CEO the Year 2021: Start-up Founder of the Year

Komsan Lee

Chief Executive Officer of Flash Express Company Limited

Key Achievements

Future firsts

Thailand-based Flash Group, which provides e-commerce logistics services, including the delivery service Flash Express, has become the first Thai unicorn startup after recently raising US$150 million (4.6 billion baht) in Series D+ and E funding

A unicorn is a startup company that is valued at more than US$1 billion (around 31.2 billion baht).

In its initial year, 2019, Flash Group delivered more than 100 million parcels. As the country faced down the Covid-19 pandemic, Flash Group disrupted the transportation industry, forcing it to grow in the direction of the e-commerce. Flash now has delivered more than 300 million parcels. Working under the company philosophy, "In Mind In Delivery", the company currently has more than 10,000 employees and is ready to provide services across all 77 provinces in Thailand with more than 2,500 delivery points.

The man behind the company's success and who made the brand one of the fastest growing in the business is none other than CEO Komsan Lee, the 30-year-old CEO of the delivery services pioneer and creator of Flash Express.

Komsan was born into a poor family of Chinese descent in Doi Wawee in the northern province of Chiang Rai. He becames interested in trading and business at a young age as he used to tag along with his parents on their business trips. While in university, Komsan started a small shop in front of Lampang Rajabhat University, earning a modest 10,000 baht a month. Since then, he has gone on to work on various ventures, including a property sale agent, freight forwarder, and running a logistics firm that delivers to the US, Japan and China.

He started Flash Express in 2018 with 400 million baht.

Flash forayed into the delivery segment with an aggressive price strategy with a starting delivery fee of 25 baht, undercutting existing players who charged 60 baht. Komsan said Thailand can have a more reasonable delivery cost with the help of technology.

According to Mr Komsan, besides selecting the right industry and being dedicated to your work, selecting a talented team also plays a key role in success.

He has 300 technical developers in China to help with the workload. However, success also requires investor support and the right employee mindset to make the company grow.

By the end of this year, he expects the number of its employees to rise to 40,000 from 30,000 with some 70% of employees being deliverymen.

Komsan said the company has set out an ambitious plan to rank in the top in the logistics business in Southeast Asia within the next five years.

“Thailand-based Flash Group, which provides e-commerce logistics services including Flash Express delivery service, has become the first Thai unicorn startup, and the man who made the brand one of the fastest growing in the sector is none other than the company’s CEO Komsan Lee.”