2011, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
On Friday, August 26, 2011, MBA students from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration rang the NASDAQ Closing Bell. This became an historic NASDAQ closing, immediately preceding the dreaded arrival of Hurricane Irene!
Vacationing tourists thronged the square: snapping pictures and gawking at the elaborate digital billboards. Meanwhile, residents patiently lined up (well, patiently for New Yorkers) in the square’s supermarkets and drug stores, snapping up dwindling supplies of batteries and food. This mix of exuberance and imminent danger is perhaps an apt metaphor for the roller-coaster NASDAQ itself.
The bell-ringing privilege for Sasin was part of 1st Prize in the Stu Clark Investment Competition 2011 (organized by The Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada).
The Sasin team developed a business plan to produce and market a new variety of high-antioxidant rice. This is cross-bred from the world famous Thai jasmine rice and Thai black rice: coupling the renowned taste of the former with the nutritional values of the latter.
For the Sasin students, this is not just another business school exercise. They are well on the way to realizing their venture. Their company, Siam Organic, is already founded. Their brand name, Jasberry™, already created. Their market research in key US cities, is already completed.
"Our market research became a crucial factor in getting the attention of some top US retailers and food brokers ", said Pornthida Wongphatharakul, Business Development Director, Siam Organic.
Now they are working with the rice’s inventor, Dr. Apichart Vanavichit (Director, Rice Gene Discovery and Rice Research Center, Kasetsart University) on detailed logistics for a Thai launch in November 2011, and a US launch in late 2012.
The Sasin students intend Siam Organic to be a sustainable enterprise. “We’re developing an economic incentive model for our suppliers, as well as creating a farmer development fund to give back more and ensure long term commitment from the farmers we work with”, says Apilux Huvanandana, COO of the company.
Acknowledging the role that Thailand’s only globally accredited business school played in their success, Peetachai Dejkraisak, CEO of this young company says: “We’ve received all the support that we could from our school and our Director Professor Toemsakdi Krishnamra. Our advisor and mentor Nick Pisalyaput, himself an entrepreneur, chipped in with several leads and valuable advice.”
Several top Thai Government representatives were at the NASDAQ closing, including Mrs. Siriporn Chaimongkol, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations and Mr. Piriya Khempon, Consul General, Thai Consulate, Ms. Somjin Plengkhum, Executive Director and Ms. Kornkamol Anekamai, Assistant Director, Thailand Trade Office, North America, Department of Export Promtions (DEP), New York.
Although, fortunately, without the destructive power of Hurricane Irene, we can certainly expect Siam Organic’s Jasberry™ to create waves in the premium rice market.
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University was founded almost 30 years ago as an autonomous entity within Chulalongkorn University. Created initially in conjunction with Wharton and Kellogg, Sasin has evolved into a world-class business school. Sasin is one of a handful of business schools in Southeast Asia accredited by both AACSB and EQUIS. Sasin’s pioneering program structure has become a model for business programs around the world. Its programs are anchored by a core full-time faculty, and draw on leading visiting professors from around the world.