The AFG looks at start-ups

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The panel members are from left: Damien Kerneis, Mike Griffis, David Nichols and Frank Holzer.
The panel members are from left: Damien Kerneis, Mike Griffis, David Nichols and Frank Holzer.

The very active Automotive Focus Group (AFG) held their latest meeting in the Holiday Inn’s auditorium in their ‘workshop’ area with the post-event in the Havana Bar.

The subject was ‘start-ups’ and the panel consisted of Damien Kerneis (Co-founder Siam CarDeal), Mike Griffis (Director Harrington Industries Thailand), David Nichols (Operations Consultant Air Radiators) and Frank Holzer (Executive General Manager MHG Asia Pacific) with the moderator Carey Peck from DHL.

It was quickly evident that the BOI (Board of Investment) in Thailand and its ramifications was not an easy part of government to understand whilst the BOI overseas painted a much more rosy picture.

All four panelists were adamant that any start-up had to make sure their company was fully legal. But this was where the first hurdle lay. Mike Griffis stated that you need a good accountant who has a good history with the BOI. The biggest problem was in finding that person!

Another problem for the would-be start-up was in defining the work process and developing it. “A constant challenge,” said Frank Holzer. It was agreed that process procedures have to be in place and developed from day 1.

It was unanimous that many in the workforce move for additional salary, rather than for furthering their education.

It was brought out that when developing the customer base, the Japanese industries control 80 percent, so the remaining 20 percent represent a very tight and competitive customer pool.

Some of the panel were outsourcing technical support also suggesting that it is very difficult to keep a new company going forward without support to keep the company growing.

It was another very useful evening arranged by the AFG committee. If you would like more details, you can contact Frank Holzer by email [email protected]