Surachai Chetchotisak, the chairman, CEO and managing director of RS Public Co, Ltd, is a very forward-thinking entrepreneur. One of his latest ventures has been the launch of “Popcoin”, a new smart marketing platform operating via blockchain technology. Recently, Mr Surachai sat down with Elite+ magazine to talk about his innovative idea to combine technology and marketing to create a new experience for RS Group partners and their customers.
“At RS Group, we follow what we call an ‘Entertainmerce’ business model, adapting our expertise in media to blend with commerce. RS Group is continuously developing new strategies, using what we have learned to find new partners to expand our Entertainmence activities. However, some flaws still remain, like with our database. Today, RS Group has between 40 to 50 million customers altogether, which can be divided into four different segments: music subscribers, Channel 8 viewers, Cool Fahrenheit radio listeners and RS Mall customers. The databases we have are still not organised well enough. Our goal now is to combine these databases into a complete bigdata compilation. To achieve this, we decided to use blockchain technology, and so designed “Popcoin”, a digital token we want to be more than just a digital token.”
Popcoin has been developed to be a smart marketing platform that can accommodate all businesses in the RS Group. By linking the different customer databases together, they believe they can increase customer engagement within their different ventures. To accomplish this, the company had to conduct a vast amount of research before they could launch the Popcoin platform.
Mr Surachai went on to explain, “We value adaptability and without it, we would never have been able accomplish all we have.” But what about their customers? Will they be able to adapt to this new innovation? Mr Surachai responded, “I believe this is the right time to introduce Popcoin. The market is already prepared and quite familiar with cryptocurrency and bitcoin. I do not think that this technology is too advanced as people tend to expand their knowledge all the time. Therefore, if they see Popcoin providing our customers with benefits, they will eventually adopt it into their daily life.
“Popcoin’s purpose is not fundraising or to sell to customers, but to be a service provided directly to them. As for investors, I believe that when they understand the ecosystem, stability and risks that come with Popcoin, they will be keen to invest.” Mr. Surachai said confidently with a huge smile that he expects RS Group to grow exponentially this year. “Our income goal for 2022 is up to 10,000 million THB.”
For the past two to three years, RS Group has been planning their expansion very carefully. Moreover, with the help of their subsidiary, 4th Apple, they have experts in online platform development to guide the Group forward into this disruptive, digital era.
Anyone familiar with RS Group cannot deny their substantial growth and evolution which are made more obvious through the changes and advancements reflected in their logo, mindset and brand image. Mr. Surachai explained, “RS has been continuously developing our business. Starting as a music producer, we have expanded into film and TV drama, or soap opera production, radio, satellite television and TV set-top box sales and services. We are the first media company to dive into football. Many people might think it is too risky to shift interests, but for us, we love the challenges. I can say that it is in our company DNA to thrive and succeed in every way. Currently, we decided to take another risk as we turned to commerce. At first many people doubted our ability to succeed, but after three years we have proven our prowess in this sector.”
When asked about recommendations he might have for other entrepreneurs, especially those focusing on new start-ups, Mr Surachai said, “Today, data and databases are imperative. These are what are needed for a company to expand, and they should build up these resources as quickly as they can because without them, they will be held back and lose to their competitors. Secondly, a company and its people must be flexible and adaptable, especially as things are moving and evolving so quickly.”
He went on to say, “When starting a project, it does not matter how perfect the plan is as when you begin to take action, there will always be some problem that needs to be resolved. Personally, I only start taking action based on an initial plan that is 60 to 70% complete because I know I will face unexpected obstacles that will mean altering my plan. So after taking action, I will revise my plan accordingly. However, this also depends on how fast you need to deal with an unexpected situation.”
When asked about how he envisions the future of RS Group, Mr Surachai humbly replied, “I don’t see myself holding my active positions at the head of the group after five to 10 years. Currently, I am still having fun working for RS Group, and I am confident that RS Group will become even stronger in the years ahead. When the time comes, I will retire but may remain as just the board chairman and advisor; however before this, I still have a lot to do and accomplish for RS Group.”
As the interview came to a close, we turned to a lighter topic. Mr. Surachai has long been a dog lover, but as a visionary entrepreneur, he is thinking of transforming this hobby into a business. “I love my dog. Every time I bring him to a pet shop, clinic or other places, I have seen opportunity. There are a lot of dog and cat lovers, and today, the market is huge. Currently, I have my team gathering information and conducting research. I always feel that if we work with what we are passionate about, the work we do will always be fun and rewarding.”