By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
“In 2017, we plan to expand our exports into China as well as the AEC (Asean Economic Community) market,” CEO Charoen Rujirasopon said yesterday.
“Besides, the company is now working on establishing a fish ball factory in Myanmar in a joint venture with a local partner,” he said, adding that the plant will be located in Yangon and expected to be operational in the second quarter of next year.
The company will own 49 per cent of the JV. It is now drafting the memorandum of understanding for the project.
Mahachai has produced fish balls in Thailand for more than 40 years, but about 80 per cent of its sales are from exports to markets including Europe and Australia, which were opened at the beginning of this year. The company’s Thai factory, located in the Mahachai port area of Samut Sakhon, is now running at only 70 per cent of full capacity due to a shortage of raw materials.
“Our Myanmar partner has got the licence to catch fish in Myanmar’s territorial waters,” he said.
Nowadays, the market was highly competitive since there are many people in the same business in almost every province. “However, we will keep our strength as the supplier of high quality products at reasonable prices.
“Also, all of our business partners hold great confidence in us along with the high level of customer loyalty towards our brand. These are the reasons why we have been the leader in Thailand with a 80-per-cent market share in the modern trade channel,” he said.
Mahachai posted Bt865 million in sales last year and targets about Bt1 billion this year. It expects to grow its sales by 13-15 per cent next year.
“A part of our growth next year will be driven by the launch of fish skin snacks, the company’s latest product line, which is forecast to generate about 10 per cent of our total revenue in 2017,” he said.
The company always runs its business by applying the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s sufficiency economy philosophy.
“With the King’s philosophy, we will not over-expand the business if it exceeds our ability since it’s not a sustainable way of growing a business and can lead to the business’ collapse in the end.”