100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2016-2017 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Narai Intertrade Co.

CEO & President Wasna Lathouras

1953
Birthplace
 
Message to young people
Just do what you want to do, what makes you happy. A Buddhist saying tells us that even if people fail and lose hope, their life never ends. This means we can continue to have hope. When you get up tomorrow morning, enjoy the day with hope and think about why you did not succeed last time. This will help with your career.

My father is Chinese and my mother is Thai-born Chinese. They had nine children. My father’s business failed when I was a child. Since I was in fourth grade, I had to live apart from my family. Then I had to quit school and help out with housework. When I was a child, I dreamed of having jobs that would allow me to interact with foreigners, such as a flight attendant, a tour guide or a hotel clerk. Eventually I achieved my goal by becoming a tour guide. People feel happy when their childhood dreams come true.

Meeting my husband changed my life. He had come to Thailand to start his own business. We did various businesses together and sold an assortment of products. Four years passed before we launched our company.

Bags were one of the items we sold. After we started our business, some customers returned their purchases. Thais have good skills, but they are not good at making products uniformly. Some bags were found to have mismatched color stitches or a malformed shape. But we believed that a solution would surely be found. We started with 15 sewing machines. My young brother’s wife, who is a seamstress, also invested in our business.

We displayed our products for the first time at a fair in Singapore. Among them were bags for women, kitchen utensils and bedding-related items. I was happy because many customers visited our booth. Most of them were Japanese.

Our next goal is operate a shop in Tokyo. We have already started negotiations with a Japanese company. The project in Japan is expected to be a big one because the Japanese market is very attractive to us.

The biggest goal for us is to branch out into Paris, New York and other major cities. Tokyo should be the first location where our dreams will come true.

Company Profile

Name
Narai Intertrade Co.
Headquarters
Thailand
1989
employees
1500
business
Manufacture and sales of handbags, kitchen utensils, children’s clothes and seasonal items
url
http://www.naraya.com/