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Sustainability

How to manage stress and maintain positive energy during COVID-19?

During the unprecedented time of COVID-19, people are more concerned about their physical health to prevent infections – using face masks, cleaning hands often with soap or hand sanitizer. Besides, people are unconsciously suffering mental health problems with fear, stress and anxiety. According to data from the department of mental health, it showed that around 73.91% of Thais have moderate mental health problems, followed by mild illness at 20.37% and severe level at 5.72%. The survey was made weekly between Mar 24 and May 24 with 1,500 respondents. Additionally, Thailand are facing the growing trend of suicide rates, increasing from 6.03 from 2018 to 6.64 in late last year. (The figure is per 100,000 people) Those numbers flag an urgency of how people to cope with mental health crisis during this tough time. In an interview, Pichai Ittasakul, the secretary general at The Psychiatric Association of Thailand (PAT), discusses about the current situation of mental health, symptoms development of mental illness and how to develop and maintain positive energy during COVID-19 time. How is the current situation of Thais’ mental health? The increasing numbers of news reports about suicidal incidents during this unprecedented time can identify the rise of mental…

dtac launches online learning platform to build children’s digital resilience

June 2, 2020 - dtac is boosting children’s immunity to online threats through a new e-learning platform titled "Class for Super Kids,” which offers tutorials on technologies such as artificial intelligence or data visualization, in addition to building up their understanding of online threats. The Class for Super Kids – which launched today - is focused on creating responsible netizens while ensuring they can safely benefit from new technologies. After registering at learn.safeinternet.camp, children can access eight classes which last roughly one hour each. They can study at their own pace. The project is part of dtac’s Safe Internet mission, now in its fifth year. For 2020, the Safe Internet project is focusing on respecting sexual diversity, in response to a rise in online bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth, 80 percent of whom have reported that they have been victims of bullying. On-Uma Vattanasuk Rerkpattanapipat, dtac’s Head of Communication & Sustainability, said, “The Class for Super Kids project is designed to give knowledge and skills that aren’t currently taught in school. These skills are essential for children and teens, given that they spend nine hours or more on the online world on average.” With these…

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…

How kids fix their online problems by themselves—and why it can be a problem

Youth have the highest internet penetration rates of 89.8% in Thailand thanks to a firm foundation of connectivity across the nation. When it comes to the use of technology, however, they are classified as a vulnerable group due to the lack of digital literacy, leading to a number of online risks. UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, identifies five groups of online risks; content risk, contact risk, commercial risk, conduct risk and time-consuming risk. “When it comes to the use of technology, digital literacy plays an integral role in promoting creative use and creating digital resilience. dtac as a part of digital ecosystem, we realize our role in promoting digital literacy in partnership with the government agencies and NGOs through Young Safe Internet Leader Camp, which is in its second edition already,” said On-uma Rerkpattanapipat, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at dtac. “Design thinking” is adopted as a core structure of learning curve development, unlocking youth participants’ potential to truly understand the root cause of those problems in many prospects. Additionally, dtac also provided initial funding for project scaleup. Let’s have a look at those three of the ten projects…

dtac reopens 5 dtac halls

As per dtac’s strict regulations pertaining to COVID-19, five shops, know as dtac halls, were temporarily closed Feb 27-Mar 13, due to possible exposure to returning visitors of at-risk countries. After a 14-day quarantine, all employees show no sign of COVID-19. And the shops were fully sanitized before reopening. The dtac halls are located at Central Rayong, Central Westgate, Central Nakhon Si Thammarat, Central Rama 3 and Central Surat Thani. dtac has very strict regulations for employees which impose two-week self-quarantine for any visitors of at-risk countries, daily temperature checks, and obligatory face masks for all customer-facing personel. More details on dtac Internal Regulations Pertaining to Coronavirus (Covid-19) Containment here. In addition to making hand sanitizer available for all employees and customers, dtac cleans shops with sanitizer on a daily basis. dtac Hall at Centra Suratthani dtac Hall at Centra Rayong dtac Hall at Centra Nakhon Si Thammarat  

King Rama V’s great great granddaughter follows him to Norway

For a few days only, the historic Customs House on the Chao Phraya riverfront is open to visitors. Previously an office to levy taxes on traders entering and exiting the country, it is briefly transformed into an exhibition space for occasionally for the “Hundred Years Between”, celebrating the 115th anniversary of Thailand-Norway diplomatic relations. The photo exhibition features the vastness of the Norwegian landscape taken by Thanphuying Sirikitiya Jensen, the great, great granddaughter of King Rama V. She retraced the late king’s footsteps in the Norwegian landscapes which his majesty recounted so wondrously in letters to his daughter. In addition to her photography, she wrote letters to the king, an illusory dialogue that sparks existential contemplation. “This photo exhibition may not exactly follow King Chulalongkorn’s visit to Norway place by place. But the heart of my travel in Norway this time is to reflect on the key idea of his [King Chulalongkorn’s] visit and that is the exploration of the nature in forging ancestral connections that traverse both time and space. And coincidentally, the Customs House was also the reception venue for the return of his visit to Europe,” said Thanphuying Sirikitaya. “Thailand and Norway share a deep connection and…

