On September 3, 2018, the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce welcomed Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen, as its new Executive Director, taking over after Katarina Ekelund who has left the position after little over a year.
Dr Pojanath is Bangkokian by birth but grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden. She moved to England to pursue her studies and received a PhD in Politics at Newcastle University in 2009. In 2010, she joined a multi-disciplinary team at Durham University to conduct postdoctoral research on tipping points with particular focus on diffusion of innovation.
Pojanath explains further what this research actally means: “Tipping points refer to both social and natural phenomena in which small changes over time lead to big and often irreversible systemic changes, for instance financial crisis, climate change or the popularization of ideas and products. Our studies on diffusion of innovation examined how new ideas spread and become popular or reaching their tipping points.”
Pojanath permanently moved back to Thailand in 2015 to work for Chaturong Cooling, a Thai OEM (original equipment manufacturer). During this time, she has gained experience in business development, sales and marketing as well as organisational management skills. She hopes her knowledge of the Thai business environment combined with her understanding of Swedish values and culture will further contribute to the work of TSCC.
“As a collective network TSCC plays an important role in providing a voice to protect and advance the interests of Swedish businesses in Thailand which in turn strengthens trade relations and benefits both countries. The Executive Director role represents a great opportunity to be a part of this process by acting as a bridge for different interests and cultures,” believes Pojanath.
Pojanath states that her biggest challenge will be how to best support the Board of Governors in addressing long-term structural issues affecting the Swedish business community, such as local bureaucracy, the lack of high-skilled labour and other constraints put on Swedish companies working in Thailand.
Initially, her priority will be to continue the work of TSCC in proactively creating knowledge-sharing programs and networking activities which will help current TSCC members explore the opportunities in the Thai market and strengthen their position in the 4.0 economy as well as appeal to and attract new members.
“I very much look forward to working in a multi-cultural environment and collaborating with all the TSCC members, the Embassy of Sweden, Business Sweden in Thailand and local authorities. I’m also very excited about building on the excellent cooperation with the other Nordic Chambers and other joint chambers to widen the network. Any suggestions or advice from members of the Thai-Swedish business community and Team Sweden are most welcome.”
“Katarina Ekelund, who is leaving us after excellent collaboration, will be assisting with the transition period to ensure a smooth hand-over. Questions and inquiries can be sent to [email protected]”