- 1977 : Mahidol University
- 1979 : Purdue University
Career and key positions
Over 35 years of experience in Retail and Property Industries
- Chairwoman of The Mall Group Co., Ltd.
- Chairwoman of Siam Paragon Retail Co., Ltd.
- Chairwoman of Siam Paragon Development Co., Ltd.
- Chairwoman of The Emporium Group Co., Ltd.
"Iron butterfly" spreads her wings
Supaluck Umpujh, 66, chairwoman of The Mall Group, one of Thailand’s biggest retail conglomerates, is one of the most successful businesswomen in Thailand’s retail sector. She was once dubbed by the well-known global magazine, Fortune, as “The Iron Butterfly.”
For over three decades, Ms Supaluck has ushered in the Mall Group to successfully overcome a slew of challenges including the latest and unabated novel coronavirus crisis.
“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China and shortly spreading to Japan, with a pharmaceutical science graduate, I immediately sense the situation is going to be serious,” she said. “Even though the outbreak was far from Thailand, I’ve decided to hold an urgent meeting with management teams to find protective measure. At the same time, I've also created a campaign to give moral support to the Wuhan people and hope they will come back if the situation is better."
Ms Supaluck graduated with a master's degree in pharmaceutical science from Purdue University in the US after earning her first degree from Mahidol University.
At the domestic market, the Mall Group under her leadership has launched “the power of love” campaign to encourage all participants to overcome the pandemic together.
The company has teamed up with partners, launching various campaigns to stimulate consumers’ spending to energize the economy.
In stores, the company has also launched many precautions and preventive measures to help protect the community and make shopper confident while shopping with our malls. Moreover, the company has approached many relief measures to its tenants via cutting down rental fee and etc.
“Stronger people have to help weaker ones. I talk with partners to launch a campaign to stimulate the purchasing power to make the business of all participants move forward. We together share the pain," Ms Supaluck said.
Last year, the Mall Group saw a sales drop of 20% last year which fared quite better than other players because the company has a smaller number of physical stores and only two complexes are located in tourist destinations.
Travel restrictions have offered a windfall to The Mall because customers with high spending who failed to go overseas have moved to shop for luxury products at her downtown retail complexes.
Internally, Ms Supaluck always gives morale support to her staffs from low to high-level management via mobile short message, cards and gifts during the crisis. She has recognized that such a way is more meaningful than giving only money to them.
“Retail business last year was like a patient in an intensive care unit (ICU). This year, it starts recovering but cannot walk fast. Next year, we hope it can walk faster and run stably. The situation will return to normal within the next 3-4 years with the new normal lifestyle," she said.
According to Ms Supaluck, her company is stepping up to digital retail. By the end of this month, the Mall Group will officially launch a digital store in Thailand. However, she refused to give any details of such a digital store.
“We move slowly digitally but it will be stable," she said.