Building Connections and Capabilities Before You Land in the Thai Market [Tech Insight Series x TDPK Talk Panel Recap]

  • Business
  • March 04, 2022
Building Connections and Capabilities Before You Land in the Thai Market [Tech Insight Series x TDPK Talk Panel Recap]

On February 23rd, True Digital Park and TechNode Global co-presented the TDPK TALK Special EP x TNG Tech Insights Series: Building Connections and Capabilities Before You Land in the Thai Market session.

This was a special session packed with useful information from our expert panel of speakers featuring the following:

  • Ms. Kantarot Laopradith, Investment Promotion Officer, Senior Professional Level at  Board of Investment
  • Dr. Bert Grobben, CEO at Budding Innovations
  • Mr. Fabian Reusch, Founder and Managing Director at HydroNeo
  • Dr. Tarit Nimmanwudipong, General Maanger at TDPK

The panel was moderated by Mr. J. Angelo Racoma, Editor of TechNode Global.

The panelists shared with us their experiences and insights into business expansion and making connections in Thailand. We have compiled some key takeaways and highlights from this session.

Supporting startups presented by True Digital Park

Dr. Tarit Nimmanwudipong: True Digital Park is a modern and distinctive center, which is different from other buildings in Bangkok, because we are targeting a specific group of customers. In order for our customers to see True Digital Park as their home, we have provided a lot of facilities, including the co-working space, which is the largest co-working space in Thailand.

We also have meeting rooms and an auditorium that can host workshops. You can attend events and join classes as a group or individually. We also have office rental spaces for clients like companies and tech startups. Our intention is to create an ecosystem comprising network groups under the roof of True Digital Park.

SMART VISA concept for foreign business

Ms. Kantarot Laopradith: SMART VISA is a special visa to facilitate and manage work permits for foreigners. The purpose of the SMART VISA is to attract professionals, executives and entrepreneurs or science and technology startups to work, invest, and expand their businesses in Thailand.

Special privileges for SMART VISA holders are as follows:

  • Longer visa period, up to 4 years
  • Can be extended without applying for a work permit
  • Extended the reporting period from 90 days to 1 year
  • No re-entry is required
  • Access to a fast track service at the airport

Deciding to expand your business to Thailand 

Mr. Fabian Reusch: In launching the shrimp farming business, I traveled to Singapore and became more familiar with the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem. I did research and learned that Thailand is one of the major shrimp exporting countries. After that, I was invited by the National Innovation Agency (NIA) to come to the True Digital Park 2019 startup conference.

There, I get to learn more about the Thai startup ecosystem. I also had the opportunity to visit shrimp farming businesses in other countries and realized that Thailand has a very interesting market. Then I learned about the SMART VISA and how the process of getting into business here is very smooth and easy. Thus, I choose to expand to Thailand.

Dr. Bert Grobben: I have had the opportunity to work with the private sector and government institutions in many countries around the world. But there are few places where the public and private sectors work together with close support from the government.

In this region, only Singapore and Thailand stand out. Singapore has a stable startup ecosystem. Thailand is one of the largest and most energetic markets, and I always advise startups to consider Thailand as their headquarter and expand their business. Because the Thai startup ecosystem is very new and diverse. Most of the incubator and acceletator programs are modern. In addition, the quality of life in Thailand is quite high. So for me, Thailand is not only a good place for work but also to live.

Building business connections during COVID-19

Dr. Bert Grobben: There is no substitute for human connection (face to face) even as video calls are now becoming popular. With a video call, we are missing the non-verbal communication cues. We need to try harder to build trust via video call. I suggest that you talk to people who are interested in making connections and invite them for a conversation, focusing on the conversation, and making an impression.

Finding talent and partners to join the team

Mr. Fabian Reusch: We are fortunate that there are many talented candidates who have graduated from the universities in Thailand who applied with us. A lot of foreigners who want to work in Thailand have applied as well. The Thai government offers a SMART VISA (Type T) that attracts entrepreneurs and talented candidates who want to work in Thailand. From my experience, having such strong connections is very important in Thailand.

Support from BOI

Ms. Kantarot Laopradith: BOI is responsible for maintaining the high competitiveness of the Thai market. The pandemic has caused challenges, but BOI supports busionesses and investors through tax-based incentives and non-tax incentives. Also, we give advice facilitate setting up and running businesses in Thailand.

BOI offers a variety of packages under the SMART VISA.


  • Smart Visa
  • TDPK
  • TechNode
  • Thai market

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