As dtac announces Q4 growth, its executives share their 2019 turning points

dtac just revealed a second consecutive quarter of growth (read about it here). We asked its executives to look back on 2019 and share their personal view on dtac’s turning point. Alexandra Reich, Chief Executive Officer “I felt the second quarter of 2019 was a major turning point for dtac. After a very rough Q1, it was the first time we saw the numbers reflect all the hard work we had put into improving the network experience. Churn decreased and complaints were half what they had been in October 2018, at the height of our end of concession transition. At the same time, dtac’s teams really unleashed their inner giants in a passionate hackathon where over a hundred of our colleagues participated. In addition to launching our first squads working according the agile methodology, it was the very beginning of our change story.” Dilip Pal, Chief Financial Officer “My strong belief is that the turning point for dtac is when we renewed our focus on the customer’s point of view. For example, we switched from internal network metrics to a granular measure of network NPS [net promoter score, a customer satisfaction score]. This brought up several problems that we had…

What if crowdsourcing could make Thai children love school

INSKRU is a platform to empower Thai teachers with better course material—and 2019 is the year it really took off! Chalipa Dulyakorn, a graduate from Chulalongkorn University in industrial design, is passionate about teaching. But she also feels traditional classes fail to grab Thai students’ interest and imagination. In 2017, she started INSKRU, an online platform that equips Thai teachers with more engaging course materials. This year, it made learning more enjoyable for over one million students. “I wanted to do something impactful. Something I could continue doing after I graduated. My goal is to make students happier and more active in class, but it’s a difficult task for teachers. I saw a need for a platform where they can share and further develop ideas,” she explains. INSKRU provides a blogging platform for teachers to share their pedagogical techniques and success stories with others. The online community also inspires them to create fun and engaging learning environments. Ideas can range from teaching English tenses through a lip sync battle to learning about social roles from popular music videos. But Chalipa says the ideas also need to be relevant and practical to follow. “The coolest ideas often belong to teachers from…

The Dream Team Reinventing the Customer Feedback Loop

They joined a hackathon out of curiosity and ended up building a world first that puts customers at the heart of dtac’s network improvements. Thapakorn Dokmai, Wanchan Islargumpot, Akebordin Duangphoommes, Orraphan Saengsawat, Sirin Pakdeesrisakda, and Montree Monkhetkorn are all dtac employees, but they come from completely different backgrounds and divisions, from marketing to software development. What brought them together was a “hackathon,” a three-day workshop to brainstorm ideas, prototype them, and pitch them to a jury—which in this case, included very big names from Thailand’s startup scene. Ten months later, their project, a complete outlier in the global telecoms industry, launched in its trial phase. “When the team first met, we didn’t know exactly how dtac would make the improvements it promised,” says Thapakorn. “But with the launch of the ‘never stop’ tagline, we felt it was a strong show of honesty and commitment. It showed dtac was here to stay and fight back!” With that in mind, Tapakorn and the team set out to tackle their number one concern: how dtac deals with customer complaints about network quality. “We’d hear grumbling from friends and family. But there was no easy way to know exactly where they had encountered a…

An architect’s story of escaping burnout to follow his passion

In 2019, architectural photographer Chaovarith Poonphol took big risks to reach for his dream job. Chaovarith Poonphol was an architect at A49, Thailand’s most renowned architectural firm. He worked there for seven years, starting as an intern before moving up the ranks to senior architect. In parallel, he was becoming an increasingly sought-after architectural photographer. The pressures of both jobs piling up, he suffered a major burnout. This is the story of how he bounced back and landed in the field of his dreams. “For three years I had been thinking about quitting my job to become a photographer. But I wasn’t sure if I could make a living out of it. Eventually, there were more and more people coming to me with photography work, and I started getting calls from people being recommended by my previous clients. It started too look like I could really make this my job, but the pressure of having two jobs started to take its toll,” says Chaovarith. Back then, Chaovarith was a full-time architect on weekdays and a freelance photographer on weekends, shooting the hottest new buildings around the country. As his freelance career took off, his work appeared in several magazines and…

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