SmartOSC’s Forward Roundtable Sets The Tone For Thailand’s Retail Leaders In 2024


In November 2023, in Bangkok, the inaugural chapter of the Forward series by SmartOSC, titled “Forward Roundtable: How Retail Leaders Are Rolling Into 2024?”, concluded with resounding success. The event saw the participation of 25 CxOs and high-level executives from leading Thailand companies such as Kantar Worldpanel, Jaspal, Central Marketing Group, Electrolux, Lotus, Supara Group and more.

SmartOSC's Forward Roundtable Sets The Tone For Thailand's Retail Leaders In 2024

Amidst the anticipated uncertainty and challenges in the retail landscape for 2024, the Forward roundtable serves as the platform for leaders to exchange insights and thought-provoking case studies across various topics, including omni-shopper behavior, data, economic trends, distribution, and sales channels.

Intertwined Challenges and Opportunities in 2023’s Thai Retail Landscape

For the event’s 3 speakers, 2023 is a year of challenges and highlights interwoven together. It’s crucial for brands to be authentic while also adapting to emerging trends to stay relevant in this evolving landscape.

Corrado Giaquinto, a seasoned Management Consultant and Former Executive at Colgate-Palmolive set the stage in the opening session by spotlighting the adaptability of Thai customers throughout a comprehensive timeline, from pre-pandemic to the recent economic downturn in 2023. According to him, consumers’ higher safety concerns and increased economic crisis awareness lead to a propensity to save.

Agreed with Giaquinto’s insights, Kanpapak Lueksuengsukoom, Head of New Business Development at Kantar Worldpanel, referenced their recently launched report “The Omni-shopper.” Despite Thailand’s peak vibrant landscape of selling channels from O2O stores, and vending machines, only 37% of market brands are currently on a growth trajectory. Lueksuengsukoom attributed this to high inflation, prompting consumers to exercise caution in their spending habits, with opportunities shifting towards online purchases and channels closer to home.

George Hartel, the illustrious Chief Commercial Officer at Supara Group – GQ Thailand describes the intertwined challenges and opportunities as a paradox faced by brands managing multiple channels. While reaping the benefits of livestream, and shoppertainment, Hartel highlighted the dynamic and uncontrolled communication environment intensified by the influencers’ and affiliates’ culture.

The Future Awaits

For 2024, one of the primary challenges the Roundtable identified was the need to bridge the gap between goal setting between the business team and the IT team. In response, participants explored a range of solutions aimed at fostering cohesion and efficiency, including the acceleration of processes through the integration of online and offline channels, the cultivation of an agile mindset to facilitate smooth collaboration between business and technical approaches, strategic prioritization of battles with a focus on essential segments, and the elevation of data literacy while optimizing data platforms for enhanced performance.

Another significant challenge discussed was the way to survive in “a sea of sameness” within Thailand’s competitive landscape. To address this, participants considered strategies for maintaining a hyper-local approach by directly engaging with customers, upholding authenticity, and tailoring technological innovation to specific needs rather than adopting a generic approach.

I had the pleasure of attending the Retail Roundtable by SmartOSC, and it was nothing short of fantastic. The atmosphere was cozy, the insights were valuable, and the hosts added a charming touch. The pool of participants was diverse and engaging. Speakers openly shared their thoughts, making the event not only nice and helpful but also an overall pleasant experience. Looking forward to more gatherings like this“, says Hao Pham, Group Financial Controller, SVP at Pomelo Fashion.

Tony Nguyen, Country Manager at SmartOSC Thailand, expressed, “As a boutique, premium agency, SmartOSC is not merely content with fostering insightful conversations; we are determined to be at the forefront of shaping the future discourse within the industry.

Teaming up with esteemed speakers from Wordpannel by Kantar, we aim to explore a wider range of topics. Together, we aspire to be the driving force propelling Thailand forward into the era of Thailand 4.0.

The Forward Roundtable stands as a cornerstone within the Forward ecosystem, a global initiative by SmartOSC. This initiative is dedicated to delivering value not only to the Retail sector but also across dynamic industries like Fintech, Manufacturing and Healthcare.

About SmartOSC

With over 18 years of experience, SmartOSC is an award-winning digital commerce agency with a team of 1,000+ experts operating across 9 countries. Renowned for its deep expertise in various enterprise platforms and technology stacks, SmartOSC is the preferred choice for tackling complex, large-scale implementations, with a portfolio of over 1,000 successful projects.