Anyone who has a dream to enter a top global university, work to show your potential in a top global company, and do business with overseas colleagues should listen to the latest Denla British School (DBS) “Entrepreneur Series” event, by Mr Krittee Manoleehakul, Managing Director of Tencent (Thailand) Limited. Mr Krittee is an inspiring young executive who oversees many products of the Tencent company: Sanook.com, a popular one-stop service website; NoozUp, a news application targeting urbanistas and a new generation; JOOX, a popular music streaming service; Tencent Games, popular smart phone games; and Topspace, a digital agency service allowing Thai business to advertise on China’s platform, WeChat. Mr Krittee graduated from an international school, studied in a world-class university, and is very successful in his global field.
Mr Krittee revealed the reasons for his success at the Entrepreneur Series event hosted by Denla British School. He shared great stories with students to spark their inspiration. Mr Krittee said that one of the things that made him successful was good planning at school. However, just having good grades doesn’t mean you will be successful in the future. To reach your dream, it requires 4 factors: academic excellence, a well-rounded approach, language skills, and discovery of passions.
Study well to focus on your direction.
“I graduated with a bachelor degree in engineering from Brown University in the US and then a master degree in business administration from Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University. In order to obtain these degrees, a strong academic background is needed. I focused on languages, mathematics, and sciences to reach my desired university, and after that, my focus was on engineering, economics, and marketing. ‘Academic excellence’ is the first priority in preparing for a successful life. When I was young, I used to study in a Thai school before going to study in the US. At that time, I finished my homework very quickly so I had more time to do other things. However, when I studied in the US, I enjoyed the school very much because there were many extra-curricular activities to practise skills. For students who are studying in Thailand, but in an international school where the environment is similar to the ones abroad, this is a great opportunity. So, you should thank your parents who send you to this school!”
Knowledge leads to social skill.
“You have to have good grades but beyond that, you need to be well-rounded. When I was in school, I took many art classes. I love the arts. I went to an art studio a lot after school and I was the art editor at the school’s magazine. I also did sport too. Beyond making good grades, you need to focus on something beyond studying. Picking the right university for you is very important too. There are hundreds of universities to choose, so choose the one that is right for you.”
“Most of my work involves working with foreigners and travelling to do business in many countries, whether planning world strategy for Samsung, developing a business plan for Expedia Asia-Pacific, or today as the Managing Director of Tencent Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar. Even though my job is based in Thailand, we have many meetings with foreign teams via video calls e.g. to China and South Korea. Therefore, it is useful to know other languages like Mandarin. Moreover, you have to learn about other cultures, too. You have to understand other cultures to work with people around the world.
Discovering your passions.
“My interest was always about technology so I chose to study engineering. Twenty years ago, there was no internet, we did not have emails. People had to write letters and make phone calls at home, and when we had the internet, it was very slow. Now, you have iPhones, and you can play games on your mobile phones. As an engineer, I was curious and had a dream to build technological innovation to help human kind. I graduated and was interested in working with a technology company. There, I had to write programmes which contributed to my passion about helping people access technology. Finding your passion is important. The sooner you find it, the sooner you will become clear about yourself and your plan for the future. Passions come from exploring. You have to keep trying and be open-minded, keep exploring and keep learning. Passions will only be discovered when you explore and see things. Experiences will tell you what you truly like and what you don’t like. For me, I’ve found my passion which is technology and that I am always curious about how technology works. I also love the arts and that’s why I’ve launched JOOX. Now, you are still young, you may not know what you like, so, you must keep exploring and don’t stop until you find it.
For the question, “in the next 10 years, what kind of careers or professions will be in high demand?” Mr Krittee said, “Let me tell you a story. 70 years ago, a computer was just a person. You had to tell the person to do a calculation, for example. Today, you just have to tell computers to do this. 10 years from now, a lot of jobs that require repetition are going to be gone and they will be replaced with A.I. or robots. 10 years from now, your job is going to be about telling the robots what they have to do. In doing so, you need to have critical thinking skill, creativity, and the ability to understand problems. I would say that robots will be parts of our lives. In the future, some parts that attach to your bodies will be robots. You can do a lot of things at the same time; hence being very productive by telling the robots to do the jobs.
“Your parents have worked hard to send you to this very good international school. You are privileged to be studying in an international school. You grow up in this era when everything is available for you. During my time as a kid, I only watched cartoons on Sunday and I had to wait for next Sunday to watch cartoons. Now, you guys can do anything anytime. I’d say that your generation, do explore a lot because you have a lot of information available. This is an advantage for students in this era. However, the thing you need to be careful is that too much information may be bad for you. You need to pick something that you like and focus on it, and manage your time. For example, when you watch Youtube, you have to watch things that you like and learn from it, and become an expert about it. Do concentrate because there is a lot of distraction these days. You have to be a specialist of something. Today’s world there is a lot of information and distraction. The risk about this is you might not be good at anything. So, be focused on what you want to do and be good at it,” Mr Krittee concluded.