Irena De Ribas came to Thailand three years ago from the Ukraine. She is half Italian and as such speaks Italian as well as Russian, Polish, Ukrainian and is working hard on her English skills.
Irena studied design, architecture and the real estate business and at first she thought that she may continue along that line in Pattaya. However she quickly observed that there was a niche for her in the form of printed media targeting the Russian speaking market. Within twelve months Irena had created The Russian Real Estate Magazine which is a monthly publication that aims to serve as a link between the business community and those who would like to invest and/or reside in Thailand. The magazine is objective and does not necessarily praise the projects & developments; it acts more as an information service.
Irena De Ribas.
She states that her biggest challenge in setting up the magazine (the first and only official one in town) was to find good partners and that at first she found that they were not used to dealing with a woman when it came to business. However, Irena has a gift for being a good listener and that assists her in creating a bond and therefore builds up a trust between her and her partners and this is something that makes her somewhat unique in Pattaya.
Irena sees her magazine as a portal for information and not just a collection of photo images. She tries as best as possible to partner with reputable companies that either have a good track record and/or inspirational projects that offer value for money, specifically aimed at the Russian market.
Irena views her role as being an adviser to potential investors here in real estate; informing them that whilst they may see many advertisements around town, perhaps many of these projects are not really best suited to the requirements of the buyers concerned, and that they should look around, feel comfortable with asking questions and look at the various options available to them.
Her aim is to bring the international community together with the Russian community so that they can work well and understand each other’s needs and style. This year there will be an estimated 1.5 million Russian tourists and therefore there are some significant opportunities for her partners and partners to be.
Her plans for the future will be to offer complimentary services for her clients such as translation & writing aimed at the Russian speaking market, which is markedly different in terms of the mentality from other nations. Irena’s charm and ability to think like a Russian is what makes her an ideal business partner for professionals, developers and smaller related companies in Pattaya and one meeting with Irena will leave you in no doubt that the Russian community is a vital element of the city and is one that should be embraced and respected.
Irena now considers Thailand as her home; she is comfortable with the ways of doing business here and is respected as the conduit between Russian speakers and other nationalities. Over the next five to ten years she expects that the Russian community will thrive and hopefully be embraced by the Thais and other nationalities that now consider Thailand as their home.