Asian Major Fishmeal plants producer: A&S Thai Works

     A&S Thai Works Co., Ltd. manufactures and supplies fishmeal plants and machineries for Asia, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and factories in the Pacific.
     Mr Sverre Golten came to Thailand in 1984 on the assignment from the Atlas-Stord in Norway to establish an office in the Kingdom.
     “We were only four employees. At the time it was only sales office. I thought I would be here for a couple of years. Then four years later we joined a Thai manufacturing company.” Says Mr Golten, who later married a Thai wife now has three children.
     After the Focus of the Atlas-Stord head office in Norway shifted to the market in Europe and America. Mr Golten was asked to take over the office in Thailand in 1998 then changed the name to A&S Thai Works.
     “I was scared at the beginning because all the responsibilities would come to one person. However the company already had a good management model from the company in Norway which made it easier to start with.” Mr Golten says.
     The problem started with the ASTW gradually losing the Thai market. The competitors copied the machines and sold the lower quality in a much lower price. In the mean time developing export market was successful. As a result, the Thai market is out of necessity.
     “We have to maintain the high quality of our machines even though our prices are higher than other competitors. So we tend to focus on the oversea markets.”
     However, the approval and acceptance from the oversea markets were rigid, the good product proved itself. After a while the fishmeal machines from ASTW became the sign of quality.
     It does not mean that Thai market is not active. The latest plant sold was in Thailand for the tuna canner Kingfisher.
     ASTW held the official opening party for the new factory and office in Samut Prakarn province, Thailand on November 24, 2004. The new factory is larger and enables the company to increase the production capacity.
     Moreover, the ASTW also has a sales office in Vietnam. The customers are mostly from Southeast Asia, mainly from Vietnam and some from Indonesia.
     “Last couple of year was difficult for us, of course for every business, because of what is going on in Iraq. The oil price raised so as the manufacturing costs. New investors held back,” Mr Golten says.
     “I want the company to be able to survive the next economic crisis. So the aim of ASTW is not expansion but consolidation. It has to be stable and strong.”
     Mr Golten has been studying the oil price issue closely. He is preparing his factory for the next crisis by looking for an alternative energy source, the solar energy.
     “I started collecting solar cells panels because in the near future we will have to use the alternative energy sources. From the research I read, it will be less than a hundred years before we run out of oil.”

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