The Broad Appeal Of Parichart Veerasatien
Newly appointed managing director for local operations of Japanese global beauty brand Shiseido—the first Thai and the first local woman to hold the position—Parichart Veerasatien is used to the pressures of responsibility. Ever since the Assumption University graduate entered the workforce she has had to deal with the kind of professional burdens that would give most of us sleepless nights.
First there was her role as a business analyst at Kasikorn Bank, which saw the young graduate entrusted with an account worth 100 million baht. Then there was the challenge of switching careers to become one of the first Proctor & Gamble management trainees in the country, and later in her career there was the onus of building the consumer products department at L’Oreal Thailand as the company went from being a distributor to an established player in the cosmetics and beauty sector.
Elegantly dressed and sporting vivid red lipstick, Parichart is relaxed and affable in the neat, contemporary surroundings of Shiseido’s new headquarters in Thonglor. “I spent seven important years at P&G learning the fast-moving consumer goods industry,” she says. “I have always been interested in sales—the art of selling things—not on a small scale, but using broader strategies that optimise volume to ensure healthy growth for a business.”
Moving on from P&G, she spent the next 15 years at L’Oreal Thailand. “I suppose I have been fortunate in that whenever I moved, it was to a business that was in a process of change, which presents opportunities. I had just joined Richardson-Vicks when it was taken over by P&G and I started at L’Oreal when it was changing from a distributor to a fully-fledged beauty and cosmetics business in Thailand. When I arrived at Shiseido in 2012 the company was only just beginning to introduce mass appeal cosmetics and personal care brands to the Thai market. In those circumstances you have more room to develop—there are no templates to follow and you can structure sales processes and systems for yourself.”
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When she joined Shiseido it was primarily known in Thailand for its prestige products but it started to import brands that fall between mainstream drugstore goods and the luxury segment—such as Za, Majolica Majorca, Tsubaki and Senka. “It was a very exciting period and we were very busy—still are of course. The experience I gained in those years was invaluable,” she explains.
Keen to promote from within and with a creedo that locals are best placed to understand their home markets, when it came to selecting a new managing director for Thailand Shiseido was quick to recognise Parichart’s many years of experience. But the former general manager for cosmetics and consumer care business for the brand hasn’t taken her elevation for granted. “I’m pleased that my potential has been recognised and that I have this opportunity, and of course being the first Thai and the first woman appointed to the role makes it a special honour. But there are many talented individuals at Shiseido Thailand, men and women who could have stepped up. They are a big reason why I’m confident about facing the challenges of the future—we have a great team capable of coping with the relentless nature of the industry and I know we will grow the business together.”
The mother of two is a self-professed workaholic. She likes to travel, enjoying driving on her own around upcountry destinations. But even then work is never far from her mind, says this ever-busy woman.
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