Renewable Energy Producer Gunkul Dhumrongpiyawut Returns To The List Of Thailand’s 50 Richest Recharged By A New Business


This story is portion of Forbes’ protection of Thailand’s Richest 2022. See the total record right here.

Thailand has develop into the first Asian region to decriminalize non-leisure use of hashish. Between the very first movers in this enterprise is Gunkul Engineering, a single of the country’s major renewable strength producers. The corporation has earmarked an investment of 2 billion baht ($57 million) for cultivation and output of health-related-quality hashish that can also be used in cosmetics and food items. To kickstart the venture, Gunkul Engineering has teamed up with the Charoen Pokphand Group, owned by the Chearavanont brothers, to produce hemp seeds strains and cannabidiol-infused food stuff and beverage items.

These moves have produced buyers bullish on the company’s prospective clients. Its shares rose 8% in the earlier calendar year, returning its founder and chairman Gunkul Dhumrongpiyawut to the ranks of the country’s 50 richest just after a four-yr hiatus with a web worthy of of $765 million.

Seated in the 8th ground boardroom of the company’s company headquarters at Pearl Bangkok, an office tower that seems to be quite identical to The Gherkin in London, chairman Gunkul calls this new business “the prospect of the 10 years.” He’s flanked by his spouse Sopacha Dhumrongpiyawut and the company’s CEO, Somboon Aueatchasai, who with each other run the working day-to-day operations. (His daughter Naruechon is the company’s chief operating officer.)

The organization will be making use of the land all-around its windfarms for the venture. “Land is a byproduct of our wind power enterprise,” states Gunkul, who expects hemp to make $50 million in profits by upcoming yr. Sopacha provides that wanting for new options is section of her husband’s DNA, but he begins a new undertaking only when he’s “90% confident of achievement.”

Gunkul created his organization from scratch. The fifth of 7 little ones, his father owned a tiny store marketing design resources in Bangkok. Although his siblings were diligent, Gunkul suggests he was never ever significantly of a college student and dropped out of college as a teen to function at his father’s shop. At age 18, he approached the city’s energy authority supplying to supply machines. But his organization received likely only a ten years later in 1982, when he established up his company.

In 1992, he took a bank financial loan of 2 million baht and bought into production to get benefit of a governing administration plan featuring a 14% price tag top quality for domestically manufactured products. Location up his initial factory was arduous and led to “many sleepless nights,” he remembers. It was challenging to come across the appropriate persons and some workers left to begin a rival business enterprise.

Gunkul’s expansion into renewable energy came about when he secured a agreement from the Electrical power Generating Authority of Thailand in 2007 to set up a wind turbine. “I recognized this could be a very good business enterprise that could begin supplying returns rapidly,” he describes. The firm received into photo voltaic followed by wind, securing a raft of corporate shoppers these kinds of as Charoen Pokphand Foods, element of the CP Team.

Practically a decade ago, Gunkul Engineering began to extend abroad with renewable energy tasks in Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. The firm has since offered two of its 4 projects in Japan, and Gunkul says for now his primary emphasis is on the domestic market place. Keen to scale up its current potential of 642 megawatts, Gunkul Engineering in May possibly shaped a joint undertaking with a subsidiary of billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Vitality Enhancement. This aims to insert 1,000 megawatts in excess of the next five several years.

The future expansions are expected to arrest a modern earnings slide. To start with-quarter web income fell 17% to 505 million baht when revenue stayed flat at 2.3 billion baht, subsequent full-12 months declines of 35% and 10%, respectively, in 2021. Suwat Sinsadok, head of analysis at FSS Intercontinental Investment Advisory Securities, expects web earnings and revenue to leap 73% to 3.8 billion baht and 32% to 12.3 billion baht, respectively, in 2022 and predicts stable yearly will increase as a result of 2024.

Gunkul, who grows durian at his farm close to the beach front vacation resort town of Hua Hin—and who is also a really serious wine connoisseur with a collection that he outlets in Hong Kong—is self-assured the corporation can grow revenue by 50% in excess of the upcoming 5 many years, “I’m currently wanting for the following possibility.”


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