Rising Star Entrepreneur

Nattamon Pisankitvanich

Managing Director of BNN Restaurant Group
“As a young business leader, we admit that sometimes people may underestimate our ability, but we never let that stop us from doing anything because we know what we are doing."

A true suki success story

Nattamon “Fern” Pisankitvanich, managing director of BNN Restaurant Group, the operator of Suki Teenoi, built the brand through her keen insight into the domestic suki business, despite her lack of a personal passion for food.

She knew there would be fierce competition operating a sukiyaki business in Thailand, but was undaunted when she opened the first Suki Teenoi at Ban Bang Khen on Phahonyothin Road in 2019.

At that time, she had never even thought about making a profit. She just wanted to give customers quality food and service with a restaurant ambience.

"Once customers feel that we give the best to them, they will return to us and they will talk about us to their friends and family members. Word of mouth is an important tool that has helped us grow to this point. Another success factor is we always adopt a customer-centric approach, giving them the best we can without any expectations. We believe that things will come at the right time," said Ms Nattamon.

Apart from the price point of 199 baht, another strong point of Suki Teenoi are the service hours of 12pm to 5am, helping it get a wider range of target customers.

Suki Teenoi’s business has been growing since the first year of its operation. Even during the pandemic, BNN Restaurant opened as many as 20 new branches because of its staunch faith that one day the Covid-19 situation would return to normal.

“The faster you run, the faster you grow as well,” said Ms Nattamon.

Now most Suki Teenoi branches have long customer queues.

Ms Nattamon attributed the success to always keeping company standards high, making sure the food is delicious, service is impeccable, and the restaurant is always clean.

At present, there are 45 Suki Teenoi restaurants in Bangkok and its vicinities, and the company plans to open 10 more restaurants across the country this year, including in Saraburi and Chon Buri.

BNN Restaurant Group recently decided to sell a 30% stake to SET-listed Jay Mart, a holding firm engaged in IT retail, finance and technology.

Through the partnership, Jay Mart aims to support technologies to enhance Suki Teenoi’s operational efficiency as the restaurant chain plans to add branches this year, Adisak Sukumvitaya, chief executive of Jay Mart, said earlier.

The collaboration is part of Jay Mart’s synergy strategy, with Suki Teenoi supported with innovative technologies to enhance its supply chain, logistics and consumer engagement.

Ms Nattamon said Jay Mart will help BNN expand its branches at a faster pace than in the past, both via the Suki Teenoi brand and new food brands.

In addition, Jay Mart operates Jas community mall, which houses some branches of Suki Teenoi. Jay Mart has continued to open its Jas community malls in several provinces this year.

Jay Mart has also developed the JFIN coin as a digital token, and Ms Nattamon said she may learn from this financial technology, artificial intelligence cameras and customer relationship management system development.

Apart from expanding its branches, BNN is also scheduled to file its initial public offering (IPO) plan to the Securities and Exchange Commission this year.

With Jay Mart as the company’s partner, Ms Nattamon said she believes her company can go faster because Jay Mart has formulated IPO plans several times for both Jay Mart itself and its subsidiaries.

Despite her accomplishments with Suki Teenoi, Ms Nattamon said she remains ambitious about expanding BNN with other brands on its own and through mergers and acquisitions. It will also expand Suki Teenoi to overseas markets.

"There are a lot of challenges in being an entrepreneur. Being a leader and the boss of over 3,000 staff is not easy. More importantly, as a young business leader, we admit that sometimes people may underestimate our ability, but we never let that stop us from doing anything because we know what we are doing," Ms Nattamon said.