- 1984 : Bachelor of Science (Accounting), Kasetsart University
- 1989 : Master of Accountancy (Cost Accounting), Chulalongkorn University
- 2009 : Master of Business Administration (Financial Management), Kasetsart University
Career and Key Positions
- 2019 - present : President and chief executive, PTT Oil and Retail Business Plc
- 2017 – 2018 : Senior Executive Vice President, Oil Business Unit, PTT Plc
- 2016 – 2017 : Managing Director, PTT Retail Management Co Ltd
- 2012 – 2016 : Executive Vice President, Planning, Oil Business Unit, PTT Plc
All in a day's work
Jiraphon Kawswat, president and chief executive of PTT Oil and Retail Business Plc (PTTOR), is the only woman among top-ranking executives at the company, where she oversees seven core businesses under PTT, the largest oil and gas conglomerate in Thailand.
She has gained trust from PTT to lead its core subsidiary PTTOR to overcome obstacles that caused a long delay in the company’s initial public offering (IPO).
Showing strong and visionary leadership, Ms Jiraphon shepherded PTTOR to achieve an historical IPO early this year despite concerns over the weak economy caused by Covid-19.
Its IPO drew huge interest from people who wanted to buy shares in OR, which oversees 2,000 petrol stations and 3,200 coffee houses under the Cafe Amazon brand.
The IPO raised 54 billion baht to strengthen its businesses, especially its non-oil business expansion, and is likely to be this year’s largest public offering.
Among her contributions to PTT is helping make OR the seventh flagship business of PTT through the stock market listing.
“It is a challenging job because I’m not only the first woman to oversee a key company under the PTT Group but also the first female chief executive who is not an engineer,” said Ms Jiraphon.
Over more than four decades since its creation in 1978, PTT only saw women promoted to chief financial officers as their highest position.
The company often gave the job of CEO to its engineers in the male-dominated energy business.
“I’m lucky to work with executives and colleagues who have given me the opportunity to bring out the best of my ability,” said Ms Jiraphon.
In the future, OR will go beyond oil fuel with more non-oil products to better serve people’s lifestyles including shopping at convenience stores, buying food and beverages and taking care of their motor vehicles, according to Ms Jiraphon.
OR plans to expand Cafe Amazon to 5,300 shops in 11 countries, including Oman, China, Japan and countries in South East Asia.
Ms Jiraphon also contributes to society by promoting social and social enterprise projects including learning development, local product support, and energy development for the community.
The projects are implemented through PTT stations and facilities throughout the country.
The oil and retail business requires detail-oriented people to help drive it forward, a role that matches her background as an accountant.
“Fortunately I possess this skill as accounting jobs require people who pay close attention to small detail,” said Ms Jiraphon.
Ms Jiraphon started her career at PTT in 1987 after graduating from with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kasetsart University.
She worked in the oil retail business for almost three decades before it spun off PTT into PTTOR.
The 59-year-old executive work together with 1,600 staff at oil storage, petrol stations and the export section, as well as oil suppliers and a range of non-oil businesses.
Currently she works almost seven days a week. “Retail is full of details,” said Ms Jiraphon, offering a brief description of her work.
“When I face difficulties, I often view them as scenarios and find ways to cope with them," she added.
Ms Jiraphon said staff with different backgrounds have the potential to serve in OR and other PTT businesses.