It came as no surprise to family, friends and colleagues when Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul rose to become one of Thailand’s most influential women in the industrial and logistics sector. Traditionally considered as a male-oriented job, the warehouse operations business and industrial estate management scene has become Jareeporn’s platform.
A diligent student, Jareeporn never hesitated to give 100% of herself in everything she did. She participated in sports and enjoyed a normal childhood, while dutifully helping out in her parents’ garment business. This was her first taste of the tough business world and despite her youthful age, she rapidly learned her way through its ins and outs.
By the age of 10, the young Jareeporn was determined to start her own business one day, although it took her a few more years to figure out what exactly she wanted to deal in. She saw how much her parents worked, and observed how they ran their enterprise. She learned from them the tricks of the trade, but most importantly, she saw how their employees were treated – like family.
In school, she read Romance of the Three Kingdoms, by Luo Guanzhong, one of the most famous novels in Chinese literature. The book inspired her and taught her a lot about determination, battles, relationships, power and diplomacy.
When she started her own business at the age of 26, after earning a university degree in Public Health and a Masters degree in Business Administration, she knew exactly how she wanted to run it and recalls many stumbling blocks along the way. She persevered, knowing how to take opportunities as they came. She was observant, daring and willing to step out of her comfort zone. “I noticed that big companies needed special services related to warehousing and distribution in order to cut costs and concentrate on their own business. I decided to shift my attention to meet that demand,” she explains.
Innovative market leader
In 2003, Jareeporn co-founded WHA Corporation, an innovative enterprise focusing on developing high-quality warehouses, distribution centers and factories to answer clients’ demands. She started the business with a few clients and quickly earned their trust. She worked hard and stayed on course, never taking “No” for an answer.
With co-founder Dr. Somyos Anantaprayoon, Jareeporn introduced the Built-to-Suit concept, which revolutionized the industry in Thailand. Her clients had very specific requirements and standards. Instead of turning them away, she figured out a way to accommodate their requests and customized the full-scale services. This is probably how she got her nickname – “Ms I’m Possible” – a reference to her credo that no request is too small or too big, too simple or too complicated.
Jareeporn’s efficient team of experts and engineers appreciate her hands-on management style. “At WHA, we are like a family. We make decisions together and map out our strategies as a team. Our strength comes from this special bond that we have,” she says.
Following the acquisition in 2015 of SET-listed Hemaraj Land And Development PLC, WHA aims to become the largest comprehensive industrial hub in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). With eight industrial estates in strategic locations close to the capital city of Bangkok, the Suvarnabhumi international airport and the Laem Chabang deep-sea port, it has become Thailand’s leading industrial estate developer. It houses several industrial clusters in the automotive, electronics and petrochemical sectors, attracting local and foreign investors and manufacturers, contributing significantly to Thailand’s economic growth.
WHA has the agility to respond to multi-level issues. To enable its customers to operate with maximum security, the company has invested heavily in utilities, such as water supply and waste management, while partnering with leading international power operators to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Jareeporn also has her eyes set on the latest sector that is rapidly evolving in the region, the digital economy. She and her teams dream of becoming Thailand’s first one-stop service for data centers, in line with the Thai government’s initiatives to become the digital hub of the region. Her objective is to play a proactive role to provide comprehensive data solutions and platform to both multinational and local companies.
Boldness, Balance and Believing in Yourself
“Within the next 5 years, we will use our experience, resources and energy to make WHA a truly global company, with an influential presence in the AEC,” declares Jareeporn. She wants to see economic growth in Thailand, so people can be prosperous and raise their standard of living. “But we must not become mere money-making machines,” she adds, emphasizing the essential balance between work and home life. She finds time off from her demanding schedule for favorite activities like muay thai, tennis and skiing with her 15-year old daughter on the slopes of Hokkaido.
“I am often asked if I have a special collection – like clothes, watches or cars. I am not really interested in material possessions. As a devout Buddhist, I collect five things: GOOD KARMA, through merit-making; KNOWLEDGE, which is food for the soul; and GOODNESS, which I share readily and wholeheartedly. The fourth is LOVE for everybody: my family, my friends and all my employees. And when I have love, then I find HAPPINESS, which is the fifth on my list,” she explains.
As she reaches the peak of her career and becomes a role model to many, Jareeporn’s message to the Thai youth is simple – “Believe in yourself. Once your goals are set, do whatever it takes to succeed, so you can achieve your dreams.”
Only thirteen years ago, Jareeporn entered the logistics industry with a clear vision. Her rise to success was full of challenges. She credits her parents for teaching her the value of hard work. Her patience and solid faith, she credits to her religion. Moreover, His Majesty The King of Thailand inspires her to do good for her fellowmen and to bring pride to her country.
The young girl who once played among the bolts of cloth in her parents’ garment factory is now an “industrial trail-blazer”. She is an accomplished entrepreneur flying the flag for women in this profession. Jareeporn has set her sights on expanding WHA’s core businesses by investing domestically and internationally, to make WHA the regional icon in the company’s four hubs: Logistics, Industrial Estates, Utilities & Power, and Digital.
“I would like to make a profound and long-term contribution to Thailand’s industrial scene. However, the most important accomplishment for me is to have a positive effect on others, inspiring them to reach for their dreams,” she concludes.