By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
Sung Nakje, chief operating officer of GMM CJ O Shopping Co Ltd, said the company’s growth ambitions dovetail with the government’s goals for the Thailand 4.0 initiative.
Sung said that Thailand 4.0 is about promoting small and medium-sized enterprises, but noted that not every SME can enter the modern retailing system as some retailers have specific conditions or require large-scale supply due to their branch networks.
As a result, Sung said, SMEs seeking to expand are faced with daunting investment levels that exceed their capabilities. However, TV Home Shopping can serve as a distribution channel for SMEs and a market-testing channel, as well as providing direct sales to consumers, he said.
“We have provided opportunities for Thai SMEs with fewer conditions and lower investment, so this makes it more accessible for them,” Sung said. “We are confident that TV Home Shopping will be able to support Thai SMEs to enable them to get stronger.”
GMM CJ O Shopping Co Ltd , better known as O Shopping, is a Thai-South Korean joint venture that was established in Thailand in 2012. Its main business is the sale of products on TV and via an e-commerce platform.
“E-commerce is the retail business without bricks and mortar,” Sung said. “Meanwhile, TV Home Shopping focuses on women aged 35-55, while the e-commerce side focuses on younger age groups that follow a modern, urban lifestyle. Those who are not familiar with technology will be familiar with TV Home Shopping. That is the difference. TV home shopping is another option for shopping.
“In the next three to five years, we aim to reach Bt5 billion in annual sales. In 2016, the company grew quickly but that growth softened a little due to unexpected circumstances.
“We are confident that next year we will grow rapidly. In addition, we expect good political news at the end of next year with Bt3 billion in annual sales targeted for next year. In the next three to five years, we are confident that will reach the Bt5 billion sales goal.”
He said O Shopping has kept its place as the No.1 TV home shopping operator and that as part of its growth goals, it also sought to promote the expansion of its business partners. The company was not focused on competing with rival operators in TV home shopping, but instead sought to increase the overall size of the business pie.
“For regional expansion, we believe our companies, Grammy, and CJ, are still waiting for different factors including the transport systems in neighbouring countries,” Sung said. “On-air systems and after-sales services should be freely opened, enabling an increase in consumers.
Without one of these factors, we cannot open in neighbouring markets. We would like to study more on entering the Myanmar market as well, but don’t yet have a concrete plan for this.”
Addressing a key challenge for the company, Sung said the company believed that consumers aged 35-55 would continue to buy via home shopping in the next five to seven years.
However, e-commerce would play an increasingly important role as people are watching TV less.
The move towards digital TV would draw more viewers in the future.
The e-commerce business in Thailand is still consumer-to-consumer (C-to-C) business and especially via social media channels. It has not yet developed into business-to-consumer (B-to-C) business similar to TV home shopping.
As a result, there has been a growing trend for TV home shopping operators in Thailand, including O Shopping, to enter the e-commerce market by connecting that as an add-on service to their TV home shopping platforms.
GMM CJ O Shopping recently announced the continuation of its corporate social responsibility campaign, O Hug, aimed at encouraging children to play sports.
“We would like Thai kids to get the benefits from opportunities offered and get inspiration and make their families happy. e use South Korea as a role model as it has taekwondo for promoting health,” Sung said.
He added that the company started to support the big taekwondo games, known as Coach Choi Young Seok Taekwondo Championship 2013, and supported the recent competition league named the 5th Kukkiwon Cup Thai-Korean Choi Young Seok Taekwondo championship 2017. This contest drew more than 1,000 Thai and international athletes.