID-19 infections will end one day, although it will be many months. Even so, we are in a new normal that is here to stay no matter what: Digital channels will grow even more quickly than we had anticipated. Certain forms of social distancing measures will remain indefinitely. Recovering from the COVID-19’s economic impact will take a long time. Change is always scary but dtac responded to the COVID-19 situation quickly and effectively. And we will continue to do so. DIGITAL CHANNELS In March, dtac saw an explosion in the use of productivity apps like Zoom and Office 365. Usage of the dtac app also grew by 30 percent since the emergency decree, while daily user on dtac.co.th increased by 40% for the same period (March 25-April 23). We supported these changes with numerous measures for our customers: New packages with free data on productivity apps that are essential to Thailand’s economy. Incentives for new users of the dtac app, such as free data. Contingency measures to both maintain and continue developing our network. On the last point, dtac can continue to operate its Network Operation Center even if our headquarters were shut down. (In…

The dtac call center agents supporting Siriraj Hospital’s patients

“Hello there! I’m calling you from Siriraj Hospital. Have you ever tried the telehealth service from Siriraj Hospital?” Thus begins the dtac call agent’s pitch to a patient with a chronic health condition. She’s not calling to help them with their dtac subscription, but has volunteered to support Siriraj Hospital, one of the country’s designated hospitals to receive COVID-19 patients, on a mission to encourage patients to employ digital channels that are safer and less resource-intensive for the hospital’s staff. “As the spread of the deadly virus continues, general patients and those with chronic disease are recommended to avoid face-to-face interaction because they’ll risk getting infections, especially at Siriraj Hospital. Therefore, online medical consultations are encouraged for patients during this time,” said Visit Wamwanich, director of Siriraj Hospital. Siriraj Hospital is the oldest hospital in Thailand, founded by King Chulalongkorn in 1888 with the aim at providing public health services. The spread of COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on various sectors, particularly medical and public health services. Providing the usual public health service during the COVID-19 crisis is a key mission for Siriraj Hospital. “That is why we developed Siriraj Connect, a telemedicine solution, providing medical services from…

House of Gold: A historic Thai restaurant survives the COVID era

The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak impacts people’s finances and lifestyles. Street food vendors and restaurants among those who are hugely affected during this difficult time due to social distancing measures. dtac, as a member of the Samyan neighborhood’s community, is fulfilling our mission to connect people to what matters most by featuring the area’s most delicious foodie spots in the series #SaveStreetFood. Ruen Urai may appear as an odd choice for our series. It serves fine Thai cuisine in an elegant ambience (Ruen Urai means House of Gold). But it too has had to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by whipping up boxed lunches at very reasonable prices—street food from a gourmet kitchen. Located just a five-minute walk from the dtac headquarters at Chamchuri Square Building, the restaurant is an “oasis” hidden in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Surrounded by a small garden, Ruen Urai itself is a century-old traditional Thai house, which was built in the central plains style with golden teak wood. Woraset Vitayakul is the current owner of Ruen Urai. His family’s two-rai compound includes the Rose Hotel and Rose Residence in addition to the restaurant. It can be accessed both via the alley…

Celebrated Architect and Foodie Duangrit Bunnag’s Favorite Bites

This post is contributed by prominent Thai architecture Duangrit Bunnag Over the past month of the city lockdown, many of you might have had a chance to improve your online shopping and food ordering skills through various mobile apps. I’m one of them who started using and practicing food ordering online and I’m now very good at it! And I believe once food restaurants are allowed to reopen and dine it, online food ordering habits will persist. These are my favorite spots to order from these days: Tang Hong Phochana Here is one of my top-of-mind eateries, Tang Hong Pochana. This Chinese shophouse serves Harn Palo (Chinese-style stewed goose). It’s perfectly paired with steamed rice. It’s also best ordered with a side of vegetables and soup; stir-fried kanaeng and Sichuan soup with pickled lettuce. It’s shame that the side dishes are not served through delivery. We might need to wait until the situation turns to normal. Sri Yan Beef Ball  It’s my favorite soup with beef balls. What I strongly recommend is vermicelli noodles with tendon beef balls. You should go double. Don’t forget to season with a half of spoon of chili and vinegar sauce. Superb! Four Seasons Chinese…