Kingsmen CMTI designed for success
Kingsmen CMTI Plc (K) is a retail and corporate interior design company that listed on the Market for Alternative Investment in December 2015. Chief executive Chayawat Pisessith discusses the company’s strategy and outlook.
Please explain K’s history and business
The company was founded in 1989 and originally called CMTI (Creative, Modular, Technical, International), focusing primarily on interior construction work for exhibitions. In 2002, Kingsmen Group became a partner and our company was renamed Kingsmen CMTI. With our new partner we pivoted our business model toward more retail interior construction and today interior work represents more than half of our business. We are recognised as one of the top interior design and construction companies for both retail space and exhibitions.
Who are your target customers?
On the retail side, our customers are typically international brands that are coming to Thailand and need a store presence, or those that are already here and planning to expand further throughout the country and the region. The majority of our work in this area is for high-end and rapidly expanding mid-market fashion retail customers such as Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Roger Vivier, Uniqlo, Cath Kidston and so on.
Our ability to deliver a high standard of quality that meets global brand expectations means that our interior design and construction business grows every two to four years, with 50-70% of our business from existing key accounts plus 30-50% new clients. Not only do we have a strong relationship with brands, we also have gained the trust of shopping centre owners in our professionalism and they use us in various locations all over the country.
For exhibitions, we have been doing the Motor Show, Money Expo and many other exhibitions since they first began and we expect to continue doing so. Finally, we have been expanding to offices and hospitality, specifically more complex projects in hotels such as lobbies.
What are the benefits of being a member of the Kingsmen Group?
There are multiple benefits. Because Kingsmen Group has offices and teams throughout the world, we are able to share knowledge about new technical procedures, governance and industry trends, and to recommend and introduce customers to one another. This sharing of knowledge and information has allowed the Kingsmen name in Thailand to be strongly recognised as a quality interior construction firm.
What have been your key success factors in developing the company?
There have been multiple factors over the past decade but fundamentally I feel that it boils down to our simple philosophy of being fair and sharing with all employees within the firm. The culture here is that everybody participates in the success. Everybody, every team has its own key performance indicators (KPI).
The strong team culture prevents potential mistakes, delays and leakage, ensuring that projects are delivered with the expected quality and on time. And with such successes the company takes care of its employees with healthcare, benefits, profit-sharing, training and so forth.
How important is succession planning to K?
We have succession planning in place for the next 12 years. When Kingsmen became our partner and shareholder I had to restructure the team and my own way of thinking from becoming an owner to becoming a member of the team and this shift triggered the change within the company.
Our deputy managing directors who helped to shape the company a decade ago — K. Prawit, K. Sunisa, K. Bancha and K. Damrong — will be the people responsible for driving the company toward its future.
What is your viewpoint on the industry?
For exhibitions we expect to see continued growth in line with the economy. For the retail sector there are multiple projects and expansions by various groups that will be a boon for the industry. Two years ago The Mall Group announced that it would invest 50 billion baht in EmQuartier, Bangkok Mall, Blu Pearl and others, then Siam Piwat announced a huge expansion as well with IconSiam, the renovation of Siam Discovery and other projects.
As well, Central Group continues to expand throughout the country and now the region with two or three additional malls a year, Terminal 21 is beginning to expand, TCC Group plans a second Asiatique, Singha Group is expanding into retail, and there are many other projects as well.
Where do you see K in five years?
I believe the company will grow strongly given the expansion of the industry and we hope to achieve 3 billion baht in revenues. We also aim to expand throughout the region in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, and to expand our team not just in numbers but in knowledge as well. Our company policy will remain the same, to take care of all of our stakeholders in a fair and sharing manner.