100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2012 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Phaeng Mai Gallery

CEO
Viengkham Nanthavongdouangsy

1965
Birthplace
Thailand
Message to young people
I've been doing this business for a long time in my life. I would like to send a message to young people willing to start a business now, people who are already working hard, and also people who have not yet decided: Always learn honestly and know what you really like to do. It will lead you to the right and good direction, and you will succeed.

When the war occurred in Laos in the 1970s, my family barely escaped with our lives from northern Laos to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The only thing we could bring from home was the sample of traditional woven textiles from our home region. After my father passed away, my mother weaved textiles and raised me and my three siblings alone. When I was small, the loom was a toy for us. I naturally learned how to weave seeing my mother weaving with the loom. The first time I weaved an entire textile was when I became a first grade student at elementary school.

I thought that to have technical skills is not enough to succeed in business. Therefore, I decided to study abroad, and went to Australia to study business.

I understand weavers have their keen wits about their technique and design, although sometimes we have to convince them with the marketing data. Sometimes, I also have to work as an international person. It is hard to switch my mind-set in different situations.

It is very important to create and produce new designs, otherwise customers get bored and they will leave us. We also use leftover, old design products. We weave again and recycle them. Woven textiles are a precious memory for me, especially memories of my mother. Textiles kept us living when we were poor; they are everything in my life. I will keep working hard to spread this tradition.

Company Profile

Name
Phaeng Mai Gallery
Headquarters
Laos
1993
employees
80
business
Production and sales of woven textiles, exporting woven textiles
url
http://www.phaengmaigallery.com/gallery.html