B2B Platform for Business Women in Thailand & Worldwide

I think every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow and become stronger

Interview with
Kanapon Chaosathit
Business Development & Membership Manager at Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce (NTCC)


Hello Kanapon, thank you for joining the interview with us. As usual, please introduce yourself, and congratulations to your recent success of becoming ‘DBWT’s Man of the Year 2023’!

Thanks for providing me an honorable opportunity again! Actually, everyone calls me Bale. I’m the Business Development & Membership Manager at the Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce (NTCC). At NTCC, as a membership organization, our main goal is to foster business expansion between Dutch, Thai, and international enterprises. My main responsibility is to acquire and engage with our 300 business community members, as well as potential ones, to ensure that they are all happy being part of our growing business community.

Working alongside my fantastic colleagues and our board directors, we strive to ensure that every companies in our growing business community are satisfied with the support we provided. This involves everything from facilitating business matches between community friends, offering personal guidance, helping companies in establishing a presence in Thailand, encouraging business expansion through our extensive network, sharing valuable information, and hosting inspiring events.

Before joining NTCC, I worked at GS Global, a general trading company where I was responsible for steel and new business development. This role involved exploring new business opportunities that our headquarters in Korea had not previously established in Thailand before. It allowed me to delve into sectors like healthcare, agriculture, aluminium, copper, ingot, scrap, and others. These experiences helped me to continue supporting our diverse community members in various business industries at NTCC.

As Business Development & Membership Manager at the Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce, what drives your passion for business development and fostering membership growth?

I enjoy learning new things from amazing people I meet every day. I love connecting people together and helping them expand new opportunities. It’s always my happy moment seeing any collaborations happening.

Seeing our community grow, both in business and as a community for friends and family, brings me so much joy. It shows that our members are truly satisfied with the services we provided and the community we built together got stronger.

What is the enjoyable and challenge part as working in sales? Can you share a particularly challenging moment in your career journey and how you overcame it?

I think every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become stronger. When I face challenges, I’m not afraid to ask for help and support from my family, friends, and colleagues. Sometimes you also need to learn the ideas from others. Do not give up and try your best effort, then you’ll see a positive result.

And of course, the most enjoyable part working in sales is when you achieve your target, overcome challenging situations, and ensure satisfaction for all involved parties.

How do you approach new opportunities for business development, and what advice would you give to others looking to expand their professional connections?

Approaches can differ depending on situations or the products you are handling.

But for me, developing relationships is really important. You never know what can happen. Opening conversation and paying attention to people you have just met are key to open new opportunities.

At NTCC, our services are customized and intangible. I make an effort to understand each connection or member’s business. This involves studying their products, identifying potential markets for them, understanding their pain points, and helping serve their needs. By doing this, we can create mutual benefits and value added to our community.

How do you stay motivated in your work and personal life?

Well, having clear short-term and long-term goals keeps me focused and motivated.

In my personal life, my wife and I are always planning for the future and discussing where we want to be in the next few years together. Four years ago, we talked about our goal of starting a family in 2024, and now that picture has become reality.

When it comes to work, my family is also a big source of motivation. I try to work hard to ensure they have a wonderful life. Additionally, the organization’s long-term vision and direction also motivate me to contribute towards achieving our goals.

How do you actively promote and support diversity, equality and women's empowerment within your organization and the business community?

For me, everybody is equal. We should treat everyone with respect, treating other people as what we would like to be treated. It’s all about giving everyone a fair treat and respecting their rights.

I also believe that we should create an environment where everybody has equal opportunity to grow. But I know I cannot do it all alone, we need the contribution from everyone. DBWT is one of the platforms that facilitate and educate people to aware of diversity, and empower equality in the community. That’s why I’m always happy to support DBWT activities.

Can you share your philosophy on achieving a healthy work-life balance, and how you prioritize your well-being while pursuing your career goals?

Sure, I believe having a healthy work-life balance starts with a good mindset, then we can prioritize both work and our personal life. And keep up our good health is also very important. You can’t create qualified works if your mind and body are not ready.

Therefore, I try to ensure that I’m stay in a good condition then I can pursue both work and personal life with energy and focus.

What are your hobbies?

Actually, my hobbies tend to change depending on what I’m interested in and what’s happening at the time. About seven years ago, I was really into chess. Then, five years back, I got into fitness and shifted the time after work for working out. Three years ago, I discovered how fun long-distance running is and even trained for a half marathon together with my wife. But unfortunately, as pollution in Thailand got worse, I chose to stop running outdoors.

In everything I do, I aim to get the best out of myself by learning and adapting from experts. Getting their guidance and inspiration, sometimes in person and sometimes via digital tools like YouTube. For example, when I’m interested in chess, I often watch the world-class players play in each game to learn different tactics.

However, one hobby that has always remained to me is watching football. I’m not just a fan of the game itself, but love to learn tactics and resources used by teams, coaches, and management after each match. As a Liverpool fan for 20 years, I’ve seen how the team manages resources and strategies to turn the game around and never give up. The moments like that really make me love it even more.

Who is your role model?

To be honest, I don’t really have a specific role model. I believed trying to be exactly like someone else is impossible.

Instead, I try to learn from the people I respect and adapt to my personal life. For example, I’ve always been inspired by Hans van den Born, my executive director. The way he connects with everyone around him, as well as his energy level and power on stage are always inspiring.

Likewise, my fellow board directors, Remko and Ulaiwan Vleesh Dubois, also inspired me. It’s not just how successful they are from day one but also the way they live, fulfilling each other together and caring for everybody around them.

Even though I don’t have a specific role model, I continue to learn as much as I can from these respected people around me 😉

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