TCP Group, the manufacturer and distributor of Kratingdaeng energy drink, Mansome functional drink and Sponsor, doesn't expect any negative impacts on its business from the policies of the new government, including pledges to raise the minimum daily wage.
The company has pledged to spend 500 million baht on the installation of machinery for its two production lines of Sponsor and Kratingdaeng this year.
TCP recently agreed to establish a joint venture with a Malaysian company to expand its energy drink business before branching out into new product categories, while it also plans to produce new beverages in Malaysia in the future.
Saravoot Yoovidhya, the group's chief executive, said there is a huge opportunity for energy drink sales in Malaysia because there is relatively low per person consumption there compared with Thailand, where each person consumes 5 litres per year on average.
Meanwhile, the company is set to begin operations at its new energy drink factory in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. TCP is planning to produce 1.4 billion cans per year at the plant.
According to Mr Saravoot, although the global market situation in the first quarter of this year was still challenging, TCP would continue to invest but with greater caution.
With over 60 years of experience in the food and beverage sector, he said the company adheres to a consumer-centric principle in conducting business, enabling it to understand the market, respond to the changing needs of consumers and enter the market at the proper time to reduce risk.
"We're not concerned about the policies of the new government now that we are not engaged in any concessions while 70% of our business is located abroad," said Mr Saravoot. "We still believe in Thailand's potential as a global centre of high-quality food production and exports."
He said the anticipated minimum wage hike should not affect the firm's operations as it introduced automation on some of its Prachin Buri factory's production lines a long time ago. The policy to raise the minimum wage would more likely negatively impact small-to-medium enterprises more than larger companies, he added.
Mr Saravoot is urging the new government to focus more on improving learning and education among the country's youth in order to increase their competitiveness.
"No matter which political parties happen to form the new government, we would like to suggest that learning and education be one of the priorities that needs to receive greater focus in order to increase competitiveness, otherwise the opportunities will belong to foreign workers," he said.
TCP's sales reached 50 billion baht last year, a 20% increase from 2021. The firm expects sales to grow 10-15% this year. TCP Group sells various products from more than 10 leading brands, including Kratingdaeng, Ready, Som Plus, Sponsor, Mansome and Sun Snacks.
In addition, it also provides comprehensive services through Durbell, which is a distribution firm that can support partners entering the Thai market.