The death at 60 years of the billionaire thai Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in the helicopter accident on 27 October near the football stadium in Leicester, Great Britain, casts a shadow over the future of a remarkable and dramatic success of the business. After opening in 1989, the first duty-free shop in the center of Bangkok, the CEO of the group King Power, whose funeral will begin Saturday, November 3, was become in less than twenty years the fifth fortune of the kingdom, according to the count of Forbes magazine.
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In 2006, his modest shop “duty free” became a true empire when he managed to pull off, particularly thanks to his contacts at the royal palace, the monopoly of duty free shops in the new airport Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok. Who now sees spending up to sixty million passengers a year when tourism is in full swing in the land of Smiles…
Today the empire of fire Vichai weighs about 4, 5 billion euros. The group has hotels Pullman of the French group Agreement in Thailand, and substantial parts of one of the most important companies lowcost in the country, Thai Air Asia.
Became famous after the takeover of Leicester City
The deceased king Bhumibol Adulyadej was able to reward the talent of a businessman, well introduced, discreet and stubbornly refusing to engage at least comment policy in a divided nation : in 2012, the king had awarded him its current name : born Vichai Raksriaksorn, the magnate became Srivaddhanaprabha, which means ” light of the glory upward…
This quasi-unknown in the Thai, who barely knew the name of the group, became famous in his country after having bought the English football club Leicester City, who won the title of the Premier League two years ago. In a nation passionate about the round ball, but the teams remain at a modest level, the fans are forced to get excited about the victories of the great teams in the world. The success of the club of Leicester had, and resonated as a victory of indirect Thailand…
In Leicester, after some initial reluctance, it became very popular among fans : “Khun” (mr.) Vichai had the habit of offering beer thai Singha free and hotdogs the day of victory. The destiny has wanted that it is redécollant of his fief English that the tycoon has died.
What an evolution for the group ?
After the sudden death of the “king” of the King Power, and the economic community of Bangkok wonder how the group will evolve, so that the monopoly of the latter over the Suvarnabhumi airport expires in 2020. The youngest son of Vichai, Aiyawatt (nicknamed ” Top “), 32 years old, who was previously chief executive officer of the family group, has already assured that he took on his role of heir in title : “My father left me the care of continuing his work and I will do my best to extend his grand visions and his dreams,” said the new boss. The mother of the ” Top ” is the one of the vice-presidents of the group ; that his brother and his two sisters are all members of the board of directors.
Remains to be seen whether the successors of the “king” Vichai will be at the height of the founder in a world of the thai where the personal contacts and negotiations behind the scenes are essential : as the advance Somchai Phagaphasvivat, a specialist in political science at the university of Thammasat in Bangkok : “in this regard, I wonder if their kids will have enough influence. “
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