Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Utopian Expat
    Chittychangchang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    10,438

    Thailand's Richest 2018: Skin-Whitening Craze Continues To Surge Across Asia

    Thailand's tourism boom drew a record 35 million-plus foreign visitors in 2017, more than one fourth from China. The free-spending Chinese contributed an estimated $16 billion to the Thai economy. Cashing in on this surge is Thai beauty brand Namu Life SnailWhite, whose range of products such as facial creams, sunscreen lotions and bodywash gels--in its signature all-white packaging--is hard to miss at the duty-free outlets at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.


    Despite its off-putting name, which is drawn from one of its main ingredients, snail slime, SnailWhite is a big hit with Chinese tourists. Thai women, too, are eagerly slapping SnailWhite cream onto their faces because, apart from yucky snail mucus, which is collagen-packed and said to have wondrous antiaging properties, it also contains skin-lightening agent alpha arbutin, a bearberry extract.
    No Slowing Down
    The quest for whiter skin, a controversial topic in the Western world, shows no signs of abating in Thailand or, indeed, across large swaths of Asia. Whitening creams account for half of the $320 million Thai market for facial creams, according to research firm Nielsen.



    A customer shops for beauty and whitening products at a Big Bazaar outlet in Mumbai, India (Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)



    "SnailWhite can totally rejuvenate your skin," boasts Sarawut Pornpatanaruk, founder and CEO of Do Day Dream, the company behind SnailWhite. Looking younger than his 41 years, Sarawut, who regularly uses his own products and insists company executives do so as well, could easily pass as a model for his own brand. CFO Piyawat "Pete" Ratchapolsitte, says his boss doesn't look a day older than when he first met him five years ago.
    One of four newcomers to the Thai 50 Richest, Sarawut is ranked at No. 45 with $675 million. He gained his spot after taking his eight-year-old company public last December, raising $130 million. Shares of Do Day Dream, of which Sarawut owns more than two thirds with his family, are up 82% since the IPO. With a market capitalization of close to $1 billion, the company is valued like a hot tech startup, at an eye-popping 18 times its annual sales of $54 million. "During the IPO road show we were often asked whether the price was too high as we had priced the shares at a premium--54 times trailing earnings. But the company has done far better than we could have ever expected," says Pichet Sithi-Amnuai, president at Bualuang Securities, the IPO's lead underwriter.
    Analysts say investors are bullish as they expect Do Day Dream (or Triple D, as it's sometimes called, for its stock ticker symbol, DDD) to continue delivering hyper growth. Since 2014, sales have been on a tear, growing 56% on an annual compound basis. Sorrabhol Virameteekul, strategist and head of digital research at Bangkok's Maybank Kim Eng, expects that trend to continue over the next three years, driven largely by rising exports to China. (His securities firm supported the IPO.)
    China Focus
    The skin-care market in China is estimated at $30 billion, according to Kim Eng's Sorrabhol. After a two-year pursuit, Do Day Dream, which had been selling in China through limited online channels, recently secured regulatory approval from China's Food & Drug Administration. The company can now tap a wider market through local distributors.


    Chinese model Emma Pei (L) and Thai model Davika Hoorne smile as they pose during the launch of Shiseido's skincare cream in Tokyo (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)



    Sarawut says that he is focused on SnailWhite's regional expansion. "We see a huge opportunity outside--in China, of course, but also in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines," he notes. China already accounts for 30% of annual revenue.
    One of three siblings, Sarawut hails from a family that owns a car-paint manufacturer. After completing business studies (including a doctorate) at local universities, he joined the family trade, working as a factory manager before joining top management. But Sarawut, who enjoys reading Marvel comics, yearned to break away: "I had a different dream."
    A decade later, he decided to start a cosmetics venture focusing on skin care, getting four of his friends, who were marketing experts, to join him. (They have small stakes.) Although the Thai skin-care sector was booming, it was dominated by multinationals such as L'Oréal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. A local brand of some size was Smooth-E, founded by a dermatologist and known for its dermatological creams. Moreover, he explains, net margins in cosmetic products were more than 20%, compared with 5% in car paints. With his factory experience, he was confident he could handle the production side. "My father wasn't happy at all and predicted that I would soon return to the family fold," he says, smiling.
    Starting out as a contract manufacturer for small skin-care brands, he initially juggled his work in the family business with the new venture. Noting that the skin-care market in both the premium and mass segments was crowded, Sarawut spotted a niche for a Thai version of what he calls a "premium mass product."
    Snail Sales
    He latched on to the idea of snail-serum creams that were all the rage in South Korea but hadn't made inroads into Thailand. "Thai consumers found the Korean creams too oily and sticky," explains Sarawut. Using imported Korean snail slime, he developed a lighter version that would be absorbed into the skin faster and was better suited to the humid Thai weather. To this he added the skin-lightening agent. "It took eight months and at least 100 versions to perfect the product," he recalls.
    In 2013 SnailWhite cream finally went on sale online. Priced at $30 for a 50 ml jar, it was cheaper than high-end facial moisturizers that cost $80 for a similar quantity and a notch above the cheap $10 variety.
    It wasn't an easy sell. SnailWhite's prime target--women age 25 to 35--balked at the idea of putting snail slime on their skins. Sarawut distributed samples to fashion and lifestyle bloggers, getting them to write about their experiences using the product. He deployed social media, including Facebook and Instagram, to market it.
    Within months, SnailWhite had gone viral, and Sarawut had to contend with fake versions flooding the market. Today an anticounterfeit sticker with a QR code is on every package to distinguish the original from copycats. In the first year, SnailWhite notched online sales of $3 million and was ready to hit retail stores.
    To rev up demand, Sarawut unleashed an advertising blitz on television, radio, print and billboards using TV celebrities. By 2015 he had moved out of the family business to concentrate on his own venture. That same year he expanded the product range to sunscreen lotions and cleansing products and invested in a factory at an industrial park 50 miles north of Bangkok.


