Property industry in Thailand

Following the 1997 economic crisis, Sansiri faced a heavy debt burden and succeeded in restructuring it by taking on a new strategic partner, Natural Park. Even though Natural Park has since sold its stake in Sansiri, Meytha’s job soon after joining the property developer was to disseminate information about the company’s financial state and explain Sansiri’s business to its investors. “That was an easy job for me, and it allowed me to understand the business of the real-estate sector,” he says. Two years after joining Sansiri, Meytha was appointed managing director of a subsidiary firm, Plus Property, which had three business units, covering property management, brokerage and property advice.

One year later, in 2005, Meytha was appointed CEO of Plus Property, and at last he had the means with which to prove the value of his business models, to measure the risks in the property business and manage those risks according to his own reckoning.

At the time he became Plus Property CEO, the company had begun to expand its business from property-management, brokerage and property-advisory services into property development in its own right, by launching townhouse and condominium projects. Its goal was to become one of the top three brands for townhouse and condominium developments for the middle-income market, while parent company Sansiri remained focused on detached-housing projects and condominiums for the high-end market. “I cannot say this is the result of my work,” Meytha says. “When I started to run the business, I was concerned about the team that would handle business, about following our business policy. I cannot do everything myself. I needed teamwork, including a construction team, a design team, a marketing team etc. The strong growth of the business is the result of my team’s work.” He says that although he did not graduate in architecture or engineering, he believed that when he learned how to run the business and had trust in his team, he could drive the firm to achieve its goals.

“I cannot say, yet, that I have achieved my goals, but I have proven I can manage business risks when I analyse the kind of risks I face. And that answers the questions I kept asking myself as a younger man,” he says. Meytha says the next ambition he has in his working life is to foster trust for the property industry. One of the newest player in Property industry in Thailand is listing villas and condos all over in Thailand. Plus Property’s annual revenue has spiralled from Bt700 million in 2004 to an estimated Bt4.3 billion this year.

“I cannot change everything in the industry, but I believe if I can create a standard for my business, and home-buyers show their trust in my business, then other property firms will be driven to follow my business model. This is the newest goal for my professional life,” he says.