Monchan Pruekvimolphan is the Marketing Director at RB Health Thailand. As an accomplished brand building professional with 20 years of FMCG experience across Asia, she has proven track record in business acceleration and digital transformation.
Can you share about your career progression into your current role?
As a pharmacist and finance person, I entered the marketing field by chance when I joined a Management Trainee programme at a global FMCG. This gave me international exposure early on in my career, and it broadened my perspectives, both with regards to my personal life and my intended profession. The inherent dynamism of the international workplace inspired me to pursue a career in FMCG multinationals. After that, I did a brief stint in Thailand with a local telecom during which I found myself constantly looking outward and preparing myself for the next move. Soon after, I joined Mead Johnson in Vietnam. I took the opportunity to continue with MJN Malaysia through the acquisition by RB, and subsequently landed my current position at RB Thailand.
Having worked in many different countries, have you noticed any difference in terms of culture, and did it affect your management style?
Of course, there are profound cultural differences between all countries, and it is an integral part of any successful management scheme to be culturally sensitive and knowledgeable of how to navigate these differences. Having international exposure has helped my cultural sensitivity, allowing me to become more aware and mindful of the nuances between cultures. Regarding my management style, I always had the tendency to be very direct and perhaps blunt due to my task-oriented nature, but that evolved over time to one that I believe is more engaging, inclusive, and enabling. As it is obviously difficult to be intimately familiar with all countries, languages, and cultures, my focus has been more on the people rather than on the tasks themselves. Having said that, I don’t think these differences have at all affected my overall directive: the expeditious delivery of positive results. What is significantly different from one country to the next is HOW BEST to get that done. There isn’t any cookie-cutter answer that works universally across the board.
Can you pinpoint a time when you noticed an emphasis on diversity?
Frankly speaking, I can’t. While “diversity and inclusion” has been quite the catchphrase for a while now, particularly in the context of gender in the workplace, it has been slow to catch on in the male-dominant corporate world in Asia. So, while there have been very positive changes in that regard, there was no definite turning point, as it’s more of an evolution than a revolution to me. We still have a long way to go.
What are some factors that have helped you progress in your career?
Resilience and adaptability.
Have you ever had a mentor or role model in your career? And what do you think is the value in having one?
I have had several mentors, and each one has helped me immeasurably. I think it’s important for individuals pursuing their passions to be mentored by someone, who in one way or another, enables them to achieve the goals that are most important to them. Entering a new working environment can be both challenging and intimidating, and finding a mentor within the system to “show you the ropes” can help you better navigate the subtle inner workings of the organisation and manage the stakeholders.
What do you think are the benefits of having a diverse organisation or team?
I would say that the single most significant benefit of diversity is the multiplicity of perspectives it offers. Having access to a wealth of fresh ideas is what keeps organisations dynamic.
What would be your advice to leaders who want to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace?
Check your ego and prejudices at the door. Accept that no one person knows it all, but all individuals have something of value to offer. With regards to building your team, look for people who are willing to learn and re-learn when they enter a new environment. It is equally important that recruits are willing to take responsibility for their mistakes and see them as opportunities to grow.