Change or Perish
Hayden Hsu | Date:
We started in the 1970s, selling office automation products (hence the company name). About 15 years ago, we began to dabble in physical security, with Samsung Techwin cameras. It was not easy selling the security surveillance concept and breaking into new market segments, so we approached hotels and condominiums with existing, old equipment (mostly European, American and Japanese brands) and looking to replace or upgrade.
Then came an opportunity for change; the Bank of Thailand issued a mandate requiring all commercial banks to install security cameras and systems. We won two projects, each with about 900 branches nationwide, and became known as a system integration specialist in physical, electronic security. The success stories helped Bangkok OA secure other prominent retail accounts with national presence, and the boost of extra cash flow also allowed the company to extend its reach into neighboring countries Laos, Vietnam and Bangladesh in 2000.
Three years ago, another change came as Samsung restructured internally; we transformed from a system integrator to a value-added distributor, by providing even better project support, knowledge transfer and profit-sharing models. We will also be working closely with Vantech from Vietnam, to promote the brand throughout the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC, Thailand and Indonesia first). The partnership can even go beyond security, to other home appliances and electronics.
Chinese brands have significant penetration rates in AEC, but we believe it's a very high-potential market that can fuel the emergence of local brands like Vantech. We have the upper hand in local knowledge, connections and credibility. Thailand comes first, but the region is for us to grab and grow.