- 1991 : Bachelor of Education Major English, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand
- 1994 : Master of Psychology Counseling Service, Rider University, USA
Career and Key Positions
- 2004-2007 : Human Resources Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
- 2007 - 2011 : Human Resources Director, Central Watson (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
- 2011 - 2013 : Chief Human Resources Officer, Prudential Life Insurance (Thailand) Plc.
- 2013 - 2015 : Deputy Chief Operation Officer, MC Group Plc.
- 2015 - Present : Chief Human Resources Officer, Advanced Info Service Plc.
- 2016 - Present : Group Chief Human Resources Officer, InTouch Holdings Plc.
Thinking outside the HR box
Not many know their true calling from an early age, and less do in the field of human resources.
But for Kantima Lerlertyuttitham, growing up working in her father's company, she saw that the HR department was in much need of an overhaul, and felt she was the woman to do it.
Now group chief human resources officer of Advanced Info Service (AIS) and InTouch Holdings, Thailand’s largest telecommunication company, she strives to bring HR from the back of the office to a frontline decision making and innovating agency, whose role extends far beyond onboarding and conflict resolution.
"It is my passion to change the perception of HR," Ms Kantima said. "When you want to see success, you have to put yourself into it, work harder and not sit only in the HR role to understand all aspects of the company."
She received her Master's Degree in counseling psychology at Rider University in the United States, planning to use the understanding of human behavior to advance her career in HR, and began her career assisting in setting up the newly established Export-Import Bank of Thailand in the human resource department.
"After seven years I found I did not fit with Thai organisation, especially state enterprise," she said. "I found I couldn't keep my mouth shut, wanting to say things that would result in the bosses not loving me."
Since then, her career has spanned major multinationals from Hutchison Whampoa to Microsoft, before landing at AIS. Her career can be characterised by her willingness to go beyond the confines of the traditional HR role and leverage the expertise and knowledge of a firm's employees into other duties like sales and marketing.
"At meetings when the topic of business comes up, usually HR people are ready to eject themselves from the conversation," she said. "They don’t want to deal with the numbers and profits and losses, and just want to know how many extra people the company wants to hire. But HR should understand more about the business to know if the plan to hire more people is in fact the right plan and what is the best way to go about doing it."
At AIS, she has fully digitised the office, taking the paperless mantra so far to even add a digital, touchscreen library in the 12th floor lobby of AIS headquarters. Ms Kantima also launched the AIS Academy that teaches AIS employees and the general public courses in digital marketing and other skills in emerging technologies.
As the head of hiring, she strives to build up a more diverse workforce in all aspects, gender, birthplace and skill sets.
But despite the drive for workplace inclusion, she doesn't want women to expect special treatment.
"I never park my car at the female parking lot — I hate it!" she said. "If you want to be treated equally, you have to be able to perform equally."
And for those just starting out in the corporate world, Ms Kantima urges youngsters to be proactive and make their own opportunities.
"You are responsible for your own career. Do not let your boss pick the future for you, you create your own future. You have to adapt yourself, learn all the new skills, and seek out new experiences."
As the workplace changes, especially at technology-related companies like AIS, she urges employees to constantly grow their skills and competencies to be able to fit into new roles as they manifest and away from those that have been disrupted.
"When people think of the pandemic in the office, they just think of it in terms of work from home. But we need to see this as change, as another disruption that will continue, that the changes will never end, and we need to be prepared for what comes next."