Senior Executive-Life Issues

Round Table: Several bright spots for executive job market

01 September 1998

Editor: In 2004, Edwin Sim established Human Capital Alliance, Thailand’s  Premier Executive Search & Senior Advisory Firm. Between 1997-2003, Edwin Sim was Managing Partner of Korn Ferry Thailand.  This article was first published by the Round Table in September 1998. 

In the current economic recession, there are several bright spots in the executive job market sector.

Particularly strong are job openings in multinational consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies while industrial sector companies are also looking for new senior management for their new joint ventures or start-ups.

Edwin Sim, Korn/Ferry Thailand’s country head and managing director said the current economic crisis triggered by the baht’s devaluation in July 1997 has opened up the executive job market in several key areas.

In the consumer goods area which includes food and beverage and household products companies, many multinational companies, some of whom have been in Thailand for decades, are taking the opportunity to strengthen their current infrastructure and management teams.

“For these companies, which have a long-term perspective about investing in Thailand , it’s a matter of picking the optimum time to add to their market share,” Sim said.

Companies with strong balance sheets particularly in the consumer goods and pharmaceutical sectors are taking the opportunity to expand via mergers and acquisitions during the economic downturn. “Many of these companies have been looking to Korn Ferry to fill management positions,” Sim said.

In the industrial sector, many foreign multinationals have chosen to either enter new markets by buying troubled companies or buying out their cash strapped joint venture partners.

Sim said these newly created ventures offer qualified Thai professionals many new highly-paid executive job opportunities.

Although 50 per cent of Korn/Ferry Thailand’s clients are multinationals, 95 per cent of its placements are filled by Thai nationals. Sim said foreign multinationals realize that in general there are many good Thai professionals who can compete with any overseas management candidates in the Thailand.

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