He’s a creative thinker, an entrepreneur, and a leader in Thailand’s event organizing market. Mek, or Kreingkrai Kanjanapokin, is the owner of the number one event organizer in Thailand and the seventh best in the world, as ranked by the US Special Events Magazine in 2012. Kreingkrai obtained his bachelor’s degree from Chiang Mai University after having finished his upper-secondary education at Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School in Bangkok. He set up his business when he was only 26 with a starting capital of only 60,000 baht. Today, Index is not only a strong event organizer but is a company that has grown on diverse ways of creative thinking. From a small company with only six workers, Index has now expanded to the world scale with over 500 staff members, 17 affiliates, and a sales volume of over 2,500 million baht. Over the past 25 years, Index has produced thousands of pieces of work both in Thailand and abroad. Some distinguished ones that have made Thailand well recognized on the international arena are the Thai pavilions at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China; and at International Exposition 2012 in Yeosu, Korea.
Kreingkrai, or Mek, understands well the importance of education. He dedicates himself to being a special lecturer at various universities and organizations in both public and private sectors. He is always pleased to pass on his knowledge and his 25-year experience to others with dedication and determination. He also wrote a book titled “Klab Hua Kid – Sang Turakit Pan Lan” (Turning the Head to Create a Billion-Baht Business), which became one of the best-sellers in Thailand. On the social front, Kreingkrai was invited by the Thai government to sit on the committee of the Zoological Park Organization under the Royal Patronage of H.M. the King, where he can exert his creativity for the development of Thai zoos with an aim to make them a well-known tourist attraction in Asia.
Kreingkrai Kanjanapokin, believes that a business cannot be grown single-handedly. To successfully expand a business, everybody has to move forward in unison. It is this imagination that navigates the team’s moves. Index’s business expansion is not restricted only in Thailand, as they have started to make their presence known on regional and global levels. After having made its phase-one in Vietnam and Myanmar, Index Creative Village will soon expand to China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, among others. This demonstrates the company’s attempt to lay a foundation of a Hub of Creativity in response to the AEC. Each branch will grow independently while still interrelated.
For Kreingkrai, his work is like his life. On the day he started his business, he didn’t even know what his business was exactly. It was perhaps because he used his own creativity to produce work. Was it a creative business? On the whole, Index uses its own imagination to drive the organization. However, if they focus on achievement, a few critical factors can be found behind the success of Index Creative Village. Primarily, it is their continuous creativity, which makes them different from others. However, they don’t base what they do solely on their imaginative thinking, but they use results of research to support their imagination so that they can have a more concrete response to satisfy customers’ demand. They’re not like an artist who puts his/her signature on whatever he/she creates purely from imagination. Their imagination is built upon their attempt to understand the inside of each of their customer’s target. It is, then, turned into ideas for creating a tangible work. Their creative work is shaped up on what they call the three dimensional platform — the inside, creativity, and innovation. These three elements, when combined with customers’ content, will form a new concept that is always different. Stepping forward will not only help Kreingkrai retain Index’s local customer base but will also open up enormous opportunities in new markets. Kreingkrai believes he is not a businessman, but just a man who loves to work. He doesn’t think what he’s doing is a business, but it’s a passion and challenge that he’s proud to take on.
Index Creative Village always attaches importance to education. When the company was firstly established, the Thai society knew almost nothing about event organizing. Kreingkrai just felt that he liked this kind of work; the kind of work that is fresh and live in nature. During those years, it was still difficult to explain what their work was like. This kind of work was generally called ‘presentation’, and Index, was the first company in Thailand to do this kind of work. Kreingkrai lived with it ever since. There’s not even one day that he felt bored. At Index, they try to develop their personnel in parallel with developing the industry. They’ve laid down the educational groundwork for over 10 years now and recognize the need to develop the young generation as it’s a way they take part in the development of the society and the industry. What they have done over the past 25 years has now become an academic discipline. A theory of event marketing was firstly written in Thailand. It was not only about teaching what event marketing is, but Index wants to pass on the event marketing gene to the young generation. They try to build up knowledgeable personnel in this field of study while creating new pieces of work that are based on theory. Kreingkrai has been invited to give lectures at various classes. He once had only six students attending despite being informed earlier that the class had 30 students. But that didn’t discourage him at all. On the contrary, he tried even harder since he understood that these six students came with their true interest in what he was about to teach.
Throughout the 25-year journey, Kreingkrai has laid two core foundation pillars for the company. One is building a network across Asia, the Middle East included. The other is building an infrastructure, part of which is human resources. Business expansion does not only need infrastructure to support, they have to have their human resources ready for expansion as well. These two strong pillars will make their expansion stable while enabling Index to envisage their business in the next 50-60 years, and eventually becoming a multinational corporation.
Kreingkrai always believes that what he’s doing today is not yet the best. There is always something better. He doesn’t to see Index end its life in his generation. Future generations must be able to carry on what he’s doing today. He has paved the way and laid a systematic foundation that can help them move forward effortlessly. By the second he decides to retire, kreingkrai wants to see his employees work less tiredly. As long as Index’s business philosophy is well observed, kreingkrai believes that we will see Index grow further and further in the years to come.
Kreingkrai believes that his success is not judged only by the sales volume. Index has been selected for many prestigious awards on the global scale. They’ve made the power of creative thinking of Thai people known to the world. It’s an achievement for himself, and a pride for his country. When they step beyond the Thai border, they are not going as an Index team but as a Thailand team. His happiness flourishes when he sees his imagination successfully realized. That’s his key to success.