This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
The SMA office in Bangkok was established in August, 2011. At that time, there were four service engineers and an MD to support the existing customers in Thailand. The pioneering woman behind this was bangkok-born Saowanee Iamarunkitjakarn, but most people know her as Ju or Judie.
Saowanee Iamarunkitjakarn has over 10 years of experience in multinational organizations in the fields of partner relations, office management, and as a personal assistant to top managers. Ju joined SMA in October, 2011 and serves as the Personal Assistant to the MD and Office Manager. Until she came to the organization, there were only male team members, all with a background in electrical engineering, which is something Ju does not have at all! This looked like it might have been an issue at first, but amazingly she fit right in and got along very well with the entire team. It was difficult at first for her to adapt to the working style of an engineering team. She had to learn how a Thai service team runs, and how directly they like to pass messages on to the engineers, for example. It is uncommon to be so direct in Thai culture, but this simple and to-the-point approach helped her get the end results and also allowed the experienced engineers to do their jobs.
Free Time and Engagements
The new office in Thailand
In her free time, Ju enjoys traveling both locally and abroad. More than anything, she enjoys going to the beach, whether it be the nearest beach, Pattaya, or the most famous beach, Phuket. The conservation of our natural resources is also something she is passionate about. This is why she is so proud to be working with SMA, a company producing renewable energy with photovoltaic inverters and helping to preserve the environment. At SMA Thailand, she is the project leader for the “Let’s Go Green” initiative, a program in which they grow plants, learn about the local ecosystem and take trips along the river to see how native people live in harmony with their environment. This project not only serves to strengthen the team, but is also looking to help reduce the effects of global warming.
Ju’s most challenging task yet was the build-out of an entirely new SMA office in the center of Bangkok. The first SMA office was on the 29th floor of the building, while the new office had to be moved to the 17th. This meant that Ju had to find and contact people to do everything from design and construct the office to decorate it. She is proud to say that she was able to take an empty floor and transform it into a fully-furnished, clean and running office, which also complied with the overall corporate design of SMA. In addition to just setting it up, she continues to deal with suppliers and vendors in order to facilitate all the work that goes on in the entire office there.