The phrase ‘Beauty is healthy’ is one of the foundations of Thai skincare company Do Day Dream (DDD). “We think beauty comes from within, that it comes from healthiness and wellbeing,” says CFO Piyawat Ratchapolsitte. “ This idea also links to the company’s mission. “We don’t think of ourselves as purely a skincare business,” Piyawat continues. “We are always interested in the industry associated with the promotion of health and beauty, which include supplements, cosmetics and self-care.”
DDD was founded in 2010 and provides an array of moisturisers, sunscreens and body washes under the brand name, NAMU LIFE SNAILWHITE. “What’s really impressive about the company is that we went from being relatively unknown to becoming a well-known brand in Thailand within a short time,” Piyawat says. “Right now, we are the biggest local brand in the facial skincare category.”
Piyawat joined DDD in 2015 after a successful career in investment banking. He studied economics at Thammasat University and dove right into his passion. “Having an investment banking career teaches you a lot about capital markets and exposure in a short period of time,” he says. “One of my goals was to become an investment banker, so after my career in it, I always thought there should be more. I took this role at DDD because I wanted to prove my management skills and be more hands-on in this sector.”
Being CFO is not only limited to accounting and finance, Piyawat explains. “I’m also involved in many aspects of the business, from business development and expansion to making investments to support future growth of the company.”
“We always listen to the customers and try to cater to their needs.”
The right culture
Having worked at DDD for more than three years, Piyawat describes the company culture as similar to that of a start-up. “We don’t have a lot of levels of hierarchy,” he says. “It’s very fast and we try to capture a lot of opportunities that come to us. Because we have to move very fast, we also have to adapt to changes very quickly.
“So we always seek to develop ourselves. We are never satisfied with past success. I think there is always room for improvement, whatever it may be. And we always want to be better.”
Piyawat goes on to describe what makes DDD stand out from other skin care companies. “We think big; we always think regionally and globally. Like I said, we don’t have a lot of restrictions of hierarchies like global companies do – which can sometimes prevent you from venturing into new products in a timely and efficient manner. For example, many things that might take a multinational corporation a year or two to complete, we can do in six to eight months.” On top of that, the company believes in localisation. “We don’t believe that a single product would be suited to every customer or every geography,” Piyawat says. “So we adapt ourselves. We don’t say ‘you have to buy from us because we are good or popular’. We always listen to the customers and try to cater to their needs.”
Piyawat appreciates the amount of support provided by senior executives in the company. It’s also one of the most enjoyable aspects he finds as CFO. “I like working with the CEO, Sarawut Pornpatanarak, very much,” he says. “We talk a lot and give each other advice which is very valuable. I learn a lot from him too. He’s never been an employee; he’s always worked as an entrepreneur. He worked in his family business as an executive manager. He teaches me a lot in terms of what I can and should look after.”
“The company’s slogan is ‘We Do to make every Day your Dream’.”
Continuing with the theme of leadership, Piyawat goes on to highlight the attributes of a good leader. “A leader is a person who can empower people to do the right thing and gives workers support for whatever they need.” But, Piyawat says, it’s not about constantly having to ‘hold their hand’. “I would like to give them the opportunity to prove themselves,” he adds.
“The other thing that is very important nowadays is actually working with the employee. We must understand what they need and what they look for in their career. Most of the time it’s not just about money; it’s about how they see their career, how they’re looking to advance in their career and how they would like to take advantage of their career. I believe in creating a career for my team members to strive to and giving them credit when it’s due.”
At the end of 2017, DDD was listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange, which provided an added boost to its operations. “While listing the company, we raised our working standard in almost every aspect,” Piyawat says. And now, looking ahead to the future, DDD wants to create a bigger name for itself in the skincare industry, beginning with expanding its product portfolio. “We want to be the leader in the Thai beauty industry before moving onto other categories or countries,” he says. “Even though we are the biggest local facial skincare brand in Thailand right now, we still have a way to go to catch up with bigger companies. Our market share right now is at six per cent, while the market leader, L’Oréal, has 26% market share. So, that’s a big gap for us to fill, but it will be very exciting for us to catch up.”