    An employee assists a customer at a checkout counter inside a Watsons store (Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)



    Tik Narudee, manager of a Watsons drug store in central Bangkok, says Chinese tourists are the biggest buyers of SnailWhite, and it's popular with Thai working women, too. Panaya W., 49, an independent investor who had stopped by to pick up a jar of SnailWhite sunscreen, says she chanced on it when holidaying at a beach resort in January. Until then, she had been using Japanese brand Shiseido but ditched it for SnailWhite because of its easy availability. "I can get it at the local 7-Eleven store, whereas to buy Shiseido, which is more expensive, I have to go to a department store."
    Accessibility And Affordability
    To make deeper market inroads, and with an eye on Thailand's 440,000 convenience stores, Sarawut last year introduced 7 ml sachet packs priced at $1.20 each. So far there is only one company-owned store in Bangkok, as Sarawut says he would rather spend on billboards because "our customers commute." But he's planning to open pop-up stores at tourist hot spots.
    Two years ago, a TV commercial for a Korean skin-whitening pill with the theme "You need to be white to win" sparked protests in Thailand and had to be withdrawn. Dermatologist Nopadun Noppakun, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University who as president of the Dermatological Society of Thailand had led a campaign to raise public awareness that these products could be damaging, says that whitening remains a "big issue and a big market in Thailand."
    (In India, where one of Unilever's popular products is Fair & Lovely cream, the nonprofit organization Women Of Worth has a long-running "Dark Is Beautiful" campaign. Founder Kavitha Emmanuel says, "Unfortunately, Asia, where biases run deep, is a hot spot for the skin-whitening industry." Women Of Worth has won strict guidelines for advertising such products.)
    Sarawut doesn't see any threat of a backlash against SnailWhite, saying that aspiring to have fairer skin is still "culturally acceptable." He is introducing new products every year, and the original cream, which was his sole product at one time, now makes up 37% of total sales.
    Now that SnailWhite features among the country's top ten in facial skin care--Smooth-E is in this group too--Sarawut says his father no longer disapproves of his move. "I want SnailWhite to be all over Asia. I still have a dream."

    Adhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/naazneenkarmali/2018/05/02/thailands-richest-2018-fair-game-skin-whitening/#7fb7c0442722ditional reporting by Busrin Treerapongpichit

  2. #2
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    17,345
    Dickie must be rolling in cash, cosmetics salesman that he is.........................

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    30,064
    Forbes Thailand Rich List...

    I wonder if Smeg's father-in-law is still on it.


  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    david44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:07 PM
    Location
    Gammel Dansk
    Posts
    12,604
    Wonder if they sell the skin whiteners in Africa where you'd think there was most scope.

    I suppose in patriarchal societies women want to aspire, light here to show too posh to plant rice, dark in Europe/US to pretend you winter in the West Indies rather under a sunlamp in Stoke.

    There must be countries where neither bronzing or whitening are sold, a happy hue like Spain or Italy
    Originally Posted by HuangLao
    Those with lesser cognitive reasoning should refrain from commentary.

  5. #5
    Your own Personal Jesus
    DJ Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    18,601
    Refreshing to see a Thai model who isn't a half breed. Nice indeed.

    What is the thread about?

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    david44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:07 PM
    Location
    Gammel Dansk
    Posts
    12,604
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    What is the thread about?
    Davika Hoorne was hot girl of the year and a soap opera lakorn bimbo so beloved of the proles, I think the media term is heartthrob, something throb anyway, if you find her too hot a cold shower will be posting soon

  7. #7
    Your own Personal Jesus
    DJ Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    18,601
    I'd crawl over a mile of broken glass just to drink her bath water

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •