Thailand Elite Card gets new boss

Thailand Elite Card gets new boss

Ex-THAI executive plans to increase sales

Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC), operator of the Thailand Elite Card, has named Pruet Boobphakam as new managing director to steer its operations after a nine-month vacancy.

Mr Pruet, 53, will officially assume the position in October.

He is a former adviser to the Thailand Trade Representative and executive vice-president for commercial operations at Thai Airways International (THAI).

TPC chairman Kraitos Ongchaisak said Mr Pruet's priorities would be to control expenditure, outline a practical business direction and improve the image of the Thailand Elite Card in the eyes of Thai and foreign customers.

He will also try to increase card sales and distribution channels to generate more revenue for TPC, which is wholly owned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Mr Pruet obtained an MBA from Chulalongkorn University and a Master of Science from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The Thailand Elite Card gained a new lease on life under the Yingluck Shinawatra government after facing closure.

Expenditure is estimated at 11 million baht a month to serve 3,093 cardholders.

Mr Kraitos said the global economic slowdown would be a major challenge for TPC, which may miss its card sales target of 524 and revenue of 320 million baht in fiscal 2015 ending Sept 30.

As of yesterday, TPC had sold 214 memberships and generated 214 million baht in revenue.

Mr Kraitos said the company's business plan should be revised to suit the economic situation, which has been affected by foreign currency fluctuations including the yuan devaluation and weak US dollar.

As of July 31, TPC had a cumulative loss of 840 million baht, down from 1.42 billion at the end of 2009. It has 296 million baht in cash flow.

The top five nationalities holding the card are South Koreans (744), Japanese (429), Taiwanese (274), British (271) and Americans (151).

Card membership sales in fiscal 2014 totalled 94 million baht from 152 members.

TPC has added more privileges and services to attract customers.

Its 20-year individual membership costs 2 million baht. Cardholders receive a five-year multiple-entry visa with a one-year stay per entry, 24 rounds of golf (green fees only) per calendar year, 24 spa treatments and an annual medical check-up.

The scheme also has family memberships and co-branded memberships, each costing 1 million baht.

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