“IN THIS WORLD, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PRODUCT THAT CAN MAINTAIN A GOOD QUALITY FOR A REDUCED PRICE. OUR DETERMINATION LIES IN CREATING PRODUCTS OF HIGH QUALITY, BE THAT THROUGH THE MATERIALS OR THE DESIGN, INCLUDING DEVELOPING A STANDARDIZED LEVEL OF DURABILITY AND LONGEVITY, WHICH ARE AMONG THE THINGS WE CONSIDER OUR PRIORITIES.”
The above are the words of Pornchai Patthanakulpaisarn, founder and executive of Napavas Product, the leading manufacturer of decorative aluminum in Thailand’s construction industry about the current direction of the competition in the regional market. As products from China find their way into the market for a lower selling price, rather than reducing the production cost to compete with the Chinese brands, which is the go-to approach for many manufacturers, Napavas Product has chosen to come up with new product lines to lower production costs while the manufacturing standard and durability are maintained. The company aims for its new product lines to compete in the market as it continues to research and develop new manufacturing innovations.
Napavas Product was founded in 2002 with the initial objective of developing and creating products that are different from those available on the market. Seeing the potential and possibility for new innovations from materials like aluminum and stainless steel, Napavas Product uses two materials for the development of its products which range from corner trim to strip nosing and skirts while also including products for home decoration and safety as well as an upcoming collection of outdoor furniture. “We see human resources as the water that keeps this ship that is our company moving. In the meantime, it’s one of the factors that can cause the ship to sink as well. It would be as if we were hit by a wave. In this sense, that wave would be any misunderstanding or miscommunication within the organization and between our personnel.” The company’s approach toward management has contributed to its continual growth throughout the fifteen years of its business operations, giving great importance to human resources and maintaining relationships with the clients. This model highlights the potential of human resources by allowing for employees to develop, grow and achieve a higher level of professionalism and a higher position within the organization. Not only does this help to create a positive image for the organization, but such approach also offers opportunities for the company’s personnel to attain greater expertise, which has resulted in their ability to provide and advise clients with comprehensive and useful information. Ultimately, such efficiency and knowledge has directly affected the clients’ confidence in Napavas’ products and services.
When asked about the business strategy and the strengths that help Napavas Product continue to expand, Patthanakulpaisarn’s answer encompassed the material selection process, which focuses on the use of raw materials from European countries and Australia whose expertise in aluminum and stainless steel is reputable, as well as the development of a high quality coating technology, the company’s marketing strategies and an efficient shipping system. “The reason we’re still moving forward strongly in the market is because the product lines that answer to the market demands with new innovations are continually developed and released such as our new aluminum products where patterns can be painted directly on the surfaces. We will also release our outdoor furniture collection soon, so as we continue to come up with fresh ideas and innovations, dealers get to see something new and the feedback has been very positive because we are able to give them what they’re looking for.”
Design is something Napavas Product prioritizes as well as the development of manufacturing technologies. “No matter how great the design is, if the material is poor in quality, it will not have great longevity. With that in mind, we’ve come up with this innovation where we put colors, patterns or even images on the aluminium surface using electrochemical technology. This is an example of many of our developments where manufacturing innovations take place alongside design.” In Patthanakulpaisarn’s view, the thing that has allowed for Napavas Product to become what it is today is the ability to think outside of the box. “Within the next 5-10 years, the Asian market will continue to grow exponentially, and it’s not just China but other countries in the region that may have the potential but not the sense of innovation. I think one of the weak points of Thai manufacturers at the momentis that they tend to copy things that have been done before. They compete to sell products for cheaper prices instead of coming up with something new. We have to think differently and create something different. Once you achieve that, your product will sell itself.”
Another interesting insight revolves around the direction of the company during the current economic downturn. “We move forward. We’re building more storage, preparing our stock, following the increasing demands and we have brought our two most important departments, production and sales, together in one place now. We continue to develop new products like our outdoor furniture collection using painting innovations for the aluminum surface. The pieces are lightweight bringing great mobility and can withstand different climatic conditions. Also, we are about to launch new product lines such as aluminum canopies. With the economy that we’re in, everyone is hesitant to expand, and we don’t know how long the situation will persist. However, our company is still doing quite well as we are growing by 20-30% each month so I’m sure that the economy will improve over the next couple of years. We’re preparing everything for that day. When the time comes and everyone is learning how to walk, we’ll be ready to run.” Napavas Product is, without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with, especially with such vision and potential. It’s interesting to see how much and in which direction it will grow. While Patthanakulpaisarn described that he never expects the company to go public, Napavas Products is planning to expand its business in the Asian Market. And if things go well as planned, we might get to see products from this Thai brand make their way to the Middle East in the future.
TEXT: NAPAT CHARITBUTRA