- 1976-1980 : Kasetsart University in Accounting
- 1981-1985 : Thammasat University in Accounting
- 2007 : Honarary Doctorate Degree in Marketing from Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi
Career and key positions
- 2020-present : Advisor for marketing & branding, DTGO Corporation Limited
- 2014-present : Honorary Advisor for TV production companies
- 2011-2018 : Vice president of office of corporate communications, Thai Beverage Plc.
- 2006-2010 : CEO, Media of Medias Plc
- 2004-2005 : President, BBTV Production
- 1997-2007 : Executive Vice President,Bank of Ayudhaya Plc
- 1996-1997 : Executive Vice President, Ayudhya Investment and Trust
- 1985-1995 : Senior executive vice president, Citibank N.A.
- 1980-1985 : Auditor, Pricewaterhouse
Every job has value
Throughout over 40 years of working, Charlotte Donavanik has never turned down opportunities that knock the door, not even once. She loves and always embraces challenges.
Early last year at her retirement age, she was approached by Thippaporn Ahriyavraromp, the youngest daughter of Dhanin Chearavanont - Thailand’s richest billionaire and senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, to join DTGO Corporation Ltd as advisor for marketing and branding.
DTGO was founded in 1993 by Mrs Thippaporn. It is a holding company with various businesses including property development, commerce and technology, design and construction, finance and investment and entertainment and communications.
“Every job depends on how much we pay attention to. Everything is possible,” she says. “I never turned down job offers or assignments asked to do. I never think about which jobs have value, which have not. Every job has value which we can create.”
After graduating in accounting, Mrs Charlotte had worked with Pricewaterhouse as an auditor for five years.
Then she moved to Citibank where providing her various jobs like loan, marketing, risk management, collection and setting up a call centre which was very new to the banking sector at the time.
However, it was at Bank of Ayudhya or Krungsri Bank where she discovered her hidden talents.
She pioneered and changed the game of communications for one of the most conservative organizations to reach consumers.
“I have been involved with branding and communications in the post financial crisis which was a very difficult time for Thai banks,” she recalled the memory in 1997 when she moved from Ayudhya Investment and Trust to join Bank of Ayudhya.
“After the bank finished solving non-performing loans, it was the time to be aggressive in banking business which faced a change in landscape, from corporate to retail banking, driven by foreign banks,” she added.
At the time, Bank of Ayudhya’s brand color was brown which was perceived as old in consumer’s view.
To refresh it, Mrs Charlotte added yellow color to the brand before brown faded away in a later time.
As the bank had a limited budget, she started with using yellow color at new branches the bank expanded before renovating the existing ones with the new color.
Then every bank jumped on the bandwagon, using color to represent their brand.
“When I knew what branding was, I worked directly with the bank’s top management to cut the process for a quicker result,” she said. “Branding or rebranding without an endorsement from the top executive will be unlikely successful.”
Mrs Charlotte also persuaded Paradorn Srichaphan, Thailand’s all-time top professional tennis player, to be the bank’s presenter. Again, she pioneered the use of a presenter for banks.
She said she believed in being the first mover. As soon as Mr Paradorn became famous, she approached him, met him and made an offer by herself in order to close the deal more quickly before agencies or other brands contacted him.
Then, Bank of Ayudhya became recognized and outstanding. It was well-known among Thai consumers until these days.
This success also brought her new jobs in the entertainment business, including Media of Medias and BBTV Production, the operator of Channel 7 whose owners are the same to the yellow bank.
At Channel 7, she initiated many TV programmes, particularly news reporting and edutainment programmes. She was also one of the organizers of the beauty pageant - Miss Universe 2005 At Channel 7, and the first concert of K-pop star Rain in Thailand.
In 2011, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, president and chief executive of Thai Beverage asked her to join his company as vice president of office of corporate communications.
During the time at ThaiBev, she initiated a variety edutainment TV programme, “AEC Mee Tang Ruay”, broadcasted during 2014-16 on MCOT, with ThaiBev as a sponsor. She was also a co-host with Kobsak Pootrakul of Bangkok Bank.
She also started a community well-being TV programme “Caravan Samran Jai, Community Tourism” (joyful caravan, local tourism) on air every Saturday on Thai TV Channel 3 HD since 2017, with Bangkok Bank, the main sponsor.
The show promotes local tourism and helps communities develop sustainable, quality services that benefit the local economy and also share expert’s advice on product and service development.
“The companies I worked for--Krungsri Bank, Channel 7, ThaiBev and now DTGO--are all driven by humble owners,” she said. “Each firm I was asked for to join came to a point that they needed changes.”
She said DTGO and Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Ltd or MQDC, a property developer - one of DTGO’s subsidiaries, have done many good things to the society but have not yet expressed themselves.
“The group has a culture of being humble, doing much but talking less,” she said.
Each year DTGO dedicates 2% of its topline revenue, mainly from MQDC, to social and environmental initiatives through two foundations.
Buddharaksa Foundation which focuses on helping underprivileged children gain a good education and Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation, which focuses on education, healthcare, and sustainable development.
“Due to the Covid-19, the group last year focused on helping society through medical equipment donation,” she said. “This year is a year of business. MQDC plans to launch The Forestias worth over 125 billion baht, its flagship project and the country’s largest.”
At 63 years old, Mrs Charlotte is still active using every top social network apps-Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter.
She has more than 67,800 followers on Twitter. The highest retweets she recorded were more than 70,000.
She recently signed up for a new social network app Clubhouse where she will set up a club to share communications tips and discuss the importance of communications.
“I believe in giving. Giving but expecting nothing in return. One day in the future it will come back and it will be greater,” she said. “Honesty, sincereness and frankness are my motto.”