Nigel Cornick – a Mover or a Shaker?

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Movers & Shakers get to the point – Southpoint

Movers & Shakers, which held its annual gala event in Pattaya in December, has now returned to the normal business of monthly networking at prestige venues in Bangkok.

The trendy & stylish Woobar at the W Bangkok Hotel was the setting for last month’s Movers & Shakers networking event which took place on January 24.

It’s always a risk getting these things rolling after the Christmas and New Year festivities, trying to get people back into business mode and reaching out to those who are willing to take the challenge of getting to the networking immediately after finishing work – but it certainly paid off in this case.

Movers & Shakers has carved out a niche for itself in the last twelve months in Bangkok and what makes it different from other networking events is that the focus is on the networking, no long speeches or presentations, just a simple getting together of like-minded individuals looking to expand their client base, yet in an informal setting.

Event sponsor and CEO of Kingdom Property Nigel Cornick (left) with Paul Strachan.Event sponsor and CEO of Kingdom Property Nigel Cornick (left) with Paul Strachan.

I used the word prestige earlier and that reflects not just on the venue, but also the people who attend Movers & Shakers and also how they present themselves.  Bangkok offers a very different breed to Pattaya in this regard, with many attendees turning up in business suits and the ladies appropriately dressed.

Nigel thanks all the guests for attending the first Movers & Shakers of 2013.Nigel thanks all the guests for attending the first Movers & Shakers of 2013.

The prestige element is also enhanced by the media that attend Movers & Shakers, in the form of TV, print media and radio, and of course the photographers who make everybody feel at ease and capture those great moments that come from meeting new people and reacquainting with old friends.

The sponsor for this latest event was Kingdom Property , who were promoting their first project based in Pattaya: Southpoint.

I took the opportunity to interview the CEO of Kingdom Property  at the event, a man who is well known in Pattaya and Bangkok for his long association in the property market: Nigel Cornick.

P.S:  Nigel I have seen many interviews with you recently in which you’ve been asked, why the focus is back on Pattaya? – But I guess the reality is that Pattaya has changed dramatically in the last few years.

NC:  Yes I think people who ask that question, perhaps don’t really know Pattaya, because over the last fifteen years the city has really developed itself, not just in the residential sense but also in the industrial sense.  You have an auto motive industry there which is the largest in Asia, so it has created its own market, and therefore Pattaya is not Pattaya – it’s the Eastern Seaboard, of which Pattaya is its capital.

P.S:  So it’s not just in terms of property?

NC:  If you have a strong economy, property comes on the back of that, it’s simple; Pattaya will be driven by tourists as it is still the number one destination for tourists in Asia.  It’s driven by the demand for employees working in all those factories, working in the service industry and I think that if you look at people like Sansiri, LPN, Q House, they are moving into Pattaya because they recognize the demands from the local Thai people and it will continue.

Southpoint Condominium.Southpoint Condominium.

P.S:  So the Thai market is very important for you?

NC:  Our business has always been geared towards quality developments and our target market will be whoever can afford what we build, but we are not building expensive real estate.

P.S:  You mentioned about the tourists who are still coming to Pattaya, yet the demographic of those tourists has changed.  Does this then influence your projects when you work with your architect to satisfy the different needs, or do you focus on making the offer so strong that people will invest with you regardless?

NC:  I think it depends; we have a number of projects in our portfolio today where they are driven towards a three star hospitality offering.  We’ve got others which will be geared towards a five star offering, so I think it just depends on what market segment you are focusing on.

P.S:  Nigel can you please tell us a bit about Southpoint?

NC:  Southpoint is my first project since Raimon Land and it’s probably on a par with Northshore in terms of size and where we see the market being pitched.  It’s six hundred and fifty units across two towers and we have sold one tower already to an investor.  So we have about four hundred and sixty in the main tower and we have sold about a hundred of those.  Things are going well and we have about another two months before we finish our sales complex.

We have funding from Thai Bank in place and we are in the final stages of negotiations with an international contractor, so it’s all on track.  We bought the land in July last year, so if you think about that, think about how long it takes for some people to get their EIA approval, government permits etc., we have all those – and we are building now.  So we are well on track.

P.S:  It’s now nearing the end of January; is the high season still an important factor here in Pattaya or is that something of a misnomer now?

NC: My experience to date would indicate that it is a misnomer.

TV Host Daniel Boccalini (left) and Movers & Shakers founder Cees Cuijpers (2nd left) enjoy the evening with Irena & Alex De Rebas (right) from the Russian Real Estate Magazine.TV Host Daniel Boccalini (left) and Movers & Shakers founder Cees Cuijpers (2nd left) enjoy the evening with Irena & Alex De Rebas (right) from the Russian Real Estate Magazine.

I think that the profile of buyers in Pattaya has changed since when I developed Northshore and Northpoint.  Pricing and levels of foreign interest has come down.  For example, in Northpoint before, when we launched it, we thought that it would be foreign buyers.  But today all the re-sales are being bought by Thais and for 170-180 thousand baht a square meter – so that tells you what has happened to Pattaya in the last two to three years.

P.S:  I know that you have sponsored many events in your various guises over the years, but tell me, why have you chosen to sponsor Movers & Shakers tonight?

A glass of champagne always helps breaks the ice for new contacts.A glass of champagne always helps breaks the ice for new contacts.

NC:  I think it’s all about relationships.  And I think it’s a positive and great business relationship, but also it’s about association.  If your brand is associated with great things, and successful things in good environments, then that’s your brand.  And let’s not forget, it’s also for charity.

P.S.  My final question Nigel: Are you a Mover – or a Shaker?

N.C.  Oh I am a Mover! – Onwards and upwards.

New friends and business contacts get acquainted at Movers & Shakers.New friends and business contacts get acquainted at Movers & Shakers.

Note: Movers & Shakers will return in February at yet another classy venue, no doubt attracting even more business people for a night of networking, exchanging of concepts in an informal environment and sharing a glass or two of wine.

Interview conducted by Paul Strachan/ Photographs courtesy of Peter Kraemer, Siam Fine Arts, Tel: 084 864 9370.

The Woobar at the W Hotel was the perfect setting for the evening.The Woobar at the W Hotel was the perfect setting for the evening.