By Somluck Srimalee
It plans to begin exporting next year under an investment budget of Bt15 million, aiming to double its sales value in the same year.
“We decided to resign from our jobs and use Bt2 million of our savings to open a restaurant on Chang Wattana Road in Bangkok 20 years ago, but it lost money, so we had to come back home to Nakhon Nayok province and try to see what we could do,” Preecha, 48, said in an interview with The Nation recently.
He said he saw a lot of people buying grilled pork from street food outlets every morning. They included students, working people and children.
“This made me realise that grilled pork and sticky rice were the fast foods of Thailand. As a result, I decided to borrow Bt20,000 from a loan shark, on which I had to pay 20 per cent interest, to establish my grilled-pork and sticky-rice business in my home province of Nakhon Nayok at the end of 2011,” Preecha said.
On the first day, Preecha enjoyed Bt2,000 in sales, and then his business began growing strongly, generating sales of Bt20,000 a day after four months.
After that, Preecha saw an opportunity to expand the business as a franchise system by producing ready-to-grill pork for franchisees to help them reduce the time they spent processing the pork for the same raw-material cost.
The franchise business started in mid-2012 with 20 franchisees in Nakhon Nayok province. That number has risen to 100 franchises in the Eastern and Northeastern regions.
From a production capacity of 10,000 sticks of grilled pork a day in 2012, that figure now is 40,000 sticks a day, generating average sales of Bt240,000 a day.
After his initial success producing ready-to-grill pork, Preecha plans to expand his product range to serve Thailand’s street-food market with such items as sausages, meatballs and pork balls next year.
“We will invest Bt15 million to expand our plant to make the new products this year, using both our retained earnings and bank loans,” he said.
Meanwhile, Preecha is negotiating with Laotian and Cambodian entrepreneurs to be his franchisees and import his products for sale in their countries. These deals are to be finalised by the end of this year, with exports probably starting in 2018.
According his business plan, Preecha said sales value should double next year.