Casting a wary eye towards the future
'Mr Sandwich' warns of long-term economic reverberations from the pandemic.
Having outlived two economic crises that produced disastrous outcomes for the global economy, stockbroker turned food and drink entrepreneur Sirivat Voravetvuthikun has a warning: the coronavirus pandemic could be the worst economic crisis of his lifetime, posing an explicit danger to Thailand's economic well-being.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974, Mr Sirivat went on to become chief executive of Asia Securities at 28. His success in the early 1990s was shattered by the 1994 stock market crash in Thailand, with the Asian financial crisis in 1997 the final blow to his investment business, particularly a high-end resort condo project at Khao Yai National Park.
Declaring bankruptcy in 2003 with unpaid debt of nearly 1 billion baht, Mr Sirivat persevered and emerged from bankruptcy three years later by slowly building up his business, Sirivat Sandwich, followed by running a chain of coffee shops and a catering operation.