Kanokporn Rean-in, or Tong, is a 3rd-year vocational student majoring in marketing at the Bangna Commercial college. She is the youngest member of her family. Currently, Tong is helping her family business in Samut Prakan, a province adjacent to Bangkok, selling building materials such as rocks, soil, and sand. She started getting involved in this business since she was in Grade 6. Tong is responsible for generating an income and expenditure account during her free time and works in the office full-time on the weekends. When asked why she joined the program ‘Aspiring Hospitality Workers of Tomorrow’, Tong said, “my teacher sent me a link and forced us to join. After I participated in the project’s activities, I was fascinated by the knowledge gained, so I applied for the second time by myself.”
With the support of the Citi Foundation, the Kenan Foundation Asia and the Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labor, organized training workshops to equip young people with 21st-century skills, emphasizing communication, teamwork, analytical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, and other necessary work skills. Through Kenan’s Micro and SME Academy, experts and consultants provided training and advice for vocational students interested in online business. Tong cheerfully stated that she was glad to have an opportunity to join this project. Although it was free of charge, she feels that she has learned much from the training. The instructors were willing to answer any questions and promptly provide as much support as possible. By attending the workshops, Tong learned how to set up advertisements on Facebook and create gripping content. She proudly said that she is now more confident in answering customers’ questions and is more assertive in general. Furthermore, the workshop has also instilled in her the importance of being punctual.
Tong’s parents started their business over 40 years ago when they didn’t have any children. Now with five children – all with personal Facebook pages, they still did not have a Facebook page for their business. After Tong participated in Kenan’s training sessions, she opened a Facebook page, which has been live for five months, and she has taken on the responsibility of being the administrator of the Facebook page and LINE account. During COVID-19, the store lost many customers. Yet, after she opened her Facebook page “Tha Sai Denchai”, new customers began visiting their store, and the business’s income increased by about 30-40%. Sometimes she has customers from other provinces contacting her through Facebook. If her shop cannot send products, her aunt arranges for other affiliated shops to deliver the products.
With the desire to prove her abilities, Tong intends to develop advertisements, since right now, her sister is hiring an agent to do it. Henceforward, Tong plans to apply techniques to run ads on Facebook that she has learned from this project’s workshop to improve the shop’s marketing.
The services delivered through the collaboration among Citi Foundation, Kenan Foundation Asia, and the Department of Skill Development have changed Tong’s life by improving her potential and skills to thrive in the changing 21st-century market. She is confident that the knowledge and skills acquired will continue to benefit her family’s business.