Even when faced with financial challenges, we were committed to preserving the company’s vision and the family’s legacy.
Mr. Chaiwat Luangamornlert, the founder of Siam Amazing Park, has been a successful business person since the 1960s. In his first entrepreneurial endeavors, he was among the first in Thailand to invest in breeding and marketing freshwater fish, followed by his entry into the real estate development market.
Recognized in Thailand as a true visionary, he became involved in the leisure and attractions sector in 1980, based on the strong belief that he could bring affordable and endless happiness to families in Thailand. He started this new journey with the opening of “Siam Amazing Park”, the first water and amusement park in Thailand. It has now succeeded in becoming a second-generation family business and one of the largest theme parks in southeast Asia.
The cultivation of an entrepreneurial family
Mr. Chaiwat has successfully instilled his entrepreneurial spirit throughout the family. He has also taken good care to ensure that his next-generation family members were well-prepared to become potential successors through their formal education, exposure to the business from an early age and by ensuring that they have had the opportunity to take roles in the company that fit their talents and personal interests.
His eldest son, Mr. Sittisak Luangamornlert, for example, was interested in technology and electronics since early childhood and his father provided full support for his interests, such as purchasing a computer for him to pursue his self-study interests. When he joined the business, Mr. Sittisak was the initiator of the company’s information technology system to improve the management of the park, increase efficiency and reduce costs by streamlining the ticketing process with new point-of-sale software.
The second son, Mr. Wuthichai Luangamornlert, had both a marketing vision and market development capabilities. After earning a master's degree from a university abroad, he joined the company and began standardizing service processes, enhancing the park’s brand and opening up new markets in China and western Asia. As the firm’s Managing Director, he continues to concentrate on raising the park’s visibility throughout the world and playing a lead role nationally among representatives of the amusement park industry.
The third second-generation family member to enter the business is Mr. Chaiwat’s daughter, Mrs. Jirawan Diskul Na Ayutthaya. She also completed a master's degree abroad and with her knowledge of finance, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s accounting and finance functions and implementing enhanced financial controls and cost-competitive procurement processes. An entrepreneur in her own right, Mrs. Jirawan had created her own retail and property rental businesses prior to joining the family firm and has succeeded in diversifying the park’s revenue with the introduction of new goods and services.
Protecting a legacy in challenging times
In 2008, Siam Amazing Park faced a number of financial and business challenges, some of which were a result of the financial crisis in Asia. One serious consideration for Mr. Chaiwat at that time was the potential sale of the business. The second generation was convinced, however, that the business could be turned around with the introduction of more contemporary management practices. The family was committed to maintaining the business and recognized the importance of the family’s vision to bring affordable entertainment and joy to the people of Thailand. It was a legacy that they were passionate about preserving.
Mr. Chaiwat consequently stepped aside from his operating position in the business and assumed an advisory and consultative role to help guide his successors. By doing so, he provided them with the room and authority to take the business forward in a bold and more contemporary direction.
With their international experience, this second generation of business leaders applied their knowledge, ability and the resilience they inherited from their father to take the accounting, finance, marketing and management of the park to a new level of sophistication. However, international competition among amusement parks was on the rise and Mr. Chaiwat assumed a more active role once again with the introduction of a new concept called "Siam City Bangkok", which would make use of the remaining land surrounding the Siam Amazing Park. The goal was to add an attraction that would recreate the landmarks and daily life of the residents of ancient Bangkok and increase overall park attendance.
An important part of Thailand's tourism strategy is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program to promote “One Tambon One Product” (OTOP) locally made and marketed products. Mr. Chaiwat had seen an example when visiting Japan where a village was built to sell local products. He saw the opportunity for a similar approach at “Siam City Bangkok” by including cultural products and promotional opportunities that would support rural villagers and help to simulate life in the old town.
The keys to unlocking intergenerational success
The second-generation of the Luangamornlert family has been successful due to the entrepreneurial environment in which they were raised and how the founder opened up the business landscape to them from an early age. With a new multi-billion-baht Siam City Bangkok project on the horizon, they are well-prepared to work side-by-side with their father to capture the next period of growth with the addition of Siam City Bangkok to the park.
The family believes that this intergenerational success has been built on three core principles:
- Visionary succession planning and a gradual process that took into account each family member’s interests, abilities, development and readiness.
- A focus on relationships with equal opportunities for the family and all employees.
- Maintaining good relationships and harmony in the family, emphasizing honor and acceptance.