Arne Christensen is an “old man” in Thailand, so to speak, as he has been in the country for 16 years now.
Long ago he started his Thai career working for Danish company Carnitech, which’s primary business was processing of tiger prawns.
“As you probably know intensive farming of prawns in preformed in Thailand. 16 years ago the whole prawns were sent to Denmark encapsulated in large ice blocks and processed there. In a good case only 45 percent of a whole prawn is useable for food; the rest is useless. So farmers were along with the prawns exporting a lot of water and waste, and this cost money.
“So Carnitech thought why not do the processing in Thailand,” Arne remembers.
“We sold a gigantic project out here, and I was put in charge, but it was too early. Back then the main marked was still based in ocean going trawlers fishing the prawns and not in-country production, so we never really got the project off the ground,” Arne remembers and finishes the story with smile saying “oh well on with life”.
“So Carnitech had to cut down costs, and I was their highest cost at that time.”
Continued into air
When Arne was deemed too costly at Carnitech it didn’t take him long before he again held a job. To his luck Nordfab, a company probably better known under their current name Danterm which produces air cleaning facilities, was starting up business in Thailand.
“They needed more service and presence, so along with another Dane I got the job of setting them up in Thailand.”
Arne spend seven years with Danterm, when he one day received an offer to take up the position as CEO at Sabroe.
Sabroe is a Danish company producing industrial coolers. Here he resided for four years, until the company was taken over by American “York”.
“My mentality and American bosses don’t work together, so it ended with a reshuffle in management,” Arne says plainly.
After leaving York is was back to the prawns again. Carnitech which’s Thailand operations had been on stand by had been revived, as the company saw an opportunity in sell cooling equipment to the industry.
This time around Arne’s relationship with Carnitech lasted for three years until the company was taken over by Icelandic Marel. They used the principle that local management was the best, so Arne was off again.
“At this time we came to the point where Marius kept his word and offered me the position here,” Arne says with a smile.
Sitting inside the icebox, where Marius started Scanmach Arne allows himself a smile, as he sums up the story of his career.
“You know,” he starts with an ironic smile.
“When people ask me for recommendations from my former employers, I can only answer that I was always recommended to leave.”