Robert (Rob) Rowcett spent 18 years living as an expat in Thailand before he died aged 55 in September 2015. Rob, who was originally from Bedford, England, left school to work in a tool hire company and later in the real estate agency business.
Within a couple of years he left to start his own company and Rob’s UK career blossomed. He had successful ventures that included fashion photography working with Paul Smith and Armani. He wrote editorial pieces and travelled to Brazil writing articles for Sky Magazine on how gold-mining was ruining the country’s terrain. He also ran a number of very successful pubs and private clubs in London. When he arrived in Pattaya for a holiday in 1997, he soon realized he didn’t want to leave and set up home here and never used his return ticket.
Robert (Rob) Rowcett 1960-2015
His sister Sue and her husband Ian soon followed to be close to her beloved brother. Rob was a visionary and was quick to see the Internet opportunity. During his first year in Thailand he studied programming and within two years set up a company called Digital Internet Factory with Charlie Warner, in Soi Post office, Pattaya Beach Road. This included one of Pattaya’s first Internet cafe and web design businesses. By 2001 that company had grown with offices in Bangkok and employed over 50 staff. DIF built websites for the SET, the government department of Science and Technology and even one of the Royal Palace King’s Projects. DIF launched and operated Thailand’s first secure payment gateway to manage credit card payments online in 2001.
The business was sold in 2003 and Rob and Charlie returned to Pattaya. After a serious illness where he endured the removal of half a lung, he created the leading local restaurant Cafe Des Amis, which he later sold out to his co-partner. In 2011 he joined forces once again with Charlie and set up Compass Real Estate, as Pattaya’s first local “Managing Agents”. Rob became managing director and the company won contracts to manage the sales of Blue Sky’s first condo development project “Atlantis”.
This was followed by the Grande Caribbean development. Universal Thailand were the next clients with Seven Seas and Savanna Sands condos. Compass also managed Treetops by Boutique Group in Bangkok and several other local condominium projects.
Rob was a family man of great energy and passion. He will be remembered in the local real estate community as a clever, tough but friendly, generous and fun loving man, but to those few lucky friends that knew him very well, he was the animal loving softy who couldn’t drive past an injured soi dog without stopping and taking it to the vets, where usually paid all the bills. He is survived by his 16 year old son and his adopted daughter, 17, his sister and brother in law, and his long time Thai partner.