The Mall reworks structure

The Mall reworks structure

Ms Supaluck expects sales this year to contract by 10-15% from 50 billion baht.
Ms Supaluck expects sales this year to contract by 10-15% from 50 billion baht.

The Mall Group, one of Thailand's biggest retail developers, has completed its organisational transformation as it moves into its fifth decade in the business.

Supaluck Umpujh, the group's chairwoman, said the company transformed its organisation, business structures, processes, human resources and procurement a couple of years ago to overcome digital disruption and fierce competition from the expansion of Alibaba and Amazon, as well as complicated consumer behaviour.

As part of the transformation, the company divided its business structure into three groups: real estate (new shopping complex development, real estate, office buildings, mixed-use and entertainment); trading (department stores, marketing, merchandising and HR); and finance, accounting and information technology (IT).

The real estate and trading business units will separate chief executives.

Kriengsak Tantiphipop is the chief executive of the real estate business unit, with Jakkrit Keeratichokchaikun the chief executive of the trading business unit. Both Mr Jakkrit and Mr Kriengsak will report to Ms Supaluck.

Wanna Phermsuwan is the company's senior executive vice-president for finance, accounting and IT reporting to Grisana Umpujh, the group's senior vice-chairwoman.

Previously the group had a separate management team handle each business.

More new blood, both Thai and foreign, with experience in international retail, banking, HR, and IT have been recruited to work for middle to top management along with members of the Umpujh family.

There are seven top executives from the second generation and three from the third generation of the Umpujh family.

Middle to top executive management make up 400 of the 12,000 total employees working for the group.

"We've recruited new employees to join the group to replace top executives who retired, not because of any layoffs related to Covid-19," Ms Supaluck said.

"The group's new executives have to have a sense of ownership, leadership and passion to run the retail business successfully amid many challenges."

After the organisational restructuring, The Mall Group's image will no longer be perceived as a family-run business, she said.

With the new business structures, the group's revenue will include rental fees in addition to department store sales.

The group plans to change the rental policy from leasehold to rental fees once contracts with existing tenants expire.

It has about 200,000 square metres of space net saleable in which to collect rental fees, said Ms Supaluck.

The company plans to branch out into real estate including office, residential buildings and hotels.

The Mall has 5-6 plots for new development, which is expected to start over the next few years.

The expectation is key earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation will stem from real estate development in the future.

"We're committed to pursuing our 50-billion-baht investment plan for the next five years, no matter whether the coronavirus pandemic lasts for the next 2-3 years or not," she said.

"We dream big, think big and never give up. That's why we are here today."

According to Ms Supaluck, after the transformation The Mall Shopping Complex's positioning will be changed to The Mall Life Store, with the pilot prototype already introduced at The Mall Ngam Wong Wan.

The company is spending 3-4 billion baht to renovate The Mall Thapra and 4 billion on The Mall Bangkae to comply with the new positioning next year.

A similar plan is afoot for The Mall Bangkapi next year and The Mall Ramkhamhaeng in subsequent years.

Over the next five months the group plans to gradually renovate Paragon Department Store.

Ms Supaluck expects the group's sales this year to contract by 10-15% from last year's 50 billion baht.

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