CEO the Year 2021: Best CEO in Real Estate Excellence

Wallapa Traisorat

President & Chief Executive Officer of Asset World Corp PLC (AWC)

Key Achievements

AWC chief leading from the front

Wallapa Traisorat is a name that would typically be associated with her tycoon father — Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi — as the second daughter became his successor as chief executive and president of Asset World Corporation Plc (AWC), a property firm worth more than 100 billion baht.

However, amid the almost two-year-long Covid-19 pandemic, which generated painful memories for the whole tourism industry, Mrs Wallapa wrote significant chapters in her own story by supporting stakeholders in supply chains, which helped them continue during this challenging time.

AWC was one of the few large companies that announced a no-layoff policy and did not reduce pay or salaries in the name of staying afloat.

The firm also offered rental fee reductions for operators at its retail, wholesale and commercial spaces as well as providing a source of low-interest liquidity for those in need.

Since AWC created history two years ago as the biggest initial public offering (IPO) globally in terms of real estate development with a market capitalisation of around 192 billion baht, the company has continued to expand during Mrs Wallapa’s reign despite the ongoing pandemic.

Mrs Wallapa aims to help leverage Thailand as a world-class tourism and lifestyle destination.

In 2022, Mrs Wallapa is expected to sign a deal with IHG Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, to expand five hotels with a total of 1,200 rooms in Bangkok and Pattaya, as well as a lucrative partnership with Hyatt Hotels Corporation to develop more than 1,000 new rooms across multiple Hyatt-branded hotels.

She also headed a team to the US this year to secure the company's first deal with Nobu Hospitality, which is well-known for its luxury lifestyle hotels and restaurants, and recently acquired Dusit D2 Chiang Mai for 435 million baht from Dusit Thani Group.

The luxury brands provided by these global partners are expected to fill up plenty of mega projects which AWC is gradually developing in many key locations across the country.

Mrs Wallapa said the company hopes that these developments will be completed between 2024-2029, which would be in time for the recovery in tourism.

The most significant project among the notable projects led by Mrs Wallapa is A Siam Asiatique in Bangkok, which will include 1,304 rooms at two hotels — JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton — along with a Ritz-Carlton residence and a new lifestyle office by the Chao Phraya River.

Looking East, AWC's mixed-use Aquatique District Pattaya project will serve as as magnet to attract high-end travellers with 2,040 rooms under four hotels and two residences managed by luxury brands such as Vignette Collection, Marriott and Autograph Collection.

There are also two mixed-use projects in Bangkok which will be built in the historical quarter — the 16-billion-baht Woeng Nakhon Kasem project in Chinatown and a 3.43-billion-baht luxury wellness resort managed by The Ritz Carlton on a riverside plot.

Besides extensive working experience, Mrs Wallapa also has a solid educational background in related fields, comprising a Master of Philosophy in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, a Master’s Degree in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Silpakorn University.

The steady growth of AWC amid the crisis this year has already proven that Mrs Wallapa is not only on the frontline of real estate development, but also a key figure for the country's tourism recovery in the future.

“AWC’s steady growth amid the Covid crisis reflects how Ms. Wallapa is keeping the company in the frontline of real estate development while at the same time personally emerging as a key figure propelling the country's tourism recovery